iOS 5 Maps with Google’s backend

The Guardian published a new report today that cited unnamed sources and throws around phrases like “not optimistic” and “unlikely event” in regards to Apple ever allowing a Google Maps iOS app.

The story claimed Google’s app is ready to ship by the end of 2012, but Google is torn about the likelihood of Apple ever giving an official go-ahead:

While one source indicated increased hopes that the dedicated Google Maps iOS app will eventually be approved now that Apple’s maps leader, Scott Forstall, has departed the company, another was less than enthusiastic about any increased prospects, citing industry politics and Apple’s need to save face as much as possible and “keep moving forward in an effort to make its obviously inferior product better”. Apple unveiled the section, which on Monday listed ten free and paid-for apps, to spotlight alternative mapping apps for iOS in an effort to placate users over response to criticisms of its own Maps app.

The Guardian specifically noted Apple’s reluctance to give Google Maps any attention in iOS. The company apparently went as far as to neglect apps in the “Find maps for your iPhone” section of the App Store that use Google Maps APIs:

Further, a source at Google told me the feeling is that those apps were purposely left out of the new section because they promote Google and its “superior product” – at a time when there is so much bad blood between the companies over the continuing smartphone patent litigation (following allegations from the late Steve Jobs that Google’s Android OS ripped off iOS). In other words, no matter how bad Apple’s Maps are, the company still wants its users to move on from Google – and forget about them. This doesn’t bode well for the approval of an official Google Maps app, the source says.

Despite the pessimistic outlook of the anonymous Google sources, the Guardian said Apple and the folks in Mountain View are in constant talks. So, the tide could potentially change without any notice. With that said, they firmly believe Apple will never again make Google Maps a default mapping solution in iOS.

Apple released its latest mobile OS, iOS 6, in September. The software runs on 3GS and up, and it most notably replaced Google Maps with Apple’s own Maps app. The media and many consumers generally lambasted the change, labeling the new Maps offering as an inferior product compared to the Google-backend app previously offered on older versions of iOS.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Google.

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