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Wednesday, December 12, 2012, 05:16 pm PT (08:16 pm ET)

Rumor: Google Maps for iOS to be released tonight

A report from All Things D claims that the much anticipated Google Maps dedicated iOS app will be released sometime Wednesday night which, if true, would bring the internet search giant's mapping service back to Apple devices for the first time since it was deprecated in iOS 6.

Incomplete Data

Google Maps data (left) versus same view in Apple's iOS Maps (right).


Citing people familiar with Google's efforts, All Things D said the company plans to roll out a dedicated app powered by its mapping service, though the publication failed to offer any further information.

Since Apple chose to cut ties with Google Maps in a move to its own proprietary solution, no real attempt has been made to bring the mapping service back to iOS. In October, a poorly built app based on Google's data was pulled from the App Store, but reviewers found the attempt to be woefully inadequate.

Google has been rumored to be working on a replacement and photos of the purported app have surfaced, but the company remains cagey about its intentions for iOS. Earlier in September, Google CEO Eric Schmidt dispelled rumors that claimed Apple was delaying the release of a standalone Google Maps app, saying that his company had "not done anything yet."

With iOS 6, Google also saw the removal of its YouTube app from the operating system's list of preinstalled software, though a replacement was issued soon after, suggesting a maps app may indeed be imminent.

Apple's mapping service has seen a fair amount of criticism, with users complaining of inaccurate location data, 3D Flyover image glitches and an overall lack of features they became accustomed to like Google Maps' Street View. On Monday, Australian police issued a statement to motorists driving to the city of Mildura, warning them not to use iOS Maps because the app had caused a number of travelers to become stranded in a remote area of a national park, which in turn prompted search and rescue operations.