The Wall Street Journal has reported that individuals outside of Google have been receiving testing versions of the fabled Google Maps iOS app. It’s reportedly receiving “finishing touches”, and it will soon be submitted to Apple for review.
The Google Maps app lies in direct competition with Apples’ own Maps app under iOS 6,which has been at the center of a fair bit of controversy, so it doesn’t take a genius to conclude that Google Maps for iOS 6 will be a big release. Users have already been opting for third-party solutions like Waze, and the familiarity that Google brings will surely attract many more Maps users who are unsatisfied with Apple’s work.
Google has made some revealing comments regarding the rumored iOS app, while Apple has refused to comment on any applications that have not yet been submitted.
“We believe Google Maps are the most comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps in the world. Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system.”
WSJ also claims that the forthcoming Google Maps for iOS is “expected to contain” turn-by-turn directions, which was a major sticking point for Apple – and presumably the main reason Apple dropped Google Maps in iOS 6. You may remember that Google reportedly requested additional branding within the Google Maps app in order to provide turn-by-turn directions to iOS users, but Apple instead ended its contract with Google in order to introduce its own Maps with turn-by-turn.
It remains to be seen how Apple will respond to the submission of a native Google Maps app for iOS, and whether or not the company will ever allow a third-party app to replace a default app (my bets are on “no”). Still, the prospect of a native Google Maps app on iOS again is exciting for those of us who really miss Street View and Transit Directions.
Are you excited to see Google Maps back on iOS? Have you gotten used to Apple’s Maps by now? Let us know in the comments!