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Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 10:02am
Apple waived Google contract to make switch to new Maps
Apple abandoned its contract for Google Maps with over one year left when it decided to switch to new mapping technology for iOS 6, according to sources for The Verge. The decision is specifically said to have been made shortly before June's Worldwide Developers Conference. Because of this Google is said to have been unprepared, and despite recent suggestions to the contrary, it may not have a standalone iOS app ready for several months. The sources' claims elaborate on recent statements by Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

The Verge's sources are backed up by ones for the New York Times, who say that while Google is building a new iOS app, it will be some time before one reaches the public. The company was allegedly "caught off guard" by Apple's iOS 6 announcement, although it may nevertheless have an app ready by the end of 2012. The hope is that the app will also combine 3D data to compete with iOS 6's Flyover feature, but that may involve merging code from the separate Google Earth codebase.

Apple has come under heavy fire for the iOS 6 version of Maps. In some cases the app has incomplete or inaccurate data; people have also complained about having to use third-party apps for public transit directions, something that was previously built in. A number of graphics glitches can be found in different regions, such as the UK, where entire towns are in black-and-white or obscured by clouds.