Last week, we had heard rumors that Maps on iPhone may continue to use Google’s map data in iOS 5.
Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt has confirmed it in an interview at AllThingsD’s D9 Conference yesterday. He revealed that Google has just renewed its Map and Search partnership with Apple.
Eric Schmidt said:
“We just renewed our Map and Search agreements with Apple, and we hope those continue for a long time.”
After it had bought Placebase and Poly9, there were some speculations that Apple will move away from its dependency on Google as much as possible. A job posting back in October 2009 also hinted that Apple wanted to take the Maps application to the next level. So though the Search deal was expected, the renewal of the Maps deal comes as a surprise.
It looks like Apple is either not ready or the reason for buying those two startups was to enhance the Maps app, which has not been updated for quite sometime.
Let’s hope that when Steve Jobs unveils iOS 5 at WWDC 2011 Keynote next week, it also includes an improved version of the Maps app with features such as 3D views, turn-by-turn voice guidance, automatic rerouting, traffic, satellite and street views etc. to compete with Google Maps Navigation so we don’t have a reason to envy Android-based smartphones.
It’s one of the features in our iOS 5 wish list.