Google is in the final stages of testing an iOS 6 Maps app prior to submitting it to Apple for approval, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Citing ‘individuals outside the company,’ The Journal reported ‘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’s unclear exactly when that will happen.’
Apple, unsurprisingly, refused to comment, but Google 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.’
The news will be a relief to iOS users who have encountered significant and numerous errors in Apple’s own Maps app. CEO, Tim Cook offered an apology for those errors is September and said ‘At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.’
Cook claimed that Apple had decided to replace Google’s Maps app, which had been included with previous versions of iOS because ‘we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.’
Some reports claimed that Google’s decision not to included turn-by-turn navigation in its iOS Maps app, despite the fact that it has been in the Android version since 2010, prompted Apple’s decision.
The prospect of a Google Maps app on the App Store looked distant a few weeks ago, when Google CEO, Eric Schmidt told reporters that it had no plans to produce such an app. ‘We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?’ he said.