Google Readies To Launch New Maps App For Apple iOS 6
Some are already calling it the map-app wars, with Google announcing a new version of its Maps for Apple smartphones days after Nokia unveiled its rival Here app.
Google had been kicked off the recent iOS 6 upgrade but, according to the Wall Street Journal, the internet giant is getting ready to submit a new version.
If it is accepted into the App Store, it will compete directly with Apple's Maps App which comes preinstalled on the new iPhone 5.
Mapping applications, designed for smartphones and tablets, have become a highly lucrative and fiercely contested platform for advertisers.
Google reportedly makes $8 billion in advertising revenue from mobile devices, which include ads on its Android apps as well as income generating on its mapping software.
For a time it had a near monopoly on location and navigation software for smartphones, and it came pre-installed on all Apple's smartphone devices.
However, the two are fierce rivals in the field of mobile technology, and with the iOS 6 upgrade of its devices, Apple said it was no longer supporting Google Maps.
Unfortunately for Apple, its own Map App was the worst-received technology to come out of its development center in years and led directly to the resignation of its head of iPhone software development, Scott Forstall.
The software was criticized for not providing many of the standout features of Google Maps, such as voice-guided directions, and consistently showed inaccurate data.
In the meantime, Nokia announced that it was entering the mapping territory with its new Here cloud-based map and location service.
It's set to be released for Apple iOS 6, Android as well as Windows Phone 8. Nokia promises all of the features of Google Maps, such as Street View and 3D maps. The company recently bought Berkley mapping firm, Earthmine, and hopes to use the data from that purchase as part of Here.
Meanwhile, Google's Map Apps for iOS 6 is expected to contain turn-by-turn navigation that would allow people to use it like a GPS device while driving, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Most Android users have already had this feature on Google Maps, but it was left out of the iPhone version due to a disagreement between Google and Apple.
However, a source earlier in the month told The Guardian that Google was not optimistic that Apple would accept its new app into its ecosystem.
"While one source indicated increased hopes that the dedicated Google Maps iOS app will eventually be approved now that Apple's maps leader, Scott Forstall, has departed the company, another was less than enthusiastic about any increased prospects, citing industry politics and Apple's need to save face as much as possible and 'keep moving forward in an effort to make its obviously inferior product better'," said The Guardian.