Google workers skeptical about Maps app approval

While Google has been working on a new Google Maps app for iOS, the question has been raised as to whether or not the app will be approved. Google apparently wishes to launch the app by the end of the year, but certain circles within the company are wondering if Apple will draw out the approval process for the app or reject it outright. These groups place the blame on industry politics, and cite the lack of apps using the Google Map API in Apple’s “Find maps for your iPhone” App Store section as the reason for their skepticism. Michael Grothaus of the Guardian reports that some within Google believe that the bad blood between the companies is the reason for this omission:

Further, a source at Google told me the feeling is that those apps were purposely left out of the new section because they promote Google and its "superior product" – at a time when there is so much bad blood between the companies over the continuing smartphone patent litigation (following allegations from the late Steve Jobs that Google's Android OS ripped off iOS). In other words, no matter how bad Apple's Maps are, the company still wants its users to move on from Google – and forget about them. This doesn't bode well for the approval of an official Google Maps app, the source says.

However, it wouldn’t make any sense for Apple to outright reject the full Google Maps app directly from Google. Apple wants you to use maps, certainly, but if you use a Google Maps iOS app instead, you’re still using it on an iOS device, and Apple still wins. Additionally, Apple has been down this road before with Google Voice, when they removed all Google Voice apps from the App Store for over a year and ended up facing the threat of a Federal investigation.

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Apple surely has no desire to repeat that episode on a much larger scale. Rejecting the Google Maps app at this point would be a bad move, and a very public one at that. Many more people use Google Maps than have ever used Google Voice, and there would no doubt be a much greater uproar if Apple rejected a Maps app from Google.

There may well be an awkwardly long delay in the approval process once Google sends the new Google Maps app to Apple, similar to the one Google Search just experienced, but don't expect an outright rejection.

Source: The Guardian