Photo of alleged native iOS Google Maps app. | Source: Ben Guild
As noted by Forbes, Developer Ben Guild posted what are apparently photographs of an iDevice running a native version of Google Maps, which he says is currently in the alpha testing phase.
It is unclear how Guild acquired the photographs, or if they are legitimate, however the developer claims to have further inside knowledge on the supposed app, writing:
- It?s vector-based.
- It?s got two-finger rotation to any angle.
- It?s super fast.
- 4-inch height of the iPhone 5 is supported!
Google is expected to offer its mapping service on iOS sometime soon, though an exact timeline remains nebulous and the recent news of alpha testing hint that the software is months away.
Apple replaced the Google Maps-powered Maps app in iOS 6 with a proprietary solution that has been criticized for a lack of features and incorrect data, among other operating issues. The iOS Maps fiasco prompted Apple CEO Tim Cook to offer an apology to users, saying the service will get better over time.
Subsequent reports revealed the Cupertino-based company had a year left on its contract with Google Maps, but decided to move to its own mapping service despite warnings from developers that the product was fraught with problems. Some speculated the move was driven by disagreements over free turn-by-turn directions, a long-standing feature of Google Maps for Android that was never seen on the iOS iteration.