updated 07:01 am EDT, Tue September 25, 2012
Schmidt scotches rumors that Google Maps for iOS is ready
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has told a small group of reporters in Japan that Google has not yet submitted a stand-alone version of its Google Maps app for iOS, reports Reuters. Schmidt was speaking at the Japanese launch event for the Nexus 7 tablet, where Google also took the opportunity to show off a flashy new gyroscope-enabled map feature for its Google Maps app for Android, rubbing further salt into the wounds of iPhone fans. On the matter of an eagerly awaited revamped Google Maps app for iOS, Schmidt told the reporters "We have not done anything yet."
"We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?" added. "What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It's their call." Schmidt also added that Apple and Google are continually in communication about a range of matters at "all levels," and hoped that Apple would rekindle its search partnership with Google. "I'm not doing any predictions," Schmidt cautioned. "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," he said.
Apple's eagerly anticipated new Maps app has been met with stiff criticism from all quarters since its debut on September 19 with the arrival of iOS 6. In addition to a number of embarrasing 3D imaging glitches, users have reported numerous instances of mapping inaccuracies that have seen even entire towns misplaced. Apple's competitors have been quick to pounce on the SNAFU, while many sections of the media have been overjoyed to see the Cupertino giant make a rare misstep.
Apple's Maps team is said to be in "lockdown" trying to address as many of the issues as it can in the short term, although the company admits that Maps is a new is a version 1.0 product and will improve over time. In the interim, users have implemented workarounds including using Google maps via the Internet or other third-party alternatives available on the App Store. However, Steve Wozniak has come out in defence of Apple arguing that the problems with the new Apple Maps app have been overstated.