Google and its recently-released Maps application might have the spotlight for now, but Apple is hatching out a plan to win it back. A new report is out this afternoon claiming that the Cupertino company is in preliminary talks with Foursquare, the popular location-based social network, to integrate its local data into iOS Maps…

The Wall Street Journal has the scoop:

“Apple Inc. is in early discussions to integrate local data from Foursquare Labs Inc. into its mapping application, according to people familiar with the talks, as the company continues to build an arsenal of local data to try to take on Google Inc.

The talks, which took place in recent weeks and involve Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue, are the latest sign of Apple’s plans to more tightly integrate local services into the iPhone and iPad. The talks with New York-based Foursquare come as Apple has been talking to a number of companies that collect local data to improve its new mapping product. The maps service, released in September, has had a rocky reception and faces fierce competition from Google.”

Since it debuted in September, the Maps app has caused nothing but problems for Apple. Its inaccurate data sparked numerous user complaints, ultimately leading to a public apology and two executive oustings. In October, it was announced that Scott Forstall would be leaving, and Eddy Cue would be taking over the Maps team.

A deal with Foursquare could certainly help Cue beef up iOS Maps’ location data. The social network has over 20 million users — many of which are constantly checking into restaurants, businesses, and other places. It’s also possible that Apple could use Foursquare’s database of tips and ratings for many of these places, which would be huge plus.

There’s obviously no way of confirming this report, but it wouldn’t surprise us at all if it was dead-on. Apple has kind of switched gears in the last few years and has recently shown a willingness to partner with social networks. Look at its system-level integration of Twitter, and now Facebook, and the Yelp and Rotten Tomato reviews in Siri.

Apple certainly has to do something drastic if it wants to put itself back in the Maps game. Google’s Maps app, which it says is actually better than its Android counterpart, has been extremely popular since it debuted last week. Earlier today, the company’s SVP of Commerce announced that the app hit 10 million downloads in less than 48 hours.

What do you think, could Foursquare’s data help Apple get Maps back on track?

  • thats what they should have done at first and not just with yelp

  • It’s partnering with experiencing partners is what makes the phone a good holistic eco system. Rather than trying to develop your maps with not enough of experience

  • I understand Apple hates google but Google helped push iOS to new high when iPhone first came out. Google wanted to do more Apple said no many times over. Google got tired of the no’s bought Android. Thank Apple for Google success. Funny thing is Google make more revenue on iDevices they do on their own Android system. For the past 2 years Google
    software has been on fire and it all starts with SEARCH.

    • SimonReidy

      Totally agree. I’d also add that not only is Android 4.2 streets ahead with many OS capabilities and UI appearance (even though it’s only available on the Nexus 4 for now) but Google have also really committed themselves to producing the very best possible apps for iOS over the last year as well, with several of them now bettering Apple’s own native applications (apart from lacking full device integration, but that’s only due to Apple’s strict policy on default apps).

      I love a lot about my iPhone 5, but given jailbreaking is getting more difficult every year, I feel like I might be forced into going with Android for my next phone, which is a shame as I much prefer Apple’s hardware and certain aspects of iOS like iCloud and AirPlay. However one of the first things I do when jailbroken is change default apps and add a heap of tweaks to make the device function the way I want it to.

      If jailbreaking dries up, and Apple doesn’t start to allow users more control over their devices (and give iOS7 a huge visual overhaul) I just don’t think I can handle stock iOS any longer.

      Just my personal opinion. Probably doesn’t help that I use so many Google services that are slowly converting me to the dark side 🙂

      • Scott Forstall, was in charge of iOS software, Maps, UI, Siri, etc… but he was also the Bully at Apple he’s also fired. He Didn’t want change and fights everyone who disagrees. Jonathan Ive is the man behind the great iDevices & Mac hardware designs you see today. NOW more importantly he’s now the Chief of Human Interface design across the company. That’s means hardware and software. iOS7 should finally bring some big changes I hope. So hold on to those iDevices things are good now and will get great soon.

      • SimonReidy

        We’re all hoping exactly the same thing 🙂 I can’t stand Forestall’s love of tacky Skeuormorphic textures and shiny buttons, and now that he’s out of the picture, I’m looking forward to seeing what Johnny Ive can achieve with iOS7. There’s a lot of new apps with great design to draw inspiration from out there, so we know the iPhone CAN look great.
        I look forward to a more minimalist, but more functional iOS. However I really don’t want to have wait months to upgrade to iOS7 while we wait for it to be jailbroken, so it’s going to be a tough choice between remaining on jabroken iOS 6.x or upgrading to stock iOS7. Hopefully the wait is shorter than it has been this time as only one of my 3 devices are on iOS6 (my iPhone 5). The other two are awaiting an iOS6 jailbreak before I upgrade them.

  • apple needs to hurry up and buy tom-tom