Apple iPhone users, rejoice! Google is building a new Google Maps app for iOS 6 that will reportedly combine the features of the old app with the whiz-bangery of Google Earth, according to a report from The New York Times. The only downside: It’s still a long way off.
Apparently, Apple blind-sided Google when it decided to drop Google Maps from iOS 6. The Verge and The New York Times report that, according to anonymous sources, Apple’s contract to use Google’s navigation app still had a year of life left when Cupertino told Mountain View that it would no longer need its mapping services. Because of this, Google had not yet begun to build out a new version of Google Maps — which is the reason the company does not have a new Google Maps pending with Apple now.
Apple’s reported decision to drop Google Maps is said to have come before Apple’s 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 11, when the company unveiled iOS 6 and its new Maps App. Google responded by holding its own Google Maps event ahead of WWDC, on June 6, which showcased some of its new 3D mapping technology — a feature that is expected to make its way into the new Google Maps.
The reason everyone cares so much about a new Google Maps is, of course, because Apple’s new Maps app is packed full of inaccuracies, strangely distorted landscapes, and lacks public transit information. Apple has already corrected some of these failings, and promises that it will get better over time.
In the end, this will all work itself out. And even now, it’s not that bad. Apple Maps, sub-par in some respects though it may be, works perfectly well for many users. In China, at least, it’s apparently far better than Google Maps ever was. The turn-by-turn navigation is quite useful. And 3D view — while entirely impractical for finding where you need to go — is at least fun to look at while bored. That’s something, right?