Mobile

Google Maps for iOS is almost finished, but Apple’s standing in the way

Google Maps is coming to iOS — and soon.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is putting the final touches on its new maps app, which means that it shouldn’t be too long until the app is released. More interesting is that the app may come with turn-by-turn navigation, a feature missing in the older default iOS Maps app.

All of this is great news for Google, but one thing stands in its way: Apple. Once Google finishes and submits the app to the iTunes Store, Apple will have to decide whether to approve it. And who knows how long that process will take — if it happens at all.

Even Google thinks it’s unlikely. Sources within the company told the Guaradian earlier this month that they were not optimistic that the iOS Google Maps app, when finished, would ever see the light of day. The reason for the skepticism is fairly obvious: Google’s app would compete directly with Apple’s, and the iPhone maker doesn’t have a great track record with dealing with these sorts of situations.

But while Apple and Google bicker, a third, more unlikely competitor also threatens to enter the fray: Nokia, which recently launched its revamped Here map platform. Suddenly the iOS 6 map situation has gotten a lot more complicated  — as if that were even possible.

Google’s line in reaction to the new reports is the same as the one it’s given previously: “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 company says (and has said verbatim multiple times before).


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