Test version now being distributed by Google
It has been rumoured since the launch of iOS 6 and its controversial in-house Apple mapping app. Now it looks like Google Maps for the iPhone will be with us in no time at all.
At least, that's what the Wall Street Journal is saying. According to that publication, Google has distributed a test version of its mobile mapping app to people outside the Google network, essentially people who work with mapping products. The idea is to get feedback before putting the finishing touches to the app, which will then be submitted for approval to the Apple iTunes store.
A Google spokesman said: '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.'
In mid-September, Apple released its iOS 6 for iPhone and iPad, which automatically replaced a Google Maps app that was preinstalled on its mobile devices with Apple's own mapping software. As you probably know, it wasn't exactly greeted with open arms. In fact, it was the focus of much ridicule, forcing Apple into a rare apology.
Apple is working on an enhanced mapping solution, while Nokia is set to enter the fray with an own iOS app for its newly-launched Here service. But Google knows it is still the big player here, with the new app likely to feature turn-by-turn navigation as a bonus, something Apple didn't allow in the old iPhone app.
All should be revealed soon, certainly before three year is out.
Source: Wall Street Journal