Citing "a person with direct knowledge of the matter," The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is distributing a test version of its mapping app to people outside the company. Google is "putting finishing touches" on the app before it hits the App Store. However, it's unclear exactly when that will happen. If and when that comes to pass, consumers will have an alternative to Apple's Maps app, which comes preinstalled with iPhones.
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Apple declined to comment on the matter. A Google rep told The WSJ: "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 introduction of Google Maps comes after Apple faced a pr crisis over its Maps app in September. The app, which came preinstalled on the iPhone 5 got poor reviews as users pointed out many inaccuracies. The outcry, exacerbated by the fact that Google Maps was not available on iOS6 or the iPhone 5, led to a rare public apology by CEO Tim Cook, an incident that was said to have prompted the resignation of mobile chief Scott Forstall.
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Google's acquiescence would signal the company's calculation that promoting its app is more important than hurting its primary competitor in mobile phones. The complicated relationship between Apple and Google has already led to YouTube being withdrawn as a standard app on iOS 6.
Image courtesy of Google
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"Carmen Sandiego strikes again, this time stealing a giant statue outside the Denver Center for Performing Arts."via The Amazing World of iOS Maps
This story originally published on Mashable here.
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