Google has cut the cost of its Maps API for high-volume users by an astonishing 88 per cent, following Apple's recent decision to drop the platform for its own mapping solution.

Ahead of the developer-focused I/O conference next week, the company has responded to Apple's iOS 6 snub and a number of defections, including Foursquare, to the open source OpenStreetMaps service.

The Google Maps API will remain free for the vast majority of users, but last year Google began charging for high-volume, profit making websites and mobile apps that make use of the service.

Now, instead of charing $4 for every 1,000 page loads for apps and services, Google will now offer the same service for 50 cents.

'Listening to feedback'

"We've been listening carefully to feedback, and today we're happy to announce that we're lowering API usage fees and simplifying limits," wrote Thor Mitchell, the product manager for Google Maps API, on the company's geo developer blog.

"We're beginning to monitor Maps API usage starting today, and, based on current usage, fees will only apply to the top 0.35% of sites regularly exceeding the published limits of 25,000 map loads every day for 90 consecutive days."

Via: CNET