Apple and Google have been increasingly at odds in the past few years, but both needed each other.Still, this year, a couple of big Google apps got booted out of iOS. Neither the YouTube nor the Maps app, both of which have been a part of iOS since before it was called iOS, was included in iOS 6, the latest release.
Whether this was Apple's or Google's decision is debatable, it was probably a bit of both. It looked like a blow for Google, initially, but not only has Google bounced back, it came back stronger than ever.
Both the new YouTube app and the Maps app are big improvements over the previous versions.
Not only that, the Maps app is significantly better than the default Apple Maps app, so much so that it's been one of the most downloaded apps in the App Store since it launched.
Part of the reason why the Maps app proved so popular is because Google Maps has vastly better data than Apple and pretty much everyone else. But a big part was also the fact that Google's Maps app actually looked better than the Apple one.
In fact, Google's recent iOS apps have been great looking, even better than the Android apps in some cases. You have Google's iOS team to thank for that.
And, with iOS continuing to be a big revenue driver for Google, you can expect to get even more attention. Google is actually recruiting iOS developers to bolster its team, as an ad spotted by 9to5Google shows.