Google deploys test version of Google Maps for iOS

16 Nov 2012

Apple Maps faces tough competition coming from Google and Nokia

iPhone users being misguided by Apple Maps will soon have an alternative Google Maps to look to, as reports claim the new app is being tested and finishing touches are being applied.

According to The Wall Street Journal and ‘a person with direct knowledge of the matter’, a test version of Google Maps for iOS has been distributed to people outside the company as it reaches the final stretch of development before submission to the iTunes App Store.

Previously, it was reported that the app would be available before year end and with this latest report, that’s looking to be on track. “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,” a Google spokesperson said.

A bad journey for Apple

To recap on the entire maps apps fracas, Apple decided to oust Google Maps with its iOS 6 update, replacing it with its own homegrown maps app. This was a spectacular failure on Apple’s part, resulting in a public apology from CEO Tim Cook and, later, the decision that Scott Forstall, who allegedly refused to sign the apology letter, would relinquish his post as senior vice-president of iOS software and leave the company next year.

When Google finally gets around to releasing a Google Maps app for iOS, if rumours are true, users can expect it to provide everything they had before the software upgrade, plus turn-by-turn navigation.

Previously, Google apps on iOS were controlled by Apple, but the new Google Maps and YouTube apps submitted by Google to the App Store will generate more revenue for the company through advertising.

Meanwhile, Apple is said to be working furiously to improve its native maps app, and the iPhone creator now faces added competition from Nokia, who this week announced a revamp of its mapping assets and plans to bring these services to iOS, Android and Firefox OS.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic