Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt shot down rumors on Tuesday that his company has submitted a native iOS version of its Maps app to Apple for the iTunes App Store. Apple replaced Google's map app with its own when iOS 6 launched, and shortly after what's now an inaccurate report surfaced claiming Google had submitted its own app for App Store approval.
When asked about a Google Maps app for iOS, Mr. Schmidt told Reuters, "We have not done anything yet."
Google: Nope, we don't have a native iOS Maps app on the way
While Google hasn't submitted a native maps app to the App Store, it has offered iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users an alternative to Apple's own Maps through a Web-based app that can be added to the Home screen. The Web app functions almost the same as the native app Apple dropped, and for now that seems to be as far as Google is taking its iOS support.
"We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?" Schmidt said. "What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It's their call."
Apple and Google have been quiet about the reasons behind the change in iOS 6's Maps app. What seems likely is that Apple prefers total control over its user experience, and wasn't able to manage that while allowing Google to control map features.
Apple also dropped its native YouTube app with iOS 6, although Google already has its own native replacement on the App Store.
As Apple distances itself more from Google, the next question is whether or not it will drop Google as its default Internet search engine. For now the answer is "no," but that could change in the future.
"I'm not doing any predictions. We want them to be our partner. We welcome that," Mr. Schmidt said. "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.