The Apple Maps controversy cooled down over the last few weeks (though it got a bit of a replay when Scott Forstall’s exit/ouster from Apple was announced last week), but one question still remains: when will Google launch its native Google Maps app for iOS? According to a new report in the The Guardian, Google plans to have the app finished by the end of the year – something we also heard in September. Some at Google, however, aren’t sure if Apple will actually approve it.
The Guardian reports that some Googlers believe the new Google Maps for iOS app is now more likely to be approved without Forstall at the helm of Apple’s own mapping efforts. Others, however, are “less than enthusiastic about any increased prospects, citing industry politics and Apple’s need to save face as much as possible and ‘keep moving forward in an effort to make its obviously inferior product better.'”
One of The Guardian’s sources argues that Apple currently doesn’t feature any apps in its “Find maps for your iPhone” section that use the Google Maps API. Apps that use Google’s API, some in the company believe according to the Guardian, “were purposely left out of the new section because they promote Google and its ‘superior product.'” It’s worth noting, though, that the Navigon app, which Apple features heavily in its store, uses Google’s StreetView API, though it doesn’t rely on Google’s maps for its maps or routes.
Overall, though, it seems unlikely that Apple would just ban Google’s app from its App Store. There are, after all, plenty of other mapping and turn-by-turn navigation apps available in the store and – even though Apple doesn’t feature them – there are also lots of Google Maps-based mapping apps available. Still, it is unlikely that Apple would put Google’s app into its “New and Noteworthy” or “Amazing on iPhone 5″ sections.