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Google Maps will return to iPhone when Apple is ready, says Schmidt (+video)

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

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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.

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