updated 06:31 pm EDT, Thu September 20, 2012
Google replacement said to be ready, awaiting approval
Apple's decision to go with its own mapping solution for iOS 6 has turned into something of an embarrassment, even as the company's iPhone 5 racks up phenomenal sales. What began with some scattered reports of shortcomings in iOS 6's maps has turned into a veritable deluge of criticism and complaints, with major media outlets, some vocal users, and others calling the Cupertino company to task for its flawed and at times incomplete maps. Meanwhile sources tell Electronista that Google's iOS 6 Maps app has already been submitted, and that its approval is entirely in Apple's hands.
With the debut of iOS 6, Apple removed Google Maps as the default mapping option on its mobile platform. This is said to have happened due in no small part to the ongoing mobile OS struggle between the two companies.
In removing Google Maps, though, Apple excised one of the more complete and possibly the best known mapping solution on the market. Apple's replacement lacks many of the features some users have come to expect, including an equivalent to Street View and public transit directions.
Apple's mapping shortcomings have led to a spate of bad press, a rare occurrence the Cupertino-based company, which is typically renowned for its control of its image and handling of the media. A number of blogs and Tumblr accounts have also popped up that compare the quality and specificity of the two mapping apps. The BBC dedicated an article and video segment to the controversy, one wherein mapping company TomTom "said it provided only data and was not responsible for how [the maps app] worked."
Electronista contacted Google for comment on the situation, finding that Google has apparently already submitted a Google Maps app. Our source, who asked not to be identified, informed us that "Google has submitted an iOS 6-specific Maps application to Apple," and that "as far as we know, it's still being evaluated for approval."
The maps situation is reminiscent of Apple's decision to remove YouTube as an app built into iOS 6. Google released a new version of its app, and that version is now the number one free app in Apple's App Store.