Google reportedly blocking Windows Phone users from accessing Google Maps in the browser

Daniel Bader

January 4, 2013 4:35 pm

Hundreds of tweets and forum posts have, over the last few hours, claimed what we’ve independently confirmed: it’s not currently possible to access Google Maps from within Windows Phone’s Internet Explorer browser. Attempting to visit maps.google.com or even maps.google.ca result in a redirect to the company’s search page. The issue is not present on Android or iOS.

Microsoft, over the past few months, has publicly sparred with Google over its shutting down of Exchange Activesync support at the end of January. Microsoft expressed “disappointment” in the action and implored any affected users to transition to Outlook.com, its new (and excellent) mail offering. By turning off Activesync access (which applies to all platforms, not just Microsoft’s), Windows Phone users will not be able to sync Google contacts or calendars. Because Microsoft has yet to implement CalDAV and CardDAV support in its mobile OS, users will be out of luck by the end of the month. Apple, on the other hand, will be unaffected by the change as it implemented the new calendar and contact sync standards in its latest version and has push support for mail via a native app. Android users, of course, will suffer no such issues with sync as their phones tie directly into Google’s activation servers.

While it’s currently assumed that the redirect is a bug and not the status quo going forward, we’ve yet to hear from Google on the issue. Microsoft also claimed that Google continues to prevent Windows Phone users from accessing important YouTube metadata, crippling the mobile experience for its user base. Google has yet to release native Maps or YouTube apps for Windows Phone and, if recent comments are any indication, doesn’t plan to anytime soon.

Via: The Verge

  • Vengefulspirit99

    hopefully this is a bug or I can see this being a crippling drawback

    • LOL

      Looks like Windows users just got “BINGED”!

      Gosh! these days making jokes about windows trying to reSurface and RIM’s CEO trying to keep up with the NBA season and their youtube videos makes being cynical about them anfair and Almost too easy….almost!

    • JUST SAYING

      I always say buy Android devices

    • JUST SAYING

      you know what, USE Apple map hahahahahaha

    • TheMightyFinder

      @LOL: That was pun-tastic! And now, I see that Microsoft has a Window of opportunity to blame Google.

    • Justa Notherguy

      There’s no flaw, here…unless you consider it a ‘bug’ that Microsoft insists upon selling devices that don’t play nice with free apps built using open-source utilities and firmware..

      While maps.google.com is built around WebKit, the WindowsPhone version of Internet Explorer is not. Thus, the full Web version of Maps has never officially supported IE on WP.

      The real questions is this: did Google purposefully break their full Maps site for non-WebKit browsers or did Microsoft break IE’s compatibility with WebKit apps? Hard to be sure..

      Meanwhile, we know Google have said they aren’t planning to build WP-native apps. And it’s pretty clear they see no need to create and maintain WP-specific pages or APIs.

      So, we have a choice: We can blame Microsoft for being stubborn and selfish — they seem to be saying that the rest of the world has to go along with WP’s proprietary design.

      …or we can blame Google for being stubborn and selfish — seems they don’t want to spend time & money making custom firmware for the 6th-place mobile operating system. :-)
      .

    • Keith

      @Justa Notherguy

      You’re commenting on something you know nothing about. Accessing maps.google.com worked just fine until Google started deliberately redirecting today. But they forgot about the maps.google.co.uk so it was still working there but now Google has also blocked that site. They are total dickheads.

    • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack

      The bug is Internet Explorer. Apparently, it doesn’t explore the internet very well.

      Google helped Apple with Maps. Don’t blame Google for Microsoft delivering a substandard product. Microsoft has been doing this since day one. “And one more thing. They don’t have taste!” ~Steve Jobs

  • GlassBackBadIdea

    If people buy Windows phones, why do they insist on using Google maps? Since they like Microsoft, go use Bing maps

    • Morgan Freeman Lookalike

      Why buy a WP8 anyways? Has noone here EVER used Internet Explorer? Like.. why would you want Internet Explorer in your pocket?

      DO WP8 people have literally no technological IQ whatsoever?

    • Tom

      But that isn’t really the Google way (to block access). I hope this is just a mistake and Google isn’t becoming more like Apple & MS.

      Regarding calendar and contact sync though I understand Google’s position. They want users to sync using open standards, rather then using a proprietary technology that they have to pay MS to license. This is only for new customers and doesn’t apply to business users with paid Google accounts. In this case I think MS are being the dick-heads (in their reaction) and should consider implementing the standards.

    • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack

      @Glassfrontgoodidea

      I like your comments.

    • noknok

      Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive & Nokia Transit have made me forget that Google Maps exists

  • John

    And Google became Apple, the very company they were “fighting” for the good of the consumer.

    • get out

      You’re a r3tard.

    • Justa Notherguy

      Seems to me it’s as much Microsoft’s fault as anybody’s.

      Last time I checked, Internet Explorer for WP is the **only** mobile browser that doesn’t fully support WebKit…and you need WebKit support to use the full Google Maps site.

      Certainly isn’t Google’s fault that Microsoft gives their WindowsPhone users a proprietary browser without full WebKit compatibility, plus no way to install an optional browser.
      .

  • kenypowa

    Let them using Bing.

    Seriously why would anyone use WP8?

