Google reportedly distributing near-final version of standalone iOS Maps app

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
It was reported on Thursday that Google is distributing a test version of a standalone iOS Maps app to people outside the company, suggesting an application to the App Store may be imminent.

According to a person familiar with the matter, a Google Maps-powered app may soon hit the iOS App Store as the internet search giant is almost finished tweaking the software for Apple devices, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Google Maps Closeups
Photo of alleged native iOS Google Maps app leaked in October. | Source: Ben Guild


"We believe Google Maps are the most comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps in the world," a Google spokesman said. "Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system."

Google's standalone app will reportedly feature turn-by-turn navigation, which was reportedly one of the main reasons Apple ditched the service in iOS 6. According to reports, which were later corroborated by CEO Tim Cook, Apple decided to move away from Google's service because of disagreements related to offering free turn-by-turn directions, a feature Google had long since included in its own Android operating system.

Apple replaced the first-party Google-powered Maps app in the latest iOS 6 with a new in-house proprietary solution. Using assets from recent mapping-related acquisitions, along with help from TomTom data, Apple's Maps app, with its Flyover 3D mapping tech, was one of the standout features of iOS 6 when the mobile operating system was highlighted at WWDC in June. Critics and consumers panned the new Maps app for lacking Google's massive dataset, as well as missing features like Street View. The issue was further compounded by incorrect data and quirks with the Flyover function.

The fallout from the system's debut prompted Cook to write a letter to customers, apologizing for the new mapping service's shortcomings.

Street View
Google's Street View as seen in mobile Safari.


Google has been working to re-establish its presence on iOS after its YouTube app was also deprecated from the platform, and has offered a number of free apps that return most of that functionality back to Apple's devices. Maps has been noticeably absent, however, though the company did activate Street View for web apps, meaning mobile Safari users can access the feature in-browser.

In October, photographs of an iOS device running Google's alleged standalone iOS Maps app were leaked to press, showing what appeared to be a near-final version of the software. It is unclear if and when Google will submit the app for approval.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 96
    Good. It is seriously needed for the UK and parts of Europe.

    Apple Maps has been the single most annoying and useless thing the company have ever done for me. 20+ years. This is the worst.

    It's so infuriatingly useless.
  • Reply 2 of 96
    I'll probably download it and never use it. Apple maps works fine for me
  • Reply 3 of 96
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    I bet it has adverts and is ugly. Anything else from Google would be surprising.

    They have, like *one* person that can do reasonably good design at Google (G ), so if he is busy it's going to be a dog's breakfast for sure.
  • Reply 4 of 96


    I dont know what all the fuss is about. Apple maps works flawlessly for me.


    Never had a problem with it.


    I think the people having problems with it are folks outside the US.


    I'm just saying.  

  • Reply 5 of 96


    Most consumers are over the whole Maps thing. 


     


    Seems it was all media-inflated in the first place. 

  • Reply 6 of 96

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post



    I'll probably download it and never use it. Apple maps works fine for me




    I'll do the same...what can G-Map do that Apple Map cannot?  May be offline map.  I am not really expect it will be there.  So it better be a good one, otherwise, I am the one to kick if off my phone.

  • Reply 7 of 96
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by super8sean View Post


    ... I think the people having problems with it are folks outside the US. ...



     


    This is it precisely.  However, most of the world is "outside of the USA."  Heck, most of North America is "outside of the USA."  The USA is actually a small place. 

  • Reply 8 of 96
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,618member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sedicivalvole View Post



    Good. It is seriously needed for the UK and parts of Europe.

    Apple Maps has been the single most annoying and useless thing the company have ever done for me. 20+ years. This is the worst.

    It's so infuriatingly useless.


     


    I have the exact opposite opinion. Google Maps was a useless kludge that Google intentionally crippled so it wasn't feature compatible with the Android version. It was a slap in the face to iOS users, just like Microsoft and its Mac version of Office, and just like the Mac version of Intuit's Quicken. I think canning Google Maps was a wakeup call for Google and I don't have any intention of downloading it as Apple maps is already superior in a number of ways. Google needs Apple more than Apple needs Google. And Google rushing to replace their app with a better version is proof of that. Why didn't they do this in the first place? Why did they wait until Apple told them to take a hike? I don't understand some Apple users' fascination with and reverence for Google. They have done nothing but screw over Apple and its devotees... from Android to Maps. They are evil.

