Apple Dumped Google Maps Before Contract Ended

Apple's decision to drop Google's maps in favor of its own solution came with a year left on their contract, and the announcement caught the Internet search giant off guard.

Apple dumped Google Maps for iOS with a year left on its contractSince Google wasn't expecting Apple to drop its Maps app -- an announcement that happened during Apple's annual developer conference earlier this year -- it didn't have enough time before the launch of iOS 6 to get its own native app ready to go, according to the New York Times. Apple moved away from Google's bundled Maps app last week with the release of iOS 6.

The Maps app that ships as part of iOS 6 includes Apple's own cartography along with turn-by-turn directions, which is a feature that wasn't available on the iPhone even though Android users have been able to get turn-by-turn directions for some time. Apple has also come under fire from users over inaccurate map data, although the company says that should improve quickly.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said this week that his company doesn't have a native iPhone app ready to go yet, but anonymous sources say one is in development.

For now, Google Maps fans can visit the website on their iPhone where they'll see steps for adding the page as a Web app to their home screen. The Web version offers uses Google's own mapping data, and includes Street View, which is missing from Apple's Maps app.