When Apple unveiled iPhoto for the iPad and iPhone this morning it showed off an assortment of new features, but one thing it didn't tout was something left behind: Google Maps. Bringing up the location feature in the app calls up tiles that bear little resemblance to the Google service used in the rest of iOS and in iPhoto for OS X. Writer Holger Eilhard was able to discover that the tiles are in fact being pulled from Apple directly, from a server named gsp2.apple.com.
It's no secret that Apple has been moving away from relying on Google's services, even going so far as to pick up several mapping companies itself in recent years. While there's nothing here yet that confirms Apple has rolled its own service — these could easily be tiles Cupertino has licensed from a third party — slipping in this kind of change in a marquee title for a flagship product certainly seems to indicate something bigger is underway. Whether this change will be elaborated upon in iOS 6 remains to be seen; we just hope Apple makes the tiles a little better looking before considering going with them full-time.
Update: John Gruber at Daring Fireball is reporting that the maps data being used in iPhoto's location feature is still provided by Google, but that the maps provided in iPhoto's slideshow and journal sharing options are an Apple-only solution.