If The Wall Street Journal is correct, you will soon hear a loud whooshing sound. That sound will be the last remaining Apple Maps users fleeing for greener pastures.
According to their sources, Google is currently in the final stages of polishing the inevitable Google Maps for iOS app, meaning that the company will be submitting the app for approval any day now.
"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," says the WSJ.
Ever since Apple release iOS 6, the first version of their mobile operating system to not feature Google Maps as the default, we knew it was only a matter of time until Google released a native iOS maps app. That notion was all but solidified when everyone realized that Apple's first venture into the mapping game was at best, a disappointment. Many called it an outright failure. Developers even warned Apple of the shortcomings of their Maps app before the launch of iOS - and those warnings were ignored.
Apple Maps, with it's incomplete and inaccurate mapping data, was such a bust that CEO Tim Cook felt compelled to issue an apology, saying,
"At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment."
He went on to suggest that users utilize better map options while they get their stuff together. Maps solutions like Waze, Bing Maps, MapQuest, and even Google Maps got a shoutout in the statement.
Although everyone knew that Google would develop a native maps app for iOS, there has been speculation on whether or not Apple would approve it. One report suggested that no matter how bad Apple Maps is, Apple wants to move beyond Google so badly that they may reject Google's new maps app. Other reports rejected that notion, citing the overwhelming public backlash that would occur if Apple made such a short-sided move.
A native Google Maps app for iOS wouldn't just benefit users, it is also a huge opportunity for Google. As Search Engine Land's Greg sterling points out, Google will be able to show ads on the app like they do on Android maps - something that they couldn't do when it was the default maps app for iOS.