Google is preparing its new native maps app for release on the iPhone and iPad soon reports the Wall Street Journal [subscription required] citing a “person with direct knowledge of the matter”.
The company has “distributed a test version” of its unreleased iOS app to individuals outside of the organisation. Google is said to be putting the “finishing touches” on the app before submitting it to the Apple App Store.
Prior to the release of iOS 6 in September, a Maps app developed by Apple using the Google Maps API was available as standard on the operating system. With the release of iOS 6, Apple developed its own mapping solution primarily using TomTom data, ditching Google Maps in the process.
Apple then battled with its own public relations disaster due to data inaccuracies and airports being depicted where airports should not.
Google has not made any official statement as to when the new native app will be released. We wouldn’t be surprised if Google released something before the end of the month.
In lieu of a native Google Maps iOS app Google has recently been developing its mobile web app into a viable alternative. Last month saw the introduction of Street View on mobile browsers.