Google Maps for iPhone is now more useful, or more annoying, depending on who you ask. Google has apparently started to include ads (sponsored results) and user-generated content in their Google Maps search results. The sponsored and user-generated search results are displayed alongside run-of-the-mill Google Maps businesses. For some, that means added value through added information. For others, it means having to filter through additional crap to get information on a place of interest.
I haven’t yet been able to pull up a sponsored ad on any Google Maps search on my iPhone, but there are reports from around the web that search results are displaying ads. Other reports indicate that user-generated content is being pulled from the Nokia-owned Plazes.com service. Of course, it was only a matter of time before Google started advertising within Google Maps for iPhone.
Still, some bloggers seem to think that Apple isn’t keen on Google’s bolstered Google Maps searches, but the iPhone maker, makes it clear in their description of Google Maps that search results “can include places of interest added by Google My Maps users (“User-created content”), and sponsored links that appear as special icons.” Apple’s control of the Google Maps iPhone app can only go as far as the app itself – the database that it pulls information from is under complete Google control.
So, have any of you experienced a Google Maps for iPhone ad or user-generated content? Let us know what search terms you used!