Reports that Google has been battling with Apple to get its own native maps app approved on the App Store appear to have been overblown after Google’s Eric Schmidt admitted that the company has “not done anything yet” in regards to offering iOS device owners an alternative to the default iOS 6 Maps app.
Schmidt — who is currently visiting Japan to launch Google’s Nexus 7 tablet and introduce Google Play Books and new movie content — told Reuters that while the company has not officially moved to launch its app, it has been “talking with (Apple) for a long time,” and admitted “we talk to them every day.”
Ever since it became apparent that Apple would introduce its own mapping service and drop support for Google Maps, the search giant has been consistent with its message that it is working with Apple to develop solutions for every mobile platform, including iOS.
However, Bloomberg has a different interpretation of Schmidt’s comments:
“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.
The Wall Street Journal reported Schmidt had even more to say:
“In my opinion it would have been better to retain our maps,” he said. “It’s their decision, I’ll let them describe it.”
Yesterday, Apple announced that it has already seen more than 100 million iOS device owners update their iPhones, iPads and iPod touch players to its new iOS 6 software, which brings with it the new Maps app.
The company has been on the receiving end of some negative press surrounding the operation of its Maps app, with it regularly displaying incorrect locations, incomplete 3D renderings of buildings and cities and a lack of mapping data in many countries.
Apple released a statement following the user backlash, noting that the company launched the service knowing that it is a ‘major initiative’ and that it is just getting started. “The more people use it, the better it will get,” said Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller.
Google has made no secret that it has plans to push its mapping service on Apple’s platforms. In June, Jeff Huber – Senior Vice President, Commerce & Local at Google — confirmed that the company is committed to “providing amazing Google Maps experiences on iOS.”
It’s no longer a question of if, but when, Google will launch something new on iOS devices.
Image Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images