Apple was granted a US patent for the graphical user interface used in all versions of the iOS Maps app. Remember, this the UI, not the backend, which has of course, changed. It's No. 8,302,033 titled, "Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for providing maps, directions, and location-based information." It was filed in 2008.
A device, method, and graphical user interface for providing maps, directions, and location-based information on a touch screen display are disclosed.
News broke yesterday that Apple iOS software chief Scott Forstall was let go. Today, we learned why. Per the Wall Street Journal:
Apple Inc. executive Scott Forstall was asked to leave the company after he refused to sign his name to a letter apologizing for shortcomings in Apple's new mapping service, according to people familiar with the matter.