Google reportedly putting finishing touches on native iOS maps app, Eddy Cue going hands-on with iOS 6 maps

While many folks have started to notice iOS 6 Maps improving as of late, there is still plenty of customers out there who don't think Apple's new solution is anywhere nearly as good as the old, Google-powered one. If you're one of those, the lost and disillusioned, then good news. The long-rumored standalone Google Maps app may soon see the light of day (read: App Store). That, according to the Wall Street Journal:

Google has distributed a test version of its new mapping app that will work on Apple's iPhones to some individuals outside the company, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Google has been putting the finishing touches on the app before submitting it for approval to the Apple iTunes store, this person said, though it's unclear exactly when that will happen.

Apple, for their part, has refused to comment on the matter citing the fact they don't dicuss apps that haven't been submitted for approval. Those 'finishing touches' mentioned by the unnamed source are surely what most folks will be interested in.

It is expected that Google will include turn-by-turn navigation built right into the app, compared to when Apple was using Google Maps and Google reportedly refused to provide it unless Apple included Google's Latitude service as well.

While some stories have alledged Apple might reject or "pocket veto" Google Maps, delaying or refusing entry, given the scrutiny Apple faced over Google Voice a few years ago, and given that Google Search was approved, although with a suspiciously long delay, Apple likely has no choice but to approve Google Maps. Eventually.

Also, according to the WSJ, newly appointed yet of Maps, Apple senior vice-president of internet and services, Eddy Cue, hasn't wasted any time getting his hands dirty.

Apple has continued to work to fix the bugs in its mapping software. The maps team is now under senior vice president for Internet software and services, Eddy Cue, who also oversees products like iTunes and iCloud. Mr. Cue has been hands-on with the maps team and participates in regular meetings to fix the product, according to a person familiar with the matter.

In any event, Google Maps for iOS has yet to arrive on the Apple App Store so we'll have to wait this one out and see what, exactly happens here. If Google does manage get it released, are you ready to give up on iOS 6 Maps?

Source: WSJ

Chris Parsons

Editor-at-Large at Mobile Nations, gadget junkie, energy drinker, ranter.

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Google reportedly putting finishing touches on native iOS maps app, Eddy Cue going hands-on with iOS 6 maps

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Ready to give up on Apple Maps? Of course. It just doesn't work.

I've used turn by turn about 6 times and Apple Maps is 6 for 6 in errors. Not just little ones - it's missing exits, road names, and turns. Thank goodness for good ol highway signs. And my Garmin.

I ran my Garmin Nuvi 765t side by side with iOS6 Maps on a recent trip... the experience was very similar... iOS6 Maps was fine...

I have zero problems with Apple Maps and no one I know does either. Google always had errors and was slow. Apple is much better where we live. I think there is a vocal minority that beats up anything not perfect...

I really hope apple doesn't approve the app. Google held off turn by turn for the longest and now that they don't get the data that iPhone users use to provide by using google maps they want to all of the sudden make turn by turn available to iOS users. To little to late ill keep useing apple maps. Google can take their maps app and shove up their you know what.

Excuse me, but you can take your comment and shove it up your you know what. And please don't speak for other people OK? If you don't want google maps noone is forcing you to download it from the app store.

Wait, I thought it was Apple that built that google map app prior to iOS 6. Correct me if I'm wrong. If they didn't build it, you can't totally blame them for the missing features that they have over in Android.

and just to be fair, iOS 6 maps work fine in my area. However, i do acknowledge that's not the case for many other readers.

Apple built the app, using Google's data and APIs. Google's license terms specifically prohibit third parties to do things like turn-by-turn. Apple sought to purchase/be granted an exemption to those license terms, and in return Google asked for greater access to phone services for things like Latitude. The two companies could not reach a mutually satisfactory agreement, so they parted ways.

I travel a lot for my job. More often than not, Google maps (iPhone version) would lead me to a vacant building or somebody's house instead of the restaurant or grocery store I was looking for.

iOS "map-gate" is overblown. Sure iOS maps has its quirks and could have been left in the oven a bit longer, but it happens to be version 1.0. Most of you people who are oblivious to how software is developed will never understand what that means. For those of you who ride the short bus to school & work, that's my nice way of calling you all idiots.

