The honeymoon is over, guys – or it will be, on June 11, 2018. Google is making sweeping changes to its Maps API products. And by sweeping, we mean shocking.
Here’s what is happening:
- The 18 individual APIs Google Maps currently offers are being consolidated into three broad segments – Maps, Routes, and Places. But, you wouldn’t need to make any changes in your existing code; it will work just fine.
- The Standard (no access to customer support) and Premium plans are being merged into one pay-as-you-go pricing plan. And the new fee structure is not pretty. Google is raising its prices by more than 1,400%. Obviously, no direct comparison figures of old and new prices have been provided by Google, but that’s the average surge that is being reported by developers.
- You can no longer use the APIs in the first place unless you create a billing account and hand-over your credit card information to Google. This is applicable to all users – even those who have a simple map embedded on their website’s contact page.
- You will get the first $200 of monthly usage for free. And that should be enough to cover the majority of users who have a simple map embedded on their website as mentioned above. But, for those who use Dynamic Maps, $200 will take care of only 28,000 free page loads per month. Why the emphasis on per month? Because right now, users get 25,000 free page loads per day. Let that sink in.
- As every dark cloud must have a silver lining, customer support is now going to be free for all.
- Google is protecting Android app developers from these changes by not charging for Mobile Native Static Maps and Mobile Native Dynamic Maps.