Google Maps to Add Street View for Mobile Web (Hey There, iOS Users!)
Though it still lacks a replacement maps app for the new Apple iOS, Google is bidding to hold onto iPhone users by improving its maps for the mobile Web.
How do we know this? It comes straight from Walt Mossberg’s Google Maps for Android review, which just went live.
Google plans to announce on Thursday that it is adding its popular Street View feature, missing from Apple’s maps, to the Web version of Google Maps accessed from the iPhone and iPad. I tested this addition, which displays 360-degree photographic street views of selected locations, and interior photographic views of certain businesses, using sample links Google sent me. These links worked well, allowing me to see the locations and pan around with a finger.
Lack of Street View imagery is one of the commonly cited downsides of Apple’s new default Maps app, along with data errors (that’s a biggie!) and lack of native support for transit directions.
Apple built its own app after failed negotiations to include Google’s turn-by-turn directions in the previous Maps app.
Apple CEO Tim Cook last week apologized for problems with the new Maps app and referred users to competitors’ alternatives, including Google Maps on the mobile Web, along with Bing, MapQuest, Waze and Nokia’s mobile Web site.
Is Google working on a native version of Maps for iOS? Yes of course. But until that’s ready, a better mobile Web version is what it can offer.