Report: Google Maps Aims to Be on iPhones By the End of the Year, Maybe [UPDATED]

Ignore the wails of suffering from Apple owners lost in the wilderness.

Whoops. (Photo: The Amazing iOS 6 Maps)

If there’s one thing the Great iOS6 Map Crisis of ’12 has taught us, it’s to appreciate the mapping function we have, or rather had. Google Maps isn’t perfect (just try finding the High Street station), but at least it’s never turned any highways into roller coasters, unlike Apple’s new offering. And so as the initial disbelief faded, the question became: When the hell are we getting a version of Google Maps available through the App Store?

The New York Times has an answer for you: “by the end of the year.” Hopefully.

The Gray Lady reports:

Google is developing a maps application for iPhone and iPad that it is seeking to finish by the end of the year, according to people involved with the effort who declined to be named because of the nature of their work.”

We can already hear you whining, “But whyyyy?” Well, Google wasn’t exactly prepared for Apple to boot its maps off the iPhone, as the companies’ existing contract still had some time left on the clock.

And according to at least one of the Times‘ sources, Google wants whatever it releases to include 3D imagery, but all of Google’s 3-D imager is trapped in Google Earth, “which is a separate app with a separate code base from Google Maps, so it would take some time to combine the two.” Sounds like there’ll be a lot of all-nighters happening for the GOOG’s resident cartographers. At least they won’t be bored anymore, right?

Meanwhile, Google chairman Eric Schmidt is basically rubbing Apple’s face in its terrible faceplant. Reuters relays a few of his choice comments:

“We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?” Schmidt told a small group of reporters in Tokyo. “What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It’s their call.”

We’re starting to suspect Mr. Schmidt might have been an eccentric mafia enforcer in a previous life. In fact, we can’t help but wonder whether Google is even in any rush to get this app out the door, or whether the company is taking its sweet time, under the theory, “That’ll teach them to appreciate us properly.”

UPDATED: The headline has been altered to more clearly reflect that Google has not confirmed that an iOS 6 version is in the works. Report: Google Maps Aims to Be on iPhones By the End of the Year, Maybe [UPDATED]