Google is reportedly working on a new Google Maps app for iOS which it hopes to submit to the App Store for review in the coming months, but one Google insider says that the company has doubts as to whether the app will be approved or not.
Google Maps was removed from iOS due to a feud between Apple and Google, and this feud will most likely influence the decision on whether or not to approve a new Google Maps app, regardless of demand from iOS users. According to the insider who spoke to the Guardian, it is for this reason that the new Google app will be rejected, regardless of its quality or superiority.
The public was taken by surprise earlier this summer when Apple announced at WWDC that it would be dropping Google Maps from iOS and replacing it with its own in-house Maps app. The replacement Apple Maps app has been a resounding failure, with problems ranging from badly rendered 3D models, incorrect place names, incorrectly located businesses, and less than adequate turn by turn navigation features. After a torrent of complaints from consumers, Apple recommended a number of other map apps that can be used until it manages to rectify the various problems in its own maps app.
But as Google Maps was previously featured as a standard component of iOS, and due to the fact that Google was taken by surprise by Apple's decision to stop using its service in iOS, there is currently not a Google Maps app available in the iOS App Store. Google Maps can still be accessed, but only via Safari where the web based version does not include all features that users have come to expect.
Google had licenced Google Maps to Apple as the basis for the standard Maps app on iOS since the first Apple iPhone, but shortly before his death Steve Jobs vowed to remove the Google mapping feature and replace it with an Apple app. This decision was primarily motivated by Jobs' hatred of Google Android mobile OS and his company's continuing war against the Google mobile OS. When iOS 6 was announced in the summer of 2012, Apple still had a full year remaining on its Maps licence with Google.
Rather than simply rework the Android Google Maps app so that it will work with iOS, Google has decided to vastly improve its Maps app before it submits it for consideration in the App Store. Some of the features that are thought to be added are a new 3D mode, to compete with the 3D mode introduced by Apple, and many other undisclosed features.
The new Google Maps app for iOS will most likely be ready by the end of the year, but many employees at Google who have been working on the new app are doubtful that it will be approved by Apple to the App Store. Due to the nature in which Google Maps was removed from iOS in the first place, reinstating it now, after consumers and critics have widely panned Apple Maps, would cause the Cupertino tech giant an enormous amount of embarrassment.
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Simon writes for Best Mobile Contracts, a leading source of mobile phone news in the United Kingdom.