Google Maps for iOS to Include Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Coming Soon says WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is putting its finishing touches on its Google Maps iOS app, soon to be submitted to Apple for approval. The app has been distributed to a few beta testers outside of Google, the report notes:

Google has distributed a test version of its new mapping app that will work on Apple’s iPhones and iPads 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 is unclear exactly when that will happen.

A Google spokesman said, “We believe Google Maps are the most comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps in the world. Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system.”

The Journal goes on to report Google Maps for iPhone is expected to include turn-by-turn navigation, to allow users to have it function as a GPS while driving. The lack of turn-by-turn in Google Maps within iOS was the cause of friction between both companies, since the feature was widely available to Android handsets.

The snafu with Apple Maps in iOS 6 led to the downfall of iOS chief Scott Forstall, as it was widely speculated he refused to sign the maps apology letter, instead forcing Apple CEO to step in. But according to the WSJ, improvements are being made especially after the restructuring of the executive team, with Eddy Cue now leading the way for Apple Maps:

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 such as 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.

Apple has recommended alternative map apps such as Waze and even the web versions of Google Maps and Nokia’s maps. The latter recently announced they would be releasing a standalone maps app called Hero. If Apple doesn’t improve their maps soon, users will happily jump to a native Google Maps or Nokia maps app–that is if Apple approves them.

What do you think? Are you excited for a native Google Maps app?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • saberon

    Google Maps WITH Turn by Turn on iOS 6… YES PLEASE!!!!

  • hub2

    Apple has exactly until Google Maps submits their app (add a week or three for approval) to get Maps where it should have been to be in the first place. After that, it will be a point-to-point comparison of how iOS Maps compares to Google’s Maps app.

    And I still think it’s dumb Apple hasn’t made Maps available outside iOS. If they want to lock people into their Maps, they should at least make it available on Macs so we have more ways to send feedback.

  • alamarco

    Will be interesting to see how long it takes for Apple to approve Google Maps, if they approve it. I think Apple will see a lot less traffic on their Maps app once Google Maps is released.

    Apple does have the advantage though with Maps now being stock. Many people, who are often referred to as “sheep”, won’t know or care to install Google Maps. It’s my personal opinion, nothing factual, that you’ll see power users go back to Google Maps and end users stick with Maps.

  • PC

    Hopefully Google’s map app will allow turn by turn directions across all iOS devices.

  • keneo

    thats a REALLY good point.
    Hey Apple make it available EVERYWHERE!

  • Stark

    Google spent years developing their maps to what they are now. There’s no way apple will be able to improve maps to googles standards within a few weeks if ever.

  • Maes33

    I actially really like apple maps. The turn by turn has been so good for me. People are doing there best to find bugs, I’m sure apple will sort out the bugs within time. Very happy iphone user also owned galaxy s2.

  • Dt

    Apple maps even has my home location in the wrong city. Useless. I have reported it, but assume 100000 of us will just have to change where we live rather than have Apple correct the error. (Grin) Google still has us all in the right place.

  • Jen

    IOS is good to those are driving… But if you’re a commuter like me google map works fine. Apple should approved it.. Not all iPhone users are driving…

  • Turn by turn rocks in Apple Maps. For searching though, it is horrible vs Google Maps. I also don’t like the view of the maps, hard to see places.

  • it took nearly 4 months for them to approve the new Google search app. I can see this taking just as long or longer.