One of the biggest changes in iOS 6 has been to drop Google powered maps, for Apple’s own in-house solution. Now The Verge is reporting that Apple and Google had over a year left on their contract to use Google’s maps. People are now calling this “mapsgate”.
The idea behind the story is that Apple could have kept using Google’s maps in iOS 6, and continued to improve their own maps for a launch next year with iOS 7.
So why didn’t they? A couple reasons, but according to the report, demands by Google played a big part in Apple’s decision, perhaps even forcing Apple to roll out it’s own maps before it had planned:
For its part, Apple apparently felt that the older Google Maps-powered Maps in iOS were falling behind Android — particularly since they didn’t have access to turn-by-turn navigation, which Google has shipped on Android phones for several years. The Wall Street Journal reported in June that Google also wanted more prominent branding and the ability to add features like Latitude, and executives at the search giant were unhappy with Apple’s renewal terms. But the existing deal between the two companies was still valid and didn’t have any additional requirements, according to our sources — Apple decided to simply end it and ship the new maps with turn-by-turn.
The report ends by saying that Apple’s decision caught Google off-guard, and that Google is still months away from having a standalone maps app ready for submission to the AppStore.