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Mapping app powered by Google Maps pulled from App Store

A third-party mapping app called ClassicMap, which looked remarkably similar to Apple's defunct Google Maps-powered Maps app, was pulled from the iOS App Store on Thursday after only two days of availability.


ClassicMap was pulled two days after hitting the iOS App Store. | Source: Pocketnow

The takedown of what was basically an unofficial Google Maps replacement, first discovered by Pocketnow (via CNET), comes amid a flurry of complaints and controversy surrounding Apple's new proprietary mapping solution released with iOS 6.

ClassicMaps, from developer Katsumi Kishikawa, aimed to bring back some of the features missing from the new iOS Maps, the most notable being data from Google's mapping service. While the app did offer a visual presentation strikingly similar to the original Apple Maps, reviewers found the software to be woefully inadequate when compared to competing options. According to one review from the Los Angeles Times, ClassicMap didn't offer point-to-point directions of any kind, and is "terrible for searching."

"If you type in an exact address you should be fine, but if you search for something by name sometimes the app won't even pretend to search. It'll just sit there ignoring you like a cat or a teenager," writes the LA Times' Salvador Rodriguez.

While ClassicMap may not have offered the optimal implementation of Google's massive mapping services database, the mere existence of such a product underscores a demand for alternatives to iOS Maps.

Since its debut alongside the iPhone 5 in September, Apple's iOS Maps has seen a barrage of negative comments and reviews, most of which compared the new app to the now defunct Google Maps-powered version offered before the launch of iOS 6.

Maps Location Inaccuracy

Incorrect locations seen in iOS Maps.

Of the many flaws found by consumers, most glaring are incorrect location data, lack of public transportation directions and visual inconsistencies in the 3-D "Flyover" feature. A number of other complaints focused on the obvious removal of Google's Street View, which recently returned to iOS in the form of Google Maps' mobile website.

It has been speculated that Apple moved to its proprietary solution in a move to distance itself from Google, creator of the competing Android operating system, and a recent report noted that the Cupertino company had at least a year remaining on its current contract with Google Maps. In an interview with the internet search giant's chairman Eric Schmidt on Wednesday, the rumors were somewhat confirmed as the executive made clear that Google's negotiated terms were rebuffed by Apple, which he said was determined to build its own mapping service.