When Apple updated its mobile operating system to iOS 6, it kicked Google Maps to the curb. In previous versions of iOS, Google Maps powered Apple’s Maps app, but increasing rivalry between the two companies prompted Apple to go with an in-house mapping solution.
From the minute it was announced that Apple was ending its mapping relationship with Google, people began speculating about the release of a Google Maps app for iOS. Though we have yet to see that mythical app materialize in the App Store, there’s increasing evidence that it is coming any day now.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Google has distributed a test version of its new mapping app to some people who aren’t a part of the Mountain View-based company. The testing is being done to polish the app before it’s submitted to Apple.
A Google Maps app would directly compete with Apple’s own mapping solution, so there is no word on whether or not the company will accept the app once it has been submitted to the App Store.
While 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,” an Apple spokesman declined to comment.
Google Maps would be a welcome addition for many iOS users, who have largely been disappointed with Apple’s own offering because of the rampant bugs and the lack of walking/public transportation support.
An offering from Google may prove to be more popular than Apple’s own app, so whether or not such an app will be allowed into the App Store is something we’re all waiting eagerly to see.