A Google Maps iOS app approval is anything but given, insiders claim

By , Nov 5, 2012

Google submitted its native Maps iOS app to Apple in September with the hope of having it approved by Christmas. Two weeks later, its chairman Eric Schmidt acknowledged that a Google Maps iOS app is up to Apple and a newspaper report this morning now suggests that insiders don’t have high hopes that it will be approved by the iPhone maker after all. Google previously released a native YouTube app for iOS devices following the removal of stock YouTube software from iOS 6. Last month, the search Goliath also enabled Street View as a web app in the mobile Safari browser…

UPDATE: a clarification has been added to the bottom regarding a matter of semantics concerning the app’s assumed approval process.

Insiders told Michael Grothaus of The Guardian newspaper that the company is “not optimistic” that Apple will ever approve a native Google Maps iOS app, even though it should be ready to ship by year’s end. Apple previously advised dissatisfied customers to go download Google’s non-existent Maps app.

One source, however, mentions “increased hopes” of Apple’s approval now that iOS boss Scott Forstall is gone. As you know, Forstall’s refusal to sign a public apology over the Maps debacle (CEO Tim Cook signed it) was reportedly the last straw which led to his undoing.

Another source “was less than enthusiastic”, citing industry politics and Apple’s need to save face as much as possible and “keep moving forward in an effort to make its obviously inferior product better”.

Google’s sources though do not think their own Maps app would be approved quickly. Specifically, they point to the lack of any mapping app in the “Find maps for your iPhone” section of the App Store – accessible only via iPhones or iPads – that use the Google Maps APIs to call wirelessly for location, routing or point-of-interest (POI) data.

If it’s any consolation, both sources say Google and Apple keep communication lines so agreements “can change quickly”. Even if a Google Maps app is approved, sources tell iOS users should “never expect to see Google Maps back on the iPhone as its default mapping solution”.

And Apple purposely leaving out of the apps that rely on a Google Maps backend from the new App Store section doesn’t bode well for the approval of an official Google Maps app.

In other words, no matter how bad Apple’s Maps are, the company still wants its users to move on from Google – and forget about them.

Another proof: the new iOS 6.1 Beta Apple released to developers last week includes some search-related improvements to its MapKit API suggesting the iPhone maker is serious about providing alternative solutions to Google-branded location, search and mapping services on the iPhone.

This development will surely disappoint the more than 85 percent of respondents who voted for the native Google Maps iOS app in our little non-scientific poll.

What do you think, will Apple ever approve a Google Maps iOS app?

UPDATE: as some readers correctly pointed out in the comments, Google never actually submitted its own iOS Maps app though the company admitted to having the project in the pipeline. Sources told The Guardian in September that “Google is preparing a Google Maps app for iOS6″.

This has prompted many writers to incorrectly assume that the search firm actually submitted the program to Apple for approval, fueled by Eric Schmidt’s ambiguous comment that any decision on whether Google Maps would be accepted as an application in the Apple App Store would have to be made by Apple.

According to Bloomberg, Schmidt said in late-September:

We haven’t done anything yet with Google Maps Apple would have to approve it. It’s their choice.

The well-connected Jim Dalrymple also debunked the assumption with his trademark terse statement saying “Nope”. I even acknowledged the fact in my article dated September 25, but clearly forgot about it today and for that I am sorry.

Thanks for everyone who have pointed out this semantic error in the comments. I hope this helps clear up the confusion.

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  • ic0dex

    I can care less if it gets approved or not the new Maps App is working well for me and the Google maps App is not going to change anything. As a matter of fact it will be a step back because they still don’t have turn by turn.

    • Feel Free

      are u sure?!

      • ic0dex

        Yes, I’m 100% sure that I will not be using Google Maps there’s no point of having it.

      • Feel Free

        who tell u that there will be no turn by turn navigation?

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

        google saves that for its android POS phones.. i use tomtom app which is better than both anyway

      • Feel Free

        me too, but I will no bet on that!! here in Italy, google maps has more more POI than Apple maps. that’s a fact

      • ic0dex

        No one did I just know. They never had it and never will.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1401518347 Quvanny Fizz Gomes

      You can’t really be talking about the iOS MAP?!!!?!!? That first i was happy nothing wrong here… Was I so wrong. It su*#* Sends me to the wrong Streets wrong address Multiple times….

    • iamnotfan

      I will use them both

      Google maps to find the place,(but may be in USA you can find the place easily on iOS maps)

      and iOS maps for Direction

      (until i change my phone)

  • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

    I honestly have had little to no problems with Apple Maps. The issues I have bumped into were very minor

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      yeah its mostly hype …. and apple did very well for only having 1 year to work on it wen google has had 7 years…lol in 1 more year apple maps will be better than google

      • Dlevi309

        i completely agree. 5 years ago people didnt have digital maps. so they can stfu. i was lucky enough to get my hands on “classicMap” and its exactly the same as the older one. for apple maps, all the bones are their, its just not connected

        *UPDATE*
        Theres an app named “iMaps” that is exactly the same as classicmap , get it quick :)

      • iamnotfan

        so you dont know know Apple bought Map sources from Third party

  • nima

    i think apple has really improved it on the maps, seriously…
    i use is a lot and it has given me a better UI then the old slow google maps.

