Google Maps iOS App Enters Testing – Report

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Google Maps app is being prepared for Apple Maps showdown on iPhone and iPad

Google is currently testing a Google Maps iOS application with a number of people outside the company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The search giant is currently putting the finishing touches on the application before it is submitted to Apple, but it remains unclear if and when it will be approved for the App Store.

If the application is accepted, it will compete directly with Apple Maps, which replaced Google Maps as the default mapping provider in iOS 6, and Nokia Maps’ ‘Here’ application which is due to be released in the next few weeks.

Google Maps iOS app being tested

Apple iOS Maps Dublin Airport
Apple Maps created a fake airport near Dublin

The new application is expected to feature turn-by-turn navigation, something that did not exist in the previous iOS application because of disagreements between Apple, which developed the app, and Google, which provided the data.

Google had been the default mapping provider to iOS since the platform’s launch in 2007, while Apple also developed the pre-installed YouTube application that was also removed in iOS 6. The added bonus for Google developing its own applications is that it can sell adverts around them, increasing revenues.

Google remains the default search provider for iOS, but employees at the company have suggested that they expect this to change in the near future as Apple attempts to direct users to its own Siri voice-activated search service. Apple said that it did not comment on applications that had been submitted for approval.

Apple Maps was widely panned by users, which was reported to feature numerous inaccuracies, missing towns and businesses as well as the discovery of famous locations in bodies of water.

Apple CEO Tim Cook took the extraordinary step of apologising to its customers for the frustration and inconvenience and frustration caused and even suggested that iOS users download rival mapping applications from the App Store or create an icon to the Google Maps web app.

iPhone software chief Scott Forstall refused to publicly apologise for the debacle, which hastened his departure from the company.

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