According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is performing public tests of its Maps app for iPhone and iPad, and is putting the finishing touches on the product to be submitted to the Apple App Store in the next few weeks.
While it’s expected that Google’s iOS Maps will include walking and transit directions, the WSJ’s source claims that Google will also bundle its turn-by-turn navigation feature, available free on all Android devices, in the app. This would bring the functionality to par with Apple Maps, which is why some pundits still think Apple will not approve the app when it is submitted.
Google Maps for iOS could see the company derive a huge amount of revenue from sponsored business listings and other product tie-ins. But while it’s possible to change default apps in Android, Apple Maps will continue to be the default service used within third-party apps.
Google apps such as YouTube, Google+ and Search are available on iOS, and are very popular despite not being integrated directly into the operating system. Apple would not comment on the matter, but it would seem likely that they view Google’s services as a thorn in its proverbial side.