Apple rumored to drop Google Maps for iOS 6

As we get closer to Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in mid-June, many people are expecting Apple to reveal the first details of iOS 6, the next version of its mobile operating system. Now a new rumor from 9to5Mac.com reports, via unnamed sources, that Apple is expected to reveal a new Internet mapping program for iOS 6 that will signal the end of Apple's partnership with Google Maps.

Ever since the first iPhone launched in 2007, the iOS platform used Google Maps as the backend of Apple's mapping application. Now this new rumor claims that for iOS 6, Apple's new mapping program will include features like an improved 3D mode using software from C3 Technologies, which Apple acquired in 2011. The new mapping app is also supposed to include Apple's version of Google Street View.

It certainly would make sense for Apple to create its own mapping utility for iOS 6 and dump Google, which of course offers its own version of Google Maps with every Android device that is sold. Wikipedia recently decided to no longer use Google Maps for its own applications in favor of the open source-based OpenStreetMap and Apple's recent iPhone and iPad application iPhoto also uses OpenStreetMap instead of Google Maps.

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49 Comments

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They've been saying Apple will be dropping Google Maps for the past two-three releases now. I believe it when I see it.

Not sure if I like this very much. So far all mapping solutions (Bing, Nokia, BlackBerry etc.) provide a subpar experience compared to Google's.

Edited by .Neo, May 13 2012, 10:53pm :

one more reason to dump ios... I couldn't put up with windows phone because there was no google maps.

capr said,
one more reason to dump ios... I couldn't put up with windows phone because there was no google maps.

If you're inside the US, Bing maps are pretty good. In fact, about 4 times now I've gotten better directions out of Bing than Google. Sure they don't have street view, but I never actually used that for navigation.. more of a voyeuristic type of novelty. Outside of the US, I hear Bing maps aren't so hot, but that might change with Nokia on board.

I'll admit that Google maps feel a bit more fluid when loading/zooming/scrolling though.

Enron said,

If you're inside the US, Bing maps are pretty good. In fact, about 4 times now I've gotten better directions out of Bing than Google. Sure they don't have street view, but I never actually used that for navigation.. more of a voyeuristic type of novelty. Outside of the US, I hear Bing maps aren't so hot, but that might change with Nokia on board.

I'll admit that Google maps feel a bit more fluid when loading/zooming/scrolling though.

Google Maps is nearly always more accurate than Bing at finding restaurants/locations, and yes I am in the US.

Bing is simply more outdated with restaurant listings/closed buildings, etc. Bing works 99% of the time, but Google is always a little more reliable.

Enron said,

If you're inside the US, Bing maps are pretty good. In fact, about 4 times now I've gotten better directions out of Bing than Google. Sure they don't have street view, but I never actually used that for navigation.. more of a voyeuristic type of novelty. Outside of the US, I hear Bing maps aren't so hot, but that might change with Nokia on board.

I'll admit that Google maps feel a bit more fluid when loading/zooming/scrolling though.

NAVTEQ (now NOKIA MAPS)'s data is really slacking in my entire tri state area... I've submitted over 20 reports and not one of those are corrected yet. They are very slow with corrections. Google on the other hand has gotten corrections done in as little as 3 days! I had to correct 5 things with google so far in my tri-state area compared to NAVTEQ's 20.

Another reason Google ditched them to go to Teleatlas (Now Tom-Tom) and then ditch them and go with thier own data.

I think Google and Open Street maps are going to be the duopoly in the coming years if NOKIA doesn't be more responsive with thier mapping data corrections.

My parents will not like this, they use Google maps all the time. Especially the street view photos of the locations.

But as always, the Apple fanboys will love anything Apple does, because they can do no wrong in their eyes. Apple could make a crayon sketched map and they would say its the best.

I'm all for it. The iOS Maps app hasn't been upgraded since v3 (or maybe even since v2). I hope they bring stock turn-by-turn and map caching.

Personally, I use Maps on my iPhone for bus schedules and driving directions. I rely on it a lot of the time, especially if I miss a bus connection due to traffic or whatever. If the new maps in iOS6 are not as good, I'm not sure what I'll do off hand.

Taliseian said,
Personally, I use Maps on my iPhone for bus schedules and driving directions. I rely on it a lot of the time, especially if I miss a bus connection due to traffic or whatever. If the new maps in iOS6 are not as good, I'm not sure what I'll do off hand.

Download the Google Maps app and go on with your life?

They were in talks with Esri for years to get them to create a decent mobile app. Esri failed. Anyway, since then, Apple have been developing their own mapping service.

OpenStreetMap sucks, to put it bluntly. Like them or not, Google provides the best mapping service, still. I can't see Apple providing anything remotely comparable, especially with Streetview.

fuzi0719 said,
OpenStreetMap sucks, to put it bluntly. Like them or not, Google provides the best mapping service, still. I can't see Apple providing anything remotely comparable, especially with Streetview.

