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Google expects Apple to block its not crap iOS maps app

'We don't want no steenking competition'

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Google should have a mapping application for iOS ready by the end of this year, but sources within the company are concerned that Apple is unlikely to let it into the iOS Apps Store.

Apple has earned a lot of grief over the poor performance of its Maps app, and the snafu is thought to have contributed to Apple recent executive reshuffle that saw iOS boss Steve Forstall given the boot, reportedly after refusing to sign a letter of apology.

But sources within the Mountain View Chocolate Factory tell The Guardian that although a Google Maps app for iOS should be ready by the end of the year, staffers are "not optimistic" that Apple will approve it for sale, even though it's a "superior product," in their view.

It's a logical assumption. As bad as Apple's Maps is, Cupertino is hardly likely to admit it made a mistake and let Google back into its operating system environment – Tim Cook is a great pragmatist, but the loss of corporate face would be too much.

Google has piled money into its mapping software for years, having recognized that for many smartphone users (particularly those who drive), mapping is a very important application. Apple recognized this as well – albeit later than Google – but its surprise decision to drop the Chocolate Factory's maps in favor of its own lackluster offering has irritated its users.

Apple mapping apps

Notice anything missing? (click to enlarge)

Apple does sell mapping applications in the iTunes store, although most either use Cupertino's own mapping software or come from established GPS vendors such as TomTom. Cupertino is also encouraging application developers to use its mapping products by opening them up more in the iOS 6 SDK, but it has a long way to go if it's to catch up to Google's level of detail.

That said, Apple doesn't have to be the best in this field, just good enough, and mapping isn't the main reason they buy shiny new iPhones anyway. But one wonders how long it'll take before customers to start asking why there's no competition in Maps – after being given false directions one time too many. ®

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