Google waiting for Apple to move on maps, Schmidt says

September 25, 2012

Apple’s new Maps app has drawn criticism for a number of inaccuracies that seem all the more glaring because it replaced Google Maps — a much older and more developed service that used to be the default on iPhones and iPads.

Right now, there’s no Google Maps app for the iPhone. And, according to Bloomberg, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told reporters in Tokyo that it’s not clear whether there’s one waiting in a queue somewhere.

The report said Google’s waiting on Apple to tell them if the company will approve a separate Google Maps application. Up to now, he told reporters, Google has “not done anything yet,” but that it’s up to Apple to decide whether Google Maps can be a part of the iOS operating system.

He also added a bit more fuel on the maps app fire by reportedly saying that he believes that Apple should have “kept ours,” — meaning Google’s — application on the phone, but that it was entirely Apple’s decision.

When asked for comment, Google didn’t clarify whether there was a maps application pending Apple approval, but said that it supports having the service in the hands of as many consumers as possible.

“At this time, our response remains the same,” the company said in a statement. “We believe Google Maps are the most comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps in the world. Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser or operating system.”

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Users who want to upgrade to iOS 6 but work around Apple’s Maps app can use Google Maps through their browser for a slightly stripped-down version of the application. You can even pin it to the home page, using the share menu in your Safari browser.

There are also plenty of mapping applications that may serve different parts of what users miss from Apple Maps. For example, Waze is an app that gets a lot of praise for the way it handles traffic reports, while MapQuest has a tried-and-true mapping service that will read you turn-by-turn directions out loud.

Related stories:

iPhone 5 sales above 5 million, Apple says, surpassing iPhone 4S

Apple responds to Maps complaints

Apple iOS 6: Maps mars otherwise solid update

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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