Whatever the case, I am curious to see what Google serves up this time. That's of course if Apple approves it.

"I travel a lot for my job. More often than not, Google maps (iPhone version) would lead me to a vacant building or somebody's house instead of the restaurant or grocery store I was looking for."

A little truth distortion, don't you think? Sounds like you used it a lot, and I sure wouldn't have if "more often than not" it was taking me to the wrong place.

"Truth distortion"??? You missed the point and possibly a whole lot more. But I'll leave that up to your psychiatrist and public defender.

The whole point is no matter how great Google's map app is, it isn't perfect. So to think Apple could get anywhere close to Google is at is totally unrealistic.

Then what is your point? Because there is no logic behind your statement. You really continued to use a mapping service that took you to the wrong destination more than 50% of the time? How do you stay employed in a business requiring travel when you are seemingly so poor at finding your way?

It's funny how some suddenly discount Google Maps.

Should it launch on iOS it will do fine. Google has been a reliable source for years and I see no reason why people shouldn't use it.

Has Apple been working to I prove their Maps? Yes. I noticed that Pizza Hut is no longer showing up one block away from my home, but instead 6miles away where it's supposed to be.

Are there still problems? Yes. WalMart isn't showing up even though its only about two miles away.

Was the whole Map-Gate overblown? Depends on who you ask. For some, it's worked great. For others, it has been a problem. Don't discount others experiences just because yours is good.

Thanks for the good laugh Chris.

I have Navigon and have been using IOS 6 Maps with zero problems. No bells and whistles like Navigon, but I like the user experience much better on Maps.

As excited as I am to get Google Maps back there is one big, huge downside. Any app that uses Apple's built-in maps API will use the Apple Maps rather than Google's. I'm not thrilled about that but it will be very welcome to have Google Maps back.

While I have noticed some improvement in Apple Maps, I am looking forward to a Google map option.
1) While directions are ok, Points of Interest are severely lacking in my region on Apple Maps. I resort to Google web app when I need something.
2) While its supposedly the same, traffic info was better on the old google based maps. We have tested my wife's iPhone 4 (still ios5) with my iPhones iOS6 maps while in traffic.
3) I have an iPhone 4, so I'm missing turn-by-turn on Apple maps. I have a Garmin app, but its nice to have it linked to Google, so I can search for a POI via Google and go straight to maps.
4) I would like street view back. It helps with finding unfamiliar turns, locations.

I never really thought google maps on my 4S was anything special; I used my Navigon app when necessary. Since iOS 6 and the 5 came out, I have actually enjoyed Apple Maps a lot and have not had one problem with it; therefore, I haven't booted up Navigon but once--and that was to get signed in after I got the new phone.

So, for whatever reason, some have good experiences with Apple's new Maps app and some don't. But I can tell you I like it more than the old google maps.

And if you can avoid anything google, why wouldn't you?!

"If you're one of those, the lost and disillusioned, then good news."
Well that is just disrespectful and unprofessional... For shame...

I have never had a problem with Apple Maps as a turn by turn device or for location info. It will only continue to improve.

Can't wait to see what Nokia brings to the table! Apparently their mapping division is top notch.

Apple Reality Distortion Field Turn on!! Really guys? No issues? I haven't got a single friend whose iMaps actually works. ALL 12 PEOPLE HAVE BROKEN MAPS.

I understand the cult like fanatacism with Apple, but come on, the maps program issues are VERY well documented, and the damn Apple CEO said the maps where broken. Apple issued an apology and FIRED people over it.

You guys are saying it was over blown? /Miz voice; Really?....REALLY?.......really????

A little too late if you ask me. Google knew about the map change for months and didn't even bother to even start working on the solution until after it's release. Sorry Charlie, Apple seems to have gotten it together really quickly, I've used maps to travel across the country now several time, several times into small cities that I figured would have problems. Points of Interest have improved signifigantly, I haven't been able to not find anything I was looking for in a while now. At this rate Apple will more than likely far surpass Google in mobile mapping in the near future. They have taken crap and made it so much better in such a short amount of time I can't wait to see what the future holds. As far as google and my data, no thanks I'll hold onto that, living google free since iOS 6 and enjoying every minute of it.

