This hacker is porting the original Google Maps app to iOS 6, shows it can be done
At a time when the Apple Maps and Google Maps brouhaha is being discussed by everyone everywhere, one iOS hacker offers a glimpse at a temporary solution. While iOS 6 users wait for either Apple to hire engineers to fix all the issues, for Google tostop focusing just on Android and save the day, or for Microsoft to wake up and smell the coffee, Ryan Petrich has a video that shows Google Maps running on iOS 6
Before you watch, Petrich would like to apologize for the poor video quality as hesays “YouTube mangles source video if it’s less than a certain width.” While the iOS hacker hasn’t revealed how he pulled off the feat, the video’s description does offer a bit more detail:
Preview of the old Google Maps application from iOS5.1 and earlier running on an iPhone 3G S updated to iOS 6.0
Still crashy and cannot be distributed to the public yet, but it mostly works 🙂
Uncompressed video from DisplayRecorder: http://rpetri.ch/db/GoogleMapsiOS6.mov
We thus know the Google Maps app in question is unsurprisingly from previous versions of iOS. More importantly, Petrich hints at the fact that he would like to release it to the public, once he gets it working properly.
Given that the iPhone 5 has already fallen to hackers, it would not surprise me if this port is released on the Cydia Store for jailbroken devices in the near future. If Apple Maps doesn’t get its act together soon, Cupertino will have created a very good reason for Apple users to jailbreak their devices.
I have contacted Petrich for more information. I will update you if and when I hear back.
Update at 4:00PM EST: Petrich has shared more information about the hack with The Next Web. He’s run into some issues and thus doesn’t have a release date:
Currently it requires binaries from both an older 5.1 SDK and an older 5.1 version of iOS and is thus not redistributable. This issue was solved in the earlier “Spire” project I worked on with Grant Paul by building an installer that had the device fetch the appropriate files directly from Apple’s CDN, but it’s not clear that a similar approach would work here. There is no timeline on when it might be ready as I’m not certain this can be overcome.
Also, I’ve only gone through the effort to support the official Maps app and not the in-app MapKit views that are used in Foursquare and other apps. If the redistribution problem can be solved, I intend to add an option to bridge embedded map views over as well.
If you’re wondering who Grant Paul is, he’s another iOS hacker. His most recent achievement was yesterday, when he jailbroke the iPhone 5.