6 November, 2018

Google Maps in apps isn’t free anymore

If you’ve built an app in the past for Android or iOS you would have benefitted from Google’s generous usage limits for mobile, most of which were unlimited for Maps API.

Under Google Maps Platform, map loads through the Mobile SDK are still free, but all the other services you might rely on are on are now counted and billed.

These include web services like directions calls and roads calls, which are very common for ride sharing and last mile delivery use cases.

The address validation and points of interest database, Places API, is another service that was effectively free under the old model, but this is now billed too.

What does this mean for you?

If you have an existing app, you need to be aware of what the changes to the billing model mean for your company.

Getting an unexpected bill can be a shock and it will also force you to reassess your commercial model and the viability of parts of your app.

NGIS recommends using the official optimisation guide to reduce any unnecessary calls to Google Maps APIs.

Once this is complete you should talk to NGIS about how to price up individual actions within your app to assess their value to your business.

An example of this would be counting the number of calls you need to make for a single delivery if you ran a courier company. Comparing that to the price table will give you a cost in dollars, which you can then factor into your planning and price model.

Get in touch with the Google Maps team to find out how you can optimise and cost out your app after the changes to Google Maps Platform.

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