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Monday, 19 November 2012 00:00
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Google tests Maps app for iOS

A standalone Google Maps application on iOS could prove to be lucrative for Google as it will allow the search giant to push advertising and other services in ways Apple never allowed.

Google is reportedly putting the finishing touches on its new mapping app for iOS, and will soon submit it to Apple for approval.

A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report cites a source “with direct knowledge of the matter” as saying Google has already distributed a test version of the app to some people outside of the company. There is no clear timeline for when Google will make its submission to the App Store, but recent reports point to Google seeking to release the app before year-end.

Apple irked iOS users in September when it released its in-house Maps app with iOS 6, in an effort to replace Google Maps and gain even tighter control of its eco-system by avoiding having any Google software pre-installed on its devices out of the box.

The outcry over the relatively poor functionality and reliability of the new app became known as “Mapplegate”, and even led Apple CEO Tim Cook to write a formal apology, admitting the app fell short of Apple standards.

In his apology, Cook even went so far as to suggest Apple customers use alternative services in the meantime: “While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their Web sites and creating an icon on your home screen to their Web app.”

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