Google pans Apple maps, but is it working on an iPhone app?

Sep 26, 2012

Eric Schmidt says Apple made a mistake, but iPhone maker might have caught Google on the hop

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THE SPAT between Apple and Google over maps on the iPhone 5 shows no sign of abating after Google president Eric Schmidt said he thought Apple had made a mistake jettisoning their product and said his company was in no rush to develop a mapping app for use on Apple devices.

Apple controversially dropped Google Maps from its new operating system for iPhones and iPads, iOS 6, and replaced it with its own software, Apple Maps, which has been widely panned by users.

Schmidt rubbed salt in the wound when he told reporters: "In my opinion it would have been better to retain our maps. It's their decision, I'll let them describe it."

But anyone hoping that Google Maps will be made available in the app store is set to be disappointed. Schmidt announced: "We haven't done anything yet with Google Maps [for Apple]."

And he added that if the search giant did get round to designing a mapping app for Apple devices it would still need to be approved by their great rival. "It's their choice," said Schmidt.

It has also been claimed this week that Apple took the decision to drop Google a year before its contract to use Google Maps ran out. Website Techradar reported: "Apple decided to run with its own maps app quite some time before WWDC [Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference] in June.”

It said Apple was annoyed that Google was devoting more time to its Android mapping service and was adding in more of its own products.

Apple Insider agreed, and said: "The move to introduce a totally new mapping system with iOS 6 and the new iPhone 5 was reportedly a result of the disparity of features between the Android and iOS versions of Google Maps."

Apple's decision to drop Google with a year left on the contract surprised the search giant, according to the New York Times. It also said that, contrary to Schmidt's claims, Google is preparing a map service, but added: "There are several complicating factors to Google’s development of the app".

Firstly, Google was “caught off guard" by Apple's decision and its app is still in development. Furthermore, "Google is now navigating business relationships with Apple that grow more tricky by the day".

The final problem is that Google wants to release its maps in 3D, which means it must integrate Google Earth into its mapping service, says the paper.

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