We all know about the public backlash when Apple decided to remove Google Maps from its IOS 6 operating system. To be completely honest, the version of Google Maps bundled with previous versions of IOS felt old and unpolished. I know many are complaining that Apple's new IOS maps are bad but I don't agree. Apple Maps is graphically stunning and the app design is intuitive. Sure they have plenty of improvement opportunities, but I find it usable.
Google Maps coming back to IOS devices
If you miss Google Maps take heart, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is reporting that
"Google has distributed a test version of its new mapping app that will work on Apple's iPhones to some individuals outside the company"
If you believe the WSJ, and you probably should, public testing means the product is almost ready for submission to the Apple app store for approval in the next few weeks. WSJ believes the new version of Google Maps will bring back to IOS walking &transit directions, plus turn by turn navigation (similar to what is currently offered on Android devices).
Will Apple approve?
The interwebs seem to be in a heated discussion about Apple's approval process and the new Google Maps app. Will Apple approve it? Apple has approved other Google apps like YouTube, Google+, Search, Current, etc. I think Apple may delay the approval process but will eventually give it a go.
When will it be released?
We still don't know when Google will submit the app to Apple and how long Apple will take to approve it. With every passing day, it becomes less and less likely that we will see Google Maps back on IOS this year.