Google Maps for iOS Near Completion

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Posted 5 years ago

Google has begun testing a pre-release version of its new mapping app for iOS, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The story in the Journal, cites a person “with direct knowledge of the matter,” and says that the popular Android app is having “finishing touches” added before being submitted to the App Store for approval. There is no timeline for when the submission process will take place, although, the fact it is happening has been rumored since the release of iOS 6, so it will come as little surprise to those that are abreast of goings on in the tech world.

One intriguing bit of information to come from the story in the WSJ is the fact that Google Maps is expected to include turn-by-turn navigation – something which is loved by Android users, and the very feature that is thought to have been one of the key factors in Apple and Google splitting over maps.

It has been suggested by some people that Google would withhold the navigation feature from iOS and use it as a selling point for Android; however, if the WSJ source is to be believed, it is clear that Google is throwing everything into the new app. And so it should. If you are going to release an application that is directly competing with what Apple is offering, you are going to want to go in there and show them how it’s done. Also, the report comes just two days after Nokia announced Here Maps for iOS, giving Google further reason to bring its A-game.

“We believe Google Maps are the most comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps in the world,” a Google spokesperson told CNET in response to the WSJ story. “Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system.”

The report in the Journal comes soon after a story in British newspaper The Guardian, which suggested that Google could have difficulty getting Maps approved by Apple. I’m not sure they would have a problem; after all having another mapping app for users will allow Apple more time to fix the faults with their own service and come back with a product that can compete with Google. And if Apple does this (which I’m confident they will) the notorious brand loyalty of iOS users will probably see them back on top.

– Anthony Carter

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