Last week, rumors claimed that Google had already submitted its native Maps app for iOS to Apple for approval and may be available soon.
However, at that Jim Dalrymple of The Loop, who has an immaculate record when it comes to Apple rumors, categorically refuted the claim with his typical “Nope”.
Eric Schmidt’s comments to reporters in Tokyo seems to confirm that the rumor was wrong. Here’s what he had to say about Apple’s decision to replace the Maps app that used Google’s data with its own in-house Maps app in iOS 6.
“We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?” Schmidt told a small group of reporters in Tokyo. “What [are] were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It’s their call.”
Schmidt was also quite ambiguous about the status of the native Maps app for iOS:
“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.
But he said that Google was still ready to partner 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. They can answer that question as they see fit,”
“Apple is the exception, and the Android system is the common model, which is why our market share is so much higher,” Schmidt said, adding that success was often ignored by the media, which he said was “obsessed with Apple’s marketing events and Apple’s branding.”
He also poked fun at Apple while demoing a new feature of Google Maps:
The feature allows users to shift their view of an area by moving the device in the air without touching the screen, similar to the effect of looking around.
“Take that Apple,” he said, adding quickly, “That was a joke by the way.”
Meanwhile, Apple has responded to the criticism over lack of features and glaring mistakes in the iOS 6 Maps app and has said that it is working hard to improve it. Reports also claim that the team assigned to the Maps app is under lockdown right now working to fix it.
iOS 5.1 Google Maps app has been hacked to run on iOS 6 and it seems to be the only hope of getting Google Maps app back on the iPhone anytime soon.