If the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg is to be believed, Google may launch additional features in its Google Maps web app for iPhone and iPad as soon as Thursday, providing a real alternative to Apple’s poorly-received Maps app in its new iOS 6 software.
Talking about Google’s Maps in a short maps review video (embedded below), Mossberg said that he had already received access to Google’s new Street View function and it “worked well, allowing me to see the locations and pan around with a finger.”
Watch from around the five minute mark:
9to5mac transcribed the relevant part of the video:
In fact, Google plans to announce on Thursday that it is adding its popular Street View feature, missing from Apple’s maps, to the Web version of Google Maps accessed from the iPhone and iPad. I tested this addition, which displays 360-degree photographic street views of selected locations, and interior photographic views of certain businesses, using sample links Google sent me. These links worked well, allowing me to see the locations and pan around with a finger.
Soon after Apple released its new mapping service, it admitted that it launched the service knowing that it was a ‘major initiative’ and that it was just getting started with it. “The more people use it, the better it will get, said Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller at the time.
However, that was soon followed by an open letter from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who apologised for not being able to “deliver the best experience possible to our customers” and that it “fell short on this commitment.”
In the letter, Cook added Apple was “extremely sorry for the frustration [it] has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”
Cook also took the opportunity to recommend rival mapping services available on the App Store while it fixed its own, highlighting Bing, MapQuest and Waze, as well as Google or Nokia’s on web-based mapping services.
Google is rumored to be working on a native app for iOS but is said to have been caught unaware by Apple’s sudden decision to drop Google Maps with a year still left on their deal.
The app could be out before the end of the year, but in the meantime the search giant will make its Street View and other services available in its web apps, helping iOS device owners navigate and identify locations around them.
Image Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty