Google Readies Maps App for iPhone

On Wednesday, Nokia announced that it would make its mapping suite available on Apple's iOS and Google's Android with the release of the 'Here' app. The move was an indication that the space to make an impression on smartphone users with mapping applications opened up following Apple's rough start with its own Maps app

Today, the Wall Street Journal reports that Google is preparing to release an upgraded version of its established maps application for the iPhone. 

Google Maps 1.png

The need to replace Google's existing iPhone app arose when Apple chose to boot the app from iOS 6, its latest operating system upgrade. Google then hinted that it would eventually develop a maps app for iOS 6, and while there is still no sharp timetable for release, WSJ reports that the company has distributed a test version of the app ahead of its submission for approval in Apple's iTunes Store. 

While Apple continues to repair the errors and the reputation hit taken at the release of its own mapping suite, Google says its new iPhone app will feature turn-by-turn navigation, not included in the discarded version. 

"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," a Google spokesman told the Wall Street Journal.

If Google can replicate the success it has had with its improved YouTube app for the iPhone -- another former casualty of the feud with Apple -- the result could be highly lucrative for the company's mobile advertisement platform.  
As the WSJ report notes, the only untouched Google service still embedded in the iPhone's user experience is the flagship search engine. While there is no immediate evidence suggesting Apple will ditch Google Search, the development of Siri may eventually be aimed at displacing the last vestige of the companies' old relationship. 

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