With iOS 6 Out, Google Has Some Repositioning to Do With Its Maps
The big question now is when Google will launch an iOS maps app, a native version that wouldn’t be installed by default but would surely be popular with longtime users and would bring back street-view imagery and transit directions.
This would parallel what Google just did with the new YouTube for iOS. For now, iOS 6 users can use Google Maps via the Safari browser on their phones. When they do, they’ll see a large pop-up message asking them to add the URL to their home screens.
Both Google Maps and YouTube for iOS had previously been co-developed with Apple and had lagged behind their alternatives for Android. For instance, the existing Google Maps for iOS has no turn-by-turn directions, though the Android version does, and the new Apple-developed alternative does, as well.
Google’s statement on the matter today: “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 highest-ranking exec on the maps and local team, Jeff Huber, had previously said in a Google+ post, “We look forward to providing amazing Google Maps experiences on iOS.”
So, basically: It’s not ready yet. But ever so coincidentally, Google today said that it was improving Google Maps for Android with personalization and syncing features, as well as type-ahead suggested search results.
“It takes a long time and effort to figure out how to do this right,” Brian McClendon, vice president of engineering for maps at Google, told the New York Times. “Experience is important.”