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Summary:

Apple has said it’s working on improving its own Maps app, but there are many longtime iPhone users who’ve been anxiously awaiting the return of Google Maps to the platform. A new report indicates Google is testing a new Maps for iOS app now.

Google Maps on the iPhone

It looks like we’re inching closer to a Google Maps app for iOS 6. Google has started to let people outside the company test a maps app that works on iOS, though it has not yet been submitted to Apple’s App Store, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

This version of Google Maps for iOS is set to be a bit different than the version that Apple stopped including as a default application on the phone this fall: The new version Google is testing “is expected to contain turn-by-turn navigation,” according to one of the Journal‘s unnamed sources.

That was one of the critical features that Google had kept out of the older version of Google Maps for iOS 6 and it became a flashpoint in the partnership between Google and Apple to carry the app on the iPhone.

Apple replaced Google Maps for iOS with its own Apple Maps app, which has been roundly criticized since its debut. Apple has said it’s working on improving its app, but there are many longtime iPhone users who’ve been anxiously awaiting the return of Google Maps to the platform.

Some Google employees were reportedly “worried” last week that Apple wouldn’t approve this app. But, as I wrote then, those concerns are overblown. Apple will be under a lot of pressure to approve the app. The main question now is when it will arrive.

  1. Amen! I want the Google Maps app back. And the sooner the better.

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  2. When I upgraded to IOS5 it automatically deleted Google Maps and replaced it with the Apple maps. It seems Apple is pushing their inkeriror maps app just like Microsoft does IE.

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    1. I won’t upgrade until this problem is fixed.

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  3. Way to go Google. Deny Apple’s wanting turn by turn feature. Then get booted out of the ecosystem by Apple, and now turn around and include turn by turn. So, where did that little bit of combative (oh sorry, “competitive”) behavior accomplish for you?

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  4. It’s the circle of life. Symbiotic relationships are a part of any Eco system technology based or other. The sooner these two companies pull their heads out of the sand and play a little nicer everyone will be happier. Competition is good but let’s face it, Android is continually striving to be better by cannabilizing various ios bits and calling them “new”, iPhone was first and is very good in some aspects and stupid in others. There would not be one without the other. Capitalism and profit motive aside, these companies need to stop suing each other and get back to what counts, the customer. Apple maps is a disaster.

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  5. It’s pointless if it doesn’t include Google Navigation. This is Android’s value add which is Google’s prerogative to omit. It’s a calculating cold war between these 2 Titans. Without Google Maps iOS without a decent replacement looks anemic. Google no longer has revenue from Apple for developing maps and loses collecting iOS user data. The question is who needs what more than the other.

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  6. It was totally idiotic for Google not to include spoken turn by turn directions. Increasing the fees did not win them many admirers either. So I don’t blame apple for doing what they did. I have been using Navigon on the iPhone for a while now and it has served me very well. I have tried Apple’s maps and it has also served me well. I say, let the competition commence.

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  7. I have used Apple Maps with no issues at all in fact all the reports show less than 1% are effected.. those who do are just trolls and feed into the overblown mess…. you sell 30m of a phone they are bound to wine about something…

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  8. I’m also a very satisfied Apple Maps user–I haven’t had any problems at all. I won’t judge anyone else’s experience (any more than they should judge mine).

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  9. Whilst I am no fan of iOS6 Maps, it must be made clear that the original Google maps client in iOS prior to version 6 was written by Apple and not by Google, who supplied tile data and POI. Too many articles fail to note this.

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