WSJ: Google putting finishing touches on iOS Maps app

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.