Chairman Eric Schmidt questions whether an app would even be approved for the App Store
Navigationally challenged iOS users could be lost for some time yet as Google currently has no plans to provide a Google Maps iPhone application, according to Chairman Eric Schmidt.
Google had been the default map provider in every iteration of iOS since its inception in 2007, but earlier this year, Apple announced plans to ditch the service in favour of its own in-house system in the latest version, iOS 6. It comes pre-installed with the iPhone 5, which was launched last Friday.
Speaking at the Japanese launch of the Google Nexus 7 tablet in Tokyo, Schmidt said that there had been no work on an application. He added that “it would have been better” if Apple had retained Google Maps, but said that there was nothing that they could do about it.
He said that there were no guarantees such an application would be accepted onto the App Store, noting the obvious that it would have to be accepted by Apple. The only way to access Google Maps on iOS at the moment is through a web browser.
Google Maps on the iPhone
Relations between the two companies have soured in recent times, chiefly due to Google’s introduction of the rival Android mobile operating system. The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs regarded it as a “stolen product” and the iPhone maker has been engaged in numerous patent lawsuits with Android smartphone manufacturers.
However, Schmidt said there was still constant communication and that he was keen on remaining search partners with Apple.
“I’m not doing any predictions. We want them to be our partner. We welcome that. I’m not going to speculate at all what they’re going to do,” he told Reuters. “They can answer that question as they see fit.”
The news is unlikely to please the iOS user base, which has been highly critical of the new Apple Maps application since it was rolled out with iOS 6 last Wednesday. Frustrated users have reported numerous inaccuracies including missing towns, businesses and geographical errors, such as the placement of landmarks in bodies of water.
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