Eric Schmidt: a Google Maps app is up to Apple

As Apple continues to take heat over its new mapping software, the question on everyone’s mind seems to be: will Google release a standalone Maps app for iOS? It’s a fair question, considering it recently published a YouTube app for the platform.

But a report that surfaced last week claiming Google had already submitted a Maps app to Apple and was awaiting approval was quickly debunked. And Eric Schmidt himself confirmed yesterday that his company hasn’t made a move yet…

Reuters (via MacRumors) reports:

“Google Inc has made no move to provide Google Maps for the iPhone 5 after Apple Inc dropped the application in favor of a home-grown but controversial alternative, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said…

…Schmidt said Google and Apple were in constant communication “at all kinds of levels.” But he said any decision on whether Google Maps would be accepted as an application in the Apple App Store would have to be made by Apple.”

And here’s Bloomberg, who was also at the press conference:

“We haven’t done anything yet with Google Maps,” Schmidt told reporters in Tokyo today. Apple would “have to approve it. It’s their choice,” Schmidt said, declining to say if the Mountain View, California-based company submitted an application to Apple for sale through its App Store.”

So it sounds like the two companies are talking about it, but there’s still no real confirmation on whether or not Google has an iOS Maps app in the works. You would think it would want to make sure that Apple would approve such an app before investing the time and resources into it. But then again, it could already have one ready to go.

Regardless, the ball is definitely in Apple’s court right now, as it has to decide whether or not it’s going to allow Google’s mapping software back on its mobile platform. And that’s a huge decision to have to make — especially after taking all of this criticism for getting rid of it in the first place.

What do you think Apple should do?