Good news for Google Maps advocates using iOS 6. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has been field testing their long rumoured iOS Maps app and putting on the “finishing touches” prior to submitting it to Apple’s stringent approval process.
Google has distributed a test version of its new mapping app that will work on Apple’s iPhones and iPads 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 is unclear exactly when that will happen.
Perhaps even more exciting is that the forthcoming iOS Google Maps app will feature turn-by-turn navigation (a feature that is already on their Android Maps app), which if true, could turn the majority of users away from Apple’s own mapping solution.
The forthcoming Google Maps app for the iPhone is expected to contain turn-by-turn navigation that would allow people to use it like a GPS device while driving, said the person familiar with the matter. The turn-by-turn navigation feature didn’t exist in the previous Apple-device version, partly because of various disagreements between the companies over other aspects of the Apple-controlled app.
Back in late September, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt confirmed that no dedicated Google Maps app for iOS was in the works, though it’s more than likely that this has been in the making since Apple decided to implement their own maps app in iOS 6 earlier this year.
It is not known when the Google Maps app will be submitted, or more importantly, whether Apple will actually approve it. I don’t see why Apple wouldn’t, but it’d be a real shame if they don’t, seeing how there are plenty of third party Maps and Navigation apps on the App Store – like Waze,Telenav, TomTom, NAVIGON and more. In the meantime though, you always just use the Google (web) Maps app by going to maps.google.com on your mobile browser, where Street View was implemented in early October.
Speaking of maps, if you haven’t already, be sure to download City Maps 2Go, a great offline maps app that’s still currently free on the App Store.