Google is reportedly getting ready to make the maps experience on the iPhone a little easier — in the phone’s main browser.
According to a report from the New York Times’ David Pogue, Google is planning to roll out its Street View feature to mobile Safari users in the next two weeks. The Times has also reported that Google has submitted an app to Apple’s App Store that will go live by the end of the year, something the company has not confirmed.
The shake-up caused when Apple eliminated Google Maps from its iOS 6 update shows the growing divide between Google and Apple — a competitive clash that started with the introduction of Google’s Android operating system.
The rivalry may have become too heightened for Apple to want to continue the Google Maps partnership, according to a report from All Things Digital’s John Paczkowski. Citing “sources familiar with Apple’s thinking,” he said that the Cupertino, Calif., firm had been trying to negotiate with Google to include voice turn-by-turn directions in Maps. In exchange, the report said, Google wanted additional branding. When the request was rejected, Google asked for the ability to add its Latitude geolocation feature to Apple devices. Again, the report said, Apple turned it down.
That narrative backs up a June report from the Wall Street Journal on the negotiations over Maps.
Regardless of what the back-and-forth may have been, we all know the end result: Apple turned to other partners to create its own mapping program, and the gap in development between the two directional services became painfully obvious.
Apple has acknowledged that its Maps feature isn’t where it should be and said it’s working on the problem. Mapping the world, after all, is a big job. It’s taken Google — and, it should be said, Nokia — years to accomplish the level of detail in their mapping programs, with lots of help from their users.
And while Apple works on its program, with dashes of input from users, iPhone users have other options to fill in the gaps — including, it seems, a more complete mobile maps site, via Google, on Apple’s own Safari browser.