All these years, it was an usual thing to see Google Maps working perfectly fine on the Apple iPhone. Things changed with iOS 6 however with Apple and Google calling off their licensing deal. What this meant was that Apple could no longer use Google Maps as the default mapping tool. Apple was however ready for this transition. It debuted its own iOS 6 Maps with the latest version of iOS (and the iPhone 5). The transition from a popular Google Maps to a buggy iOS Maps is still underway and not too many people are happy with Apple’s decision to go with its own Mapping tool with iOS 6. However, if Google has its way, there is a chance that people forced to use iOS Maps could get their old favourite back.
You got it right. Google has already completed work on a standalone Google Maps application for iOS. A report on the Wall Street Journal adds that the app is currently being tested internally and the day when it would be officially submitted to the iOS App Store isn’t far away.
The Wall Street Journal report adds:
Google has distributed a test version of its new mapping app that will work on Apple’s iPhones to some individuals outside the company, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Google has been putting the finishing touches on the app before submitting it for approval to the Apple iTunes store, this person said, though it’s unclear exactly when that will happen.
It is highly unlikely that Apple would approve the Google Maps application for iOS – especially in this situation when it is being lambasted for the poor implementation of iOS maps. If the approval does happen, Apple might as well end up killing its own product – which has been through a long development process.
When asked, Apple spokespersons chose to remain silent on the issue. Google was a bit more vocal and responded to WSJ and said that the company is committed to bring its “world class” mapping tool to everyone who wishes to use it – irrespective of the platform, device or browser they are using.
It would be interesting to see how Apple manages to handle this rather sensitive issue. The iOS 6 Maps debacle has already caused a few casualties within Apple. The company was forced to post an apology on its website – a decision that was opposed by the company’s then mobile Software Development head Scott Forstall who eventually resigned.