iOS 6 Maps app rolled back to Google Maps by hacker

A bit of trickery has returned the old iOS 5 Google Maps app to iOS 6, but you can't do it on your iPhone 5 yet.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

Sometimes the best thing you can do with a map is find your way back to where you came from. Which is exactly what one hacker has done with Apple's controversial new Maps app -- which features on the iPhone 5 -- by returning the old iOS 5 maps to iOS 6.

Self-proclaimed iOS hacker and engineer Ryan Petrich has employed "a little trickery" to get the Google Maps default app from iOS 5 running on iOS 6, the new software update from Apple.

While we'd dearly love to go back to square one and dump the new Maps app, there's no easy route. Petrich admits his solution still has problems so it won't be distributed just yet. Hit play below to see the old Maps app on iOS 6.

The hack gets the iOS 5 Maps app running on iOS 6 software on an iPhone 3GS, which has been jailbroken.

Here's hoping someone figures out a way to get the old Maps app back -- ideally Google. Apple ditched Google's excellent software for its own-brand version, but cheaped out on the location data. The results are pretty disastrous -- click here for our comparison of iOS 6, iOS 5 and Android maps apps.

If I were at Apple, I'd probably be wishing we could get back to square one on the PR front too. The whole Maps debacle has been a disaster, marring the launch of the iPhone 5 -- which is why Google is probably in no rush to fix things for iPhone owners, who could now be tempted to an Android phone by Apple's map flap. In the meantime, you can use Google Maps in your iPhone's browser. 

Serves Apple right for ditching the most successful and accessible consumer mapping app and replacing it with a cheapo knock-off. This kind of thing hasn't stopped the iPhone 5 selling faster than cakes of the heated persuasion, but it does severely damage Apple's reputation as a premium brand.

Are the new Maps app's failings reason enough to swap to Android? What can Apple do to fix things? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.