Agreed. Google is better than Bing too (even though Bing works in most cases)

Google could just release a Google Maps app on to the App Store if Apple did do this (assuming that Apple would let it go through).

Manish said,
Google could just release a Google Maps app on to the App Store if Apple did do this (assuming that Apple would let it go through).

Don't apps conflicting with their services get denied?

lt8480 said,

Don't apps conflicting with their services get denied?

Not anymore. There's mail apps (Sparrow for example) and plenty of alternative map apps already (including navigation apps of course).

As an iPhone user this worries me. One of the reasons I chose iOS was that it offered Google's mapping platform without being Android - I realise I won't be forced to upgrade - but if Apple try to foist an inferior mapping platform on it then it makes the device I've bought a dead end upgrade wise for me. Google Maps is one of the most important applications I use it for.

If it sucks, it sucks, but don't put it down before it even exists.

If it brings along turn-by-turn navigation with it, I'm all for it.

Elliott said,
If it sucks, it sucks, but don't put it down before it even exists.

If it brings along turn-by-turn navigation with it, I'm all for it.

Agreed. No turn-by-turn would be a failure IMO.

magik said,

Agreed. No turn-by-turn would be a failure IMO.

iPhone doesn't have turn-by-turn yet? I thought maybe they had added it a while ago but they disabled the feature on my iPhone... but if they just don't have it at all, that's lame.

Enron said,

iPhone doesn't have turn-by-turn yet? I thought maybe they had added it a while ago but they disabled the feature on my iPhone... but if they just don't have it at all, that's lame.

Not out of the box no. Plenty of free and paid apps which do it from the App Store though

bdsams said,
I'm sure you will be able to download the map app from the app store.

Apple has removed competing apps from the App Store before.

I don't see any realistic way it's going to match Google Maps at least to begin with simply because it has a huge amount to catch up with in terms of data collection, reviews etc. E.g. usually in the UK I can tap on a restaurant and get all the details etc, Apple's mapping solution isn't going to have that 'til companies take an interest in it/enough users enter date which may never happen. To be honest I think if Apple cut themselves off from Google's data entirely then it would hurt them - I wouldn't be surprised if what isn't happening is a major overhaul of the built-in Maps, but that they'll still use Google as a partner (the obvious alternative would be Bing).

Makes sense if they don't want to pay the royalties anymore, but they better have a replacement that's on par, if not better, than Google maps.

....waits for Apple to file a patent for maps, trademark and copyright the word "map" and "maps" and say they invented them.

Nerd Rage said,
....waits for Apple to file a patent for maps, trademark and copyright the word "map" and "maps" and say they invented them.

Wait for them to trademark iMap and then claim IMAP4 is infringing on their trademark by having IMAP in the name.

Nerd Rage said,
....waits for Apple to file a patent for maps, trademark and copyright the word "map" and "maps" and say they invented them.

iMap or iMaps

FuhrerDarqueSyde said,

Wait for them to trademark iMap and then claim IMAP4 is infringing on their trademark by having IMAP in the name.

I lol'ed

minster11 said,

I lol'ed

I would have but it is sooooooo ooolllldddd. Can we get some new material for these guys to work with, Apple? Can Tim Cook come out and say something stupid so we have something mildly funny for these news comments?

lt8480 said,

iMap or iMaps

And if you leave your caps lock on, people will jump up and down yelling like they do with Mac/MAC. Then Apple will invent a whole new name for IMAP, and demand that everyone switches to their new name - see Air Port vs. MAC (or is that Mac?)

nohone said,

And if you leave your caps lock on, people will jump up and down yelling like they do with Mac/MAC. Then Apple will invent a whole new name for IMAP, and demand that everyone switches to their new name - see Air Port vs. MAC (or is that Mac?)

Apple has an airline?

nohone said,

And if you leave your caps lock on, people will jump up and down yelling like they do with Mac/MAC. Then Apple will invent a whole new name for IMAP, and demand that everyone switches to their new name - see Air Port vs. MAC (or is that Mac?)

MAC=Media Access Control

hate when i ask for a MAC address and they go apple.com!!!!!! LMNASO

if Apple is truly getting into the mapping game then they really have their work cut out for them. Google has been doing it from the get go and they are still evolving the service - which is outstanding i might add...

the420kid said,
if Apple is truly getting into the mapping game then they really have their work cut out for them. Google has been doing it from the get go and they are still evolving the service - which is outstanding i might add...

Have you seen the maps produced by the C3 company apple purchased a few years ago? Some would argue it's better than Google Maps:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSmunh6NIQI

dvb2000 said,

too bad iMAP is already a protocol for sending mail


Since when would that stop them?

Remember IOS and they "invented" iOS.LOL. such a joke.

qcomer said,


Since when would that stop them?

Remember IOS and they "invented" iOS.LOL. such a joke.

they eventually licensed that from Cisco....