From Ben Guild we get to see some blurry native iOS Google Maps screenshots. We know the app is coming; the questions are: 1) precisely when and 2) will Apple do anything to block it? My guesses would be: 1) within the next month and 2) no.
Guild says the mapping app is currently in an alpha stage. He offers some additional detail about its functionality:
- It’s vector-based
- It’s got two-finger rotation to any angle
- It’s super fast
- 4-inch height of the iPhone 5 is supported
This suggests he’s seen a demo or played with it himself. Here’s one of the shots from Guild’s blog post:
While Google has been coy about whether and when it will release a native maps app for iOS we know one is coming. These screens operate as further confirmation.
The removal of Google Maps from its coveted location on the iPhone is ultimately a good thing for everyone. Apple has injected new life into the mapping space and made it more competitive, as well as bringing attention — albeit unintentionally perhaps — to other mapping apps and competitors.
Apple users will get a much better version of Google Maps in the end than they had access to before. And Google will be able to deliver the kind of mapping experience on the iPhone and other iDevices that it says it always wanted to.