Google Maps will return to iPhone when Apple is ready, says Schmidt

Google Maps app was exiled from the iPhone with iOS 6. When will it return? It's Apple's call, says Google's Schmidt.

Karly Domb Sadof/AP
The new Apple Maps application is demonstrated in New York on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. Apple released an update to its iPhone and iPad operating system that replaces Google Maps with Apple's own application.
Here's the first segment of Google's summer search chart.

Sorry, iPhone 5 owners, but the cavalry isn't coming to rescue you from iOS 6's underperforming Maps app any time soon. Google CEO Eric Schmidt says his company hasn't taken any steps to add its formerly baked-in map application to Apple's iOS App Store. 

"We think it would have been better if they had kept our (maps). But what do I know?" Reuters reports Schmidt as saying. "What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It's their call."

Other reports say Google is preparing its own Google Maps app for iOS. There's no official timeline yet. 

Schmidt added that Apple and Google were in daily communication "at all kinds of levels" and Google would welcome being included in the App Store -- but it's up to Apple to make that call. The Cupertino company has been hesitant to allow apps that offer features that come with the iPhone in the past, as most clearly demonstrated by Apple's reluctance to allow the Google Voice app into its ecosystem back in 2009. That rejection resulted in FCC intervention.

Google's honcho didn't just leave it at that. In the midst of showing off a new function that lets you alter your view by simply moving the device -- rather than touching the screen -- Schmidt piped in with "Take that Apple." He quickly clarified: "That was a joke by the way."

In related news, with the official end of summer just a week away, Google presented an overview of how those in the Northern Hemisphere spent the summer of 2012. Based on searches in Google Maps, you'll see that summer activities today aren't so different than they were before the Internet — with one exception — the most frequently searched activity in the U.S. was paintball.

Whether people searched for beach, strand, plage, or playa, sandy shores were in the top three searched terms in the U.S., the Netherlands, France, SpainCamping was another popular choice, securing the top spot in France and ranked second in the U.S.

And it seems that Americans continue to treasure their national parks. In the top 10 U.S. landmark searches, national parks captured the top four spots. Only two manmade attractions made the list: the Empire State Building in 7th place and Times Square in 10th.

Take a look at our preview of the Google infographic (top-right) and see the full image at Google's blog.

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