Apple’s move to ditch Google Maps as the native mapping software on iOS was reportedly taken a year before its contract with the search giant was due to expire, insider have claimed.
According to “two independent sources familiar with the matter” cited by The Verge, the decision was made before the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, forcing Google to announce its own press gathering ahead of Apple’s to show off the “next dimension of Google Maps”.
Apple’s choice to go with an in-house solution was apparently hastened by its concerns that Google Maps on iOS was lagging behind its Android counterpart, especially in turn-by-turn navigation, the API for which was unavailable to the iGiant.
The sources claim that Google was left scrambling to develop a standalone app for iOS, so as not to lose a vast user base, but that it is as-yet incomplete.
Google has already said it wants to make its maps available to anyone irrespective of platform. Speaking at a conference in Japan, executive chairman Eric Schmidt said the search giant would support Apple as any other partner, though he admitted it “would have been better [for Apple] if they had kept [Google Maps]”, before adding slyly: "But what do I know?”
Apple’s proprietary Maps application has come under intense scrutiny amid reports that it is rife with inaccuracies that range from misspelt and misplaced locations to places that are either entirely missing or no longer exist.
Schmidt denied rumours that an app has already been submitted to Apple for approval, but few would contend it’s definitely in the pipeline. Exactly when it might hit the App Store, though, is anybody’s guess right now, but early adopters of the new iPhone 5 will doubtless hope it happens sooner rather than later.