  • http://twitter.com/TeginThomas Tegin Thomas®

    In Dubai ( case with many other places) apple map is f***ed.. Need to literally digg out the places from the sign boards now.. Am I getting less lazy? Anyways would have loved to use it but need an alternative until its updated completely.

  • CollegiateLad

    Christian, climb from beneath your rock. Even Eric Schmidt said, ‘Google has not done anything yet’. So why does the first sentence of this article say that an app was submitted when it wasn’t?

    Why? What am I missing?

    Then you say it should be ready to ship by year’s end. Doesn’t that mean it hasn’t been submitted?

    Also, when and where did Apple direct users to download a ‘non-existent Goole maps app’?

    • MagicDrumSticks

      It’s very typical of Christian to write false info.

      If only e worked for a bigger blog; he would get sued out the ass.

      • CollegiateLad

        It’s sad.

      • http://www.idownloadblog.com/author/dujkan Christian Zibreg

        it’s a matter of semantics. while it’s true Google did not submit the app yet, Apple’s clearly seen it.

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com/author/dujkan Christian Zibreg

      You are absolutely right about Google not submitting the app for approval and I have updated the article accordingly. Thanks for pointing this out. As for Apple directing users to download a non-existent Goole maps app, it came from Google UK Marketing Director Dan Cobley who told Bloomberg – and I quote – that “iPhone 5 users can still use Google Maps just by download them or going to the Google Maps website”, here’s the URL to video evidence http://www.bloomberg.com/video/google-md-on-apple-removing-google-maps-from-ios-t41yYBkJSyG8K3upNJI_Cg.html

      • MagicDrumSticks

        See this is the problem. The readers shouldn’t be pointing out things like this to you, it’s YOUR responsibility to thoroughly research these kinds of things before hand. I mean, I’m pretty sure you get paid to do this, so why are your readers doing your job for you?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    umm if google is trying to put another lame version of its maps app on ios with no turn by turn there is no damn point..

    • iamnotfan

      ya you’re right
      but I used tbt navigation 3 years Ago on my SGS

  • http://twitter.com/_Balushi_ Balushi

    If Apple approves Google Maps iOS App, then iOS 6 Maps won’t come out of beta.!
    All users will switch to G maps since its way advanced than iOS’s, except turn by turn navigation. Perhaps Google included that in their upcoming iOS App, no one knows! Basically, no one will stay behind to keep sending problem reports to Apple. JS

    • CollegiateLad

      You’re wrong. I felt burned by Google maps for the past 5 years as I sat and watched Android receive update after update. Even if Google released an app, I wouldn’t use it. Plus with turn by burn, maps is more functional now.

      • http://twitter.com/_Balushi_ Balushi

        Look, it’s Apple fault that they didn’t update Google maps. Google maps used to come pre-installed (stock app) in iOS. Google can’t update it, only Apple can. But things changed in iOS 6, since Apple ditched Google maps and start using their own.
        Now, it’s possible that we get Google maps experience in Android on iOS, only if Apple approved Google’s app.
        Almost the same of what happened in YouTube app!

    • http://www.facebook.com/mac.mafijozo Mihael Vucetic

      I also think Apple is afraid of that…
      They will approve Google maps when they fix iOS’s 6 maps…

  • http://twitter.com/SirPsycho2 SirPsycho

    It would be nice to be able to have a choice, I like my JAILBROKEN iphone and I love Google’s services, if you make me have to choose between your hardware and my Google services you are going to loose.

    Same deal with Windows 8, nice interface there, but when I click on a tile and takes me to Bing.. Sorry, I have no interest in that.

  • http://twitter.com/joeymendoza Joey Mendoza

    I thought people we making a bigger deal of Apple maps and last week I tested Apple Maps to my house in a city that is well established. A big city and It was trying to send me to antoher city. I verfied my address was correct and I even to delete it and re add it and still Apple maps was trying to send me to some odd place. Sersioulsy its bad. Not too happy but what can I do. I just hope Apple Maps comes into play soon.

  • http://twitter.com/martinbusek Martin Busek

    who cares… I’m using apple maps and if I need google maps, there is great app Maps+ or google earth :-)

  • jdshorrock

    I have no issues with Apple maps, and actually looks cleaner. Kinda miss the street view, but it’s not a deal breaker.

  • http://twitter.com/myorangeisstuck wahaha

    on a brighter side, if everyone uses the google maps app, then there will be lesser people using the apple maps.. yay

  • Irfan Tarique

    Many of us use Transit for traveling and it is a huge disadvantage to not have a native application that can provide sufficient information needed for planning and tracking down bus schedules. I have a relatively slow ipod touch 4 that can hardly pull up anything on the web-app of google maps. Google should make an app that specifically provides bus schedules.