Google Putting ‘Finishing Touches’ on iOS Maps App

NEW YORK | Friday, November 16th, 2012 5:45am EDT

Google has been rumored to be preparing to return its Maps application for the iPhone and iPad.

Recent reports suggest that the searching giant s is putting the final touches on its Maps app for iOS running devices. Photo: Steve Garfield/Flickr

The head-to-head battle between Apple Inc. and Google Inc. in mobile market is drawing nearer as Google Inc. is putting the final touches on its Maps app for iOS before submitting it to Apple’s iTunes for approval.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the software, which is already being tested by Google specialist, is “expected to contain” turn-by-turn navigation, just like its Android counterpart.

The new feature was said to be one of the main sticking points in negotiations between the two giants that led to the Cupertino based company creating its own mapping software.

The news comes  a few days after Nokia announced that it has developed its own maps offering for iOS called Here Maps. The mentioned software, believed to compete with Apple’s homegrown mapping app, will be released in the next few weeks.

“We believe Google Maps are the most comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps in the world,” a Google spokesperson commented on the issue.

“Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system,” he added.

Meanwhile, an Apple spokesman refused to reveal any details considering apps that haven’t been submitted for approval. The iPhone maker has recently approved some new or updated Google apps.

However, the company’s insiders told reporters earlier this month they were not optimistic that the iOS Google Maps app, when finished, would ever see the light of day.

The comments can be easily explained by the fact that Google’s expected software for Apple devices is the latest in a maps-applications fracas between the companies, which are constantly competing in everything starting from mobile devices to digital-media sales.

Maps apps are considered to be one of the most important elements in the future of computing as they will power the next-generation mobile apps that help people find places to visit and where to shop, among other things.

This September saw the release of the highly anticipated iPhone and iPad software called iOS 6 that included a Google Maps app that was preinstalled on its mobile devices with Apple’s own mapping software.

The Californian company also removed Google’s YouTube video app, which similarly had been preinstalled on all of the devices. Both preinstalled Google apps had been built by Apple with Google data.

Unfortunately for the giant, numerous consumers complained Apple’s version was riddled with inaccurate data, as Google’s transit-based directions, were severely limited in the new Apple software.

Which is more, many locations around the world were either populated with inaccurate data about local points of interest, or simply missing.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook even had to apologize for the company’s crappy version of maps application. “At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers,” he wrote on Apple’s official website.

“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.”

Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said at the time that Apple users shouldn’t expect to get the Google Maps app back any time soon.

“In my opinion it would have been better to retain our maps,” he reportedly told reporters. “It’s their decision, I’ll let them describe it.”

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