You apparently have no idea how software development works, or the time it takes to develop something as big as a navigation app. I'm willing to bet that Google started development of an iOS navigation app very shortly after realizing that Apple wasnt going to renew their contract with them to have google maps integrated into the OS. Porting an app isnt as simple as slapping a new icon and requesting access to the app store. Even if they are just building onto what they already had in iOS, they are still building a HUGE new section to it by adding navigation (assuming that they are adding navigation) and that takes time.

And saying that apple maps is going to far surpass google maps in the near future is just plain and straight you being a sheep. Google has years upon years of experience with maps (google maps, Navigation, google earth, google street views) and for Apple to 'far surpass that in the near future' Apple would have to completely dedicate their team to their own navigation apps while google would have to drop off the face of the earth for a year or two. It's not going to happen.

Apple is new to navigation. What they have now, albeit very buggy in some instances, is great for being their first endeavor into navigation. But it doesn't even touch google maps, and it shouldn't be expected to be as good as it considering navigation is currently Google's domain.

Will I be switching to google maps if and when it comes out?

Yes.

Anyone who thinks this wont be one of, if not the most downloaded apps of all times is trying to fool themselves.

Apple's maps are very poor outside the US and don't include transit info. As a non-US public transport user, that makes them close to unusable for me. Google's maps have their flaws too, but in my experience they're still way better than Apple's, so I'm happy to give their app a spin.

Living outside the US, the iOS 6 map is just utter rubbish compared to the old Google maps. The fact we don't get turn by turn navigation, 3D rendering, and lack of Siri compatibility is just a huge downer. Just to add more woes, iOS 6 is missing almost 80% of map detail which used to exist in the old maps. Just please bring that app to us Google!

No, I will not give up iOS6 Maps. I travel quite a bit and so far I have not had much trouble with iOS6 Maps. I rely on turn-by-turn directions which was one big reason I did not use Google Maps. I am quite happy with iOS 6 Maps and am happy to send corrections in the hope that some day iOS6 Maps will exceed expectations. Yes, Street View was much much more useful than Fly Over is.

No, I will not give up iOS6 Maps. I travel quite a bit and so far I have not had much trouble with iOS6 Maps. I rely on turn-by-turn directions which was one big reason I did not use Google Maps.

iOS 6 Maps issues are well documented. So far I have had a 95% success rate, some of my friends have had much less success rate that me and some have had 100% success rate. I am quite happy with iOS 6 Maps and am happy to send corrections in the hope that some day iOS6 Maps will exceed expectations. Yes, Street View was much much more useful than Fly Over is.

I won't be using it. The less google on my phone, the better. Screw them.

Never had a problem with iOS maps. Plus it renders alot faster than the old google app did.

Here's an example why Apple Maps has failed me (which has not been too many times actually).
You guys can see this for yourself on your iPhone. Look up "Yoforia, Smryna, GA" in apple maps. Then hit directions to here, and use "Atlanta, GA" as the start address. Once the route appears, zoom in on the end of the route. You will notice it drops you off further than the actual pin! When we got to the end of the route, there was a shopping complex there, so we figured maybe the Yoforia is there. It wasn't there, so we decided to go further down the road where the actual Pin is located. Once we got there, still no Yoforia in site. So then my friend looked up Yoforia on his android phone and it had the exact location perfectly, which was just a bit down the road. Doesn't seem like a huge deal when the pin is slightly off, but look how many hoops we had to jump through to find it. And why did apple maps says I was at the location when it wasn't even near the pin?! I hardly had issues like that with my Android Google Maps Navigation. I will definitely test out Google Maps and see how it works in comparison.
Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone over Android in every other aspect except for maps.

Same thing happened to me when I went to "Nakato Japanese Restaurant, Atlanta, GA". I submitted a report through Apple Maps back in early October and they have now fixed it. I submitted the same for Yororia and MANY locations that are off in Midtown Atlanta, we'll see how long it takes to update them.

What's interesting is that Google Maps also has a way to fix errors in locations, etc., but it has to be submitted via the website on a desktop browser. So I doubt many people knew they could correct errors as easily as they can with Apple Maps.

I love how people have this much of a problem with iOS maps. Here's a thought... IT JUST CAME OUT!!! Google maps have been around since 2005. So it took Google seven years to get where they are today. Roman was not built in one day people. Smh