Monday, November 19, 2012

Google Maps coming back to iOS soon

Good news for iPhone users who rely on their phones to get them places: the Wall Street Journal reports that Google has submitted an iOS Maps App to Apple for approval.  Assuming that Apple doesn't block the app out of pettiness, this means that Google Maps will likely come back to the iOS ecosystem in a matter of weeks.

For Apple users, this is the news they've been waiting for since iOS 6 was pushed out in late September and Apple removed Google Maps for its new - and fundamentally flawed - Maps App.

For Apple itself, this is just one more chapter in a best-selling novella of embarrassment.

An anime artist compares the iPhone map mixup to breast envy... because, why not? Here we see an envious, anthropomorphized Apple "becoming an A cup" and trying to cover herself up as she ogles Google's abundant G-cup. Was this whole post an excuse to post this picture?  You bet it was! 
(image source: Pinkwaters

From a business perspective, Apple's decision to remove Google Maps from their iPhones and iPads made a world of sense.  The two companies are now rather pitched rivals, and it was a bit strange for Apple to have a Google product built so deeply into its software.

Yet outside of being a bit awkward to say outloud, the Apple Maps App that was also deeply flawed.  It apparently has no idea where some rather important locations are actually located and, for whatever reason, it also removed the option to search for public transportation options when navigating in a city.

Although Apple tried to downplay the problems with Maps, its CEO Tim Cook eventually admitted that Apple screwed the pooch by rushing Maps out to production, apologized for the mistake, and encouraged iPhone users to the web version of Google Maps until it worked out the kinks with its own software.

Now, thankfully, it seems that Google Maps will return to iPhones in full-on App form.  Apple can still reject the app on principal of course, but at this point it'd probably be better for them to save face and invite their cuter friend to come back and hang out on their mobile OS for the couple of months.