Apple could have kept the stock iOS Google Maps for another year, if it wanted, a new report alleges. When Apple publicly announced in June it would drop the native Google Maps app in favor of its own solution, Google was shocked as its contract with Apple to keep the maps app on the iPhone “had more time remaining”, the New York Times reports.

Luckily, if the paper’s sources are to be believed, Google is working on a standalone Google Maps app though it won’t be released immediately because Google wants to do it right and incorporate 3D view as it wants the program to be comparable to Apple Maps, namely its three-dimensional Flyover views of major cities…

Chris Ziegler first reported of this on The Verge:

Apple’s decision to ship its own mapping system in the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 was made over a year before the company’s agreement to use Google Maps expired, according to two independent sources familiar with the matter.

A standalone Google Maps for the iPhone “is still incomplete and currently not scheduled to ship for several months”, echoing previous reports.

Nick Bilton of The New York Times was able to corroborate the finding:

Google is developing a maps application for iPhone and iPad that it is seeking to finish by the end of the year, according to people involved with the effort who declined to be named because of the nature of their work.

Google apparently did not know that Apple had changed its mind until WWDC.

As to why the program won’t be released for a couple more months, the paper explains.

Google would likely prefer to release a maps app that includes 3-D imagery so it is comparable to Apple’s. But Google has 3-D images in Google Earth, which is a separate app with a separate code base from Google Maps, so it would take some time to combine the two.

The Verge sheds more light:

For its part, Apple apparently felt that the older Google Maps-powered Maps in iOS were falling behind Android — particularly since they didn’t have access to turn-by-turn navigation, which Google has shipped on Android phones for several years.

The Wall Street Journal reported in June that Google also wanted more prominent branding and the ability to add features like Latitude, and executives at the search giant were unhappy with Apple’s renewal terms.

But the existing deal between the two companies was still valid and didn’t have any additional requirements, according to our sources — Apple decided to simply end it and ship the new maps with turn-by-turn.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt suggested that the ball is now in Apple’s court.

“We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?” Schmidt told a small group of reporters in Tokyo. “What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It’s their call.”

Following a very public ridicule (Mapgate, anyone?), Apple’s reportedly been poaching Google Maps engineers to improve the quality and accuracy of its map data.

It’s not just that Apple’s limited manpower is derailing its own mapping efforts  Google’s been perfecting their mapping service for more than seven years so Apple has some serious pluming work to do if it’s to rival Google Maps any time soon.

Needles to say, jailbreakers can easily put the Google Maps app back in iOS 6.

Are you looking forward to a standalone Google Maps app?

  • Tom

    Apple could have kept Google Maps till iOS7? So what? Then they would be in the position they are now when iOS7 gets released. There are always teething problems with stuff like this. It’s better that they get them ironed out now.

    • Don’t u get it, this post was only made to make some more advertising revenue

      • Obsidian71

        Almost every iOS Map post is uniformly a “hey come on in and help us hit our advertising goals”

        Every iPhone that comes out is met with a fixation on anything that will get consumers clicking the article. Since the iPhone 5 is pretty much solid in every other way Maps are the only way we can really be enticed to read an article.

        I don’t meant to slag idownload. They got to pay the bills just like everyone else. It’s just funny to see so much effort devoted to Maps.

      • Emre SUMENGEN

        Possibly the 2 most bright and intelligent comments I’ve seen so far I guess…

        Definitely agree…

  • Fars

    Apple في s done with stealing other ppl ideas ans jailbreak featursa, now It’s stealing g Google staff

    Pathetic.

    • you moron

    • Use Google to check the definition of ‘Steal’ please.

      • Tom

        If we’re being picky, Google ‘stole’ the idea for a search engine from Yahoo.

    • Emre SUMENGEN

      Stealing Google staff?

      I mean, it’s always there, right? People change jobs. People change jobs, and usually move towards the competition, because the money is there…

      It’s logical.

      I wonder what you were saying when Google recruited lots of Motorola staff back in the day, or when they hired people from Yahoo…

  • ReanimationXP

    No, I’m looking forward to a jailbreak.

  • Hifake

    Steve jobs wouldn’t have approved apple maps for public. We are missing him badly!

  • apple is the best. everything else stole ideas from apple.

    • Jack T.

      That’s simply not true

  • Javier Gore

    Apple screwed up by taking drastic and poor thought out measures such as getting rid of Google presence in iOS as a result of the revenge for the safari privacy scandal. A successful company has to know its weakness and limitations while at the same time recognizing other company’s strengths. Should apple have done this in the first place, they would have taken proper measures to progressively getting rid of google maps instead of facing this scandal.
    I think Apple was way too arrogant to believe they could lead the mapping industry from night to day.

    • Emre SUMENGEN

      We’ll see about that in a few months, if not night-to-day…

  • man im in middle east with the iphone 5 in my hand looks like im in dark ages with a simple sheet map that gives nothing at alll it even sometimes locks on my location in a totally diffrent country thats what we call the disaster of 21th centurey man

    • Emre SUMENGEN

      How the hell location misplacement (ie. locking to your location in a wrong place) directly related to Apple maps?

      Whatever app that runs on the device, uses the same location data.

      If Apple’s maps have India, in the actual coordinates of Russia, then you’re right. But I doubt that’s the case…

      • im not sure what you realy pointing at but thats what i get among ten or fifteen times my place mixes with another country and I asked some of my friends and they confirmend the same issue . and what you belive is something and whats happening is another thing so dont be like those smart assseeesss

      • Emre SUMENGEN

        Man… Having a bad gps chip, having a bad gps signal etc. are one thing…

        But, unless you claim that, in Apple Maps, a country is not in the correct coordinates, this is not MAPS problem…

        I mean, my 4S with 5.1.1 shows me in another city sometimes, especially right after travelling and before it can get a strong gps lock… It’s Google Maps, you know?

        It’s just because the phone thinks you’re somewhere else, not because maps data or application is wrong.

  • just load up Google Earth on your iphone or use the browser. All you cry baby’s get your blanki and stop crying if you don’t like it

  • Emre SUMENGEN

    And Google could have kept themselves from getting into a direct competition with their “partner” back then, but they didn’t.

    If Apple waited a year more, it would be Google’s terms, not Apple’s.

    It’s always been “Apple’s terms” with Apple… That’s what’s different with them…

    • EpicFacepalm

      Do you really believe that?

  • I am very looking forward to it.