Although Google has been kicked out of iOS 6, at least one of its competitors has actually been invited to the platform.
Yandex, Russia's Google equivalent, is powering aspects of Apple's iOS 6 mapping feature, Maps, TechCrunch is reporting today, citing sources. According to the blog, when users search for details in Maps, Yandex's application programming interface built into the feature will offer up information on local restaurants, shops, and other locales.
The Yandex integration was discovered in the Gold Master version of Russia's iOS 6. AppleInsider in Russia was first to discover the feature.
Apple introduced its new Maps in iOS 6. The company previously bundled Google Maps in its mobile software, but due to their obvious competition, decided to remove the search giant's built-in apps from its software. However, according to TechCrunch, Apple's Maps needed a boost in Russia, and it made sense for the company to partner with Yandex now, rather than invest even more into its own software.
But that might not be all Yandex and Apple are partnering on. According to TechCrunch, citing sources, the companies are close to inking a deal that could see Yandex become the default search engine in Apple's Safari browser in Russia.
That wouldn't be the first time Apple has made another search engine besides Google's the default in a country around the world. Earlier this year, in fact, Apple ditched Google in favor of Baidu in China.
Yandex declined CNET's request for comment on the TechCrunch report. CNET has contacted Apple for comment. We will update this story when we have more information.