There’s been a great deal of chatter about a new native Google Maps app for iOS since Apple added their own Maps app into iOS 6, removing Google Maps, which had been included for 5 years prior. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Google is now putting the finishing touches on their native iOS app, and has begin testing it with individuals outside the company.
Google has distributed a test version of its new mapping app that will work on Apple’s iPhones 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’s unclear exactly when that will happen.
According to the report, the new app will feature turn-by-turn navigation, which would compete directly with the same feature in Apple’s own Maps app. Interestingly, the lack of that very feature is among the reported reasons that Apple dumped Google Maps from iOS 6.
The release of a native Google Maps iOS app could provide serious competition for iOS 6 Maps, due in part to Google’s excellent reputation for their mapping platform, and a wave of dissatisfaction caused by issues with Apple Maps.
Once Google submits the app to Apple, it will likely take several weeks for Apple to approve it, and Apple could reject the app entirely. It’s unclear when to expect a Google Maps app to launch on OS – but one thing is clear: The iOS Maps app battle could be about to become very, very interesting.