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Hacker: I've ported Google Maps to iOS 6

But that'll get you only so far. The iOS 5.1 version of Google Maps has reportedly been hacked to work on iOS 6, but it crashes and isn't available for users just yet.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Google Maps seems to have found its way onto iOS 6 with help from a hacker, though it's not quite ready for its public debut.

Self-proclaimed iOS hacker and engineer Ryan Petrich tweeted yesterday that he was able to coax Google Maps to work on iOS 6 "with a little trickery." Though mum about his methods, he said that he was able to port the iOS 5.1 version of Google's app to run on an iPhone 3GS that had been updated to iOS 6. Petrich also included a short video clip showing Google Maps in action on Apple's new mobile OS.

Before iOS users get too excited, there are a few caveats. Petrich admitted that the port is prone to crashes and that it can't yet be distributed to the public. And apparently, your mobile device must be jailbroken for the hack to even work.

Maps woes in Apple iOS 6: How bad? (pictures)

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Petrich also tweeted that he would not release a "bootlegged" copy since he wants to play by the rules. He promised to include an installer if he's able resolve the distribution issues.

Apple carved out some trouble for itself last week when its new Maps app launched as part of iOS 6. Users soon discovered a rash of problems with the app, including missing or lost cities, duplicated islands, mislabeled locations, and fuzzy images. The company specifically kicked out Google Maps from iOS to make way for its own Maps app.

iOS 6 users in search of an alternative to Apple's app have a few choices. The simplest option is to open the Google Maps site in mobile Safari. Then click on the Send button on the bottom toolbar and select the option to Add to Home Screen. A shortcut to Google Maps appears on your home screen, which you can use as easily as the dedicated mobile app.


Google Maps running under iOS 6