Since Apple replaced Google Maps in iOS 6 with its own mapping solution, there’s been a lot of talk regarding Google making its own Maps app for the platform. Rumors have persisted that such an app is in development.

But according to a new report this afternoon, it’s not only in development, it’s almost finished. The Wall Street Journal says that it has learned that Google is currently putting the finishing touches on a native iOS Maps app…

The WSJ reports:

“The head-to-head battle between Apple and Google in mobile maps is drawing nearer.

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.”

The report goes on to say that Google’s Maps app is expected to contain a turn-by-turn navigation feature, something the old version of Google Maps for iOS did not offer, as well as the company’s popular Street View option.

Of course, all of this could be for nothing. Google hasn’t submitted the app to the App Store yet. And there’s a lot of folks that don’t think Apple will approve it because it will directly compete with its own, struggling maps software.

On that front, the WSJ notes that Apple continues to work to fix the bugs in its Maps app, and Eddie Cue, who took over the project following Forstall’s departure, has been very hands-on with the team and attends regular meetings.

A Google Maps app on iOS would certainly make things interesting, especially since Nokia just announced that it’s bringing its highly-regarded mapping software to the platform. Competition is usually a good thing for us consumers.


  • Daniel Bacon

    Awesome… I dont know how apple can justify not approving it cause navigon and other apps already compete with apple maps. Does apple even make money with its own maps app? I thought that the whole reason that apple got rid of google maps was so they didn’t have to pay them for the software anymore.

    • Correct me if I’m wrong but I think Apple had a licensing deal with Google Maps that didn’t expire until next year or the following. The problem was that Apple wanted Turn-by-turn and Google wasn’t allowing it on iOS6. Apple may or may not make money off of Apple Maps but Google certainly does off of theirs and with the decline in Google Maps users due to iOS6, Google is now feeling the pinch. That’s probably why they are adding turn by turn.

      • noksucow

        They should’ve had it ready a long time ago. I’d really like to know why it wasn’t. Did they think Apple was going to cave?

      • Some people think they wanted to make Apple users miss it before coming to the rescue

      • noksucow

        That’s a fine strategy, but they should’ve had it ready to go. It’s got to go through the approval process yet. In the meantime, you’ve given competitors a chance to showcase their nav apps.

  • Competition is good. The more options the better.

  • umm will it have turn by turn and street view? if not it can got to hell

    • noksucow

      It’s supposed to.

  • I’m not gonna upgrade to ios6 until apple approves google maps

  • Simonas Narbutas

    Hooray for google. GMaps should be so much better than tomtom built in version. I do not believe that google is the only one who’s getting profit, google maps was one of the apples success factors, good phone without good maps app would be way less better. Anyway I foresee users preferring gmaps over tom tom ones. That’s just my opinion..

  • I really think google should not offer their maps to ios users…

    • noksucow

      They leave too much money on the table if they do that.

  • No Whammy

    Wait a minute iDB, you said Google already submitted their app!?!??

    • Read the update at the bottom of the post you link to

      • No Whammy

        OK, now let’s have a debate about the pros and cons of inline edits 😉