  • Reply 9 of 96


    Still no comment on the APPL fire sale today?

  • Reply 10 of 96
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    What happened to DED's 5-part maps special? He kinda stopped halfway through.
  • Reply 11 of 96

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


     


    I have the exact opposite opinion. Google Maps was a useless kludge that Google intentionally crippled so it wasn't feature compatible with the Android version. It was a slap in the face to iOS users, just like Microsoft and its Mac version of Office, and just like the Mac version of Intuit's Quicken. I think canning Google Maps was a wakeup call for Google and I don't have any intention of downloading it as Apple maps is already superior in a number of ways. Google needs Apple more than Apple needs Google. And Google rushing to replace their app with a better version is proof of that. Why didn't they do this in the first place? Why did they wait until Apple told them to take a hike? I don't understand some Apple users' fascination of and reverence for Google. They have done nothing but screw over Apple and its devotees... from Android to Maps. They are evil.



     


    I laughed at pretty much every sentence of your post, but the most amusing part was a guy from the midwest arguing with the previous commenter's opinion that iOS maps is a mess in the UK and parts of Europe. Spend a lot of time navigating the EU with your iPhone, do ya, Krupp?

  • Reply 12 of 96
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sedicivalvole View Post



    Good. It is seriously needed for the UK and parts of Europe.

    Apple Maps has been the single most annoying and useless thing the company have ever done for me. 20+ years. This is the worst.

    It's so infuriatingly useless.


     


     


    Maybe where you are, but where I am it is great. I love the fast rendering, beautiful graphics, and turn by turn. Moreover, I didn't use Apple maps at all when it was powered by Google. 

  • Reply 13 of 96
    moxommoxom Posts: 325member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sedicivalvole View Post



    Good. It is seriously needed for the UK and parts of Europe.

    Apple Maps has been the single most annoying and useless thing the company have ever done for me. 20+ years. This is the worst.

    It's so infuriatingly useless.


    Agree 100%


     


    I get a sick feeling every time I look at the Maps icon...


     


    image

  • Reply 14 of 96
    lerxtlerxt Posts: 182member
    Thank god that google is coming to the rescue... And nokia.
  • Reply 15 of 96
    lerxtlerxt Posts: 182member
    DP
  • Reply 16 of 96
    lerxtlerxt Posts: 182member
    DP
  • Reply 17 of 96

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by super8sean View Post


    I dont know what all the fuss is about. Apple maps works flawlessly for me.


    Never had a problem with it.


    I think the people having problems with it are folks outside the US.


    I'm just saying.  



     


    According to the US Census Bureau:



    • US population: 311,591,917 (Jul 2011)


    • Area: 9,827,000 km²


     



    • World population: 6,973,738,433  in 2011 (source, world bank)


    • World area: 510,072,000 km²


     


    I'm just saying.

  • Reply 18 of 96
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,090member
    Those of us with any sense realized that Apple creating its own maps app is the best thing that could have happened. Now, Google actually has to compete and is motivated to bring out the best possible product on iOS. Meanwhile, Apple is highly motivated to get maps as good as possible, so as not to have it compare very negatively to Google's offering. We get the best of Apple, the best of Google. The alternative, as most of the screeching, hysterical fanatics would have wanted, is being stuck with an extremely crippled, feature-void default maps app made by Apple, with Google's data, with no real alternative.
  • Reply 19 of 96

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rsdofny View Post




    I'll do the same...what can G-Map do that Apple Map cannot?  May be offline map.  I am not really expect it will be there.  So it better be a good one, otherwise, I am the one to kick if off my phone.



    personally, the disconnection of public transit directions to other apps is neck snapping... i prefer the old maps interface where I could enter start and destination, and compare driving to public transit in one app, as opposed to keying it up in 2 different apps (transit for me).

  • Reply 20 of 96

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post


    Still no comment on the APPL fire sale today?



    What's to say?  And what's the rush to say it?


     


    1) If the bit of a crash is a transitory thing in a few weeks nobody will remember it; or


     


    2) If it's a serious re-assessment of APPL (maybe biz partners upset over the ios6 glitch causing over-charges that have to be calculated and refunded, and some other things) then there will be plenty of time for all the sides to take up positions and deny it/snark it/over-analyze it/ignore it seriously.


     


    Tomorrow's another day.  Apple will be around being Apple.

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