    • jplunks

      Because windows phone had evolved itself into a treat. Setting to past 3rd as a real competitor, android feels that they want to stay on top as they are comfortable with apple playing 2nd. They would rather run a 2 man race vs a 3 man race.

    • LOL

      I got mine from work!
      At the begining I thought I got screwed, but now I see I just got Binged.

      Its not that bad actually, the basic apps are there, and the battery life is alright, the maps don’t work, and I got a blue phone, so people think that I have a Nokia-symbian. the Hipsters and their thick rim-glasses and scarfs love it when I take mine at starbucks. ( I just don’t tell them that I was looking for the second cup on Bing maps and they dont attack me with ironic comments)

    • John Marshall

      Because iPhones are overpriced and overrated and Android is a deranged operating system that’ll leave me behind on updates after a few weeks?

      And also because it’s a pleasure to watch scoffers go “Haha why would anyone use Windows Phone 8?” while I enjoy never having to charge my phone over an entire weekend and not having to download a bunch of things to peel off the hideous skins most Android phones come with?

      Bing Maps/Nokia Maps is a corking good maps system, as well. At least we’re not being dicked around by Apple Maps or anything.

    • Blas

      I opted for an HTC 8S since it offered a very nice piece of hardware with the basic functionalities I was looking for at a very nice pricepoint.
      There were no comparable Android based handsets at the same price with anywhere near the same level of competency. I would have to have suffered slow performance, with 1 day battery life for the price of Google services and some addition apps I would never use.

    • Glitch

      @briggs – you look really good with egg all over your face, sir. How does it feel to be “completely incorrect”, as you put it?

  • Plazmic Flame

    I understand if Google decides to not make native apps for the platform, that’s fine. It’s their choice at the end of the day.

    If they’re really blocking it in the browser, that’s a real d*** move.

    • Justa Notherguy

      There’s no ‘blocking’?

      WindowsPhone users are merely redirected to the Google Maps mobile site. If they prefer to use the full Web version (maps.google.com), all they have to do is use a WebKit-enabled browser.

      Far as I know, Internet Explorer for WP is the only mobile browser that doesn’t fully support WebKit. It’s not Google’s fault that Microsoft gives WP users no way to use an optional browser.
      .

    • briggs

      @ Justa Notherguy and all others that are talking about this being a webkit issue. You are completely incorrect.

      explorer 10 on windows phone uses the same rendering engine as the desktop version, which loads maps just fine enough. Furthermore, if this were a webkit issue, Firefox would be having the same problem (which it is not). FIrefox uses Gecko, not webkit.

      This is some grade A nonsense from Google. They’ve been pulling stuff like this in other, smaller, avenues of their business for a while. Looks like they’re finally taking the gloves off and hitting harder.

  • rockfish

    Just use HERE Maps.

    • LOL

      Where??

  • bobfreeze

    Bad enough for someone with a Nokia WP (with a decent app suite of their own), but much worse for someone with a non-Nokia WP.

  • Arber

    I just wanted to say Google has no obligation to provide support to windows phone users. Microsoft is a competitor so I believe Google has the right to deny Windows Phone Users access to their services.

    • Darth Paton

      And yet Microsoft is obligated to advertise chrome as a Browser choice on Windows. Also keep in mind that although these people have purchased Windows phones, they are still Google’s customers

    • jplunks

      Well when MS strikes back when there bans and loyalties I wonder what Droid users will say?

    • Keith

      If that was the case then Microsoft should have the right to deny Google services on Windows. But neither should be deliberately blocking or throttling the services of the either but Google is doing that for several of their services and they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

    • John Marshall

      By that logic, you’d still be using Apple Maps.

  • Frederick Edwards

    Google does this for all Windows Phone users who try and access full services. This includes YouTube, Google Account, Google Maps, etc. You will be directed to a mobile website with limited capacity and not have access to full services like Google Account details or its Security features.

    Google cripples Windows Phone users yet, there are no such restrictions using the exact same browser from the desktop.
    Glad someone is finally outing their practices. There is no bug.

  • Thai

    Window’s Phone’s “INTERNET EXPLORER BROWSER”… I think that sums it up. Internet Exploder probably can’t process the site correctly anyways.

  • Darth Paton

    Google is incredibly childish if you ask me. They don’t like Microsoft so now they take it out on their own customers, people who freely decide to use their services? And why even bother? I highly doubt that windows phone sales are disrupting Google’s Android sales. I honestly don’t care, the only Google service I use is Youtube, but it bothers me that Google would show such disregard to its own customers.

    • mmathieum

      Google will port its services to every major platforms.

      Windows Phone is not a major platform as of right now.

      Google can’t spend money developing a native app and adapting its website to every single OS and browser engine.

  • Down Like Pacquiao

    “Don’t be evil” is the motto for Google… Way to keep it classy

  • Hilman

    I heard it could affect all 14 WP users lol.

    • Oi

      And not a single “thumb up” was given that day…

      :D

    • W

      Wait until MS pulls the same s**t by blocking Google-anything on Windows platforms, including the search engine. Yes, you will switch to ChromeOS…or MacOS…Linux-anything? Oh wait, you won’t.

    • Dalex

      Try Ubuntu. It wipes the floor with any crappy Windows OS anyway. The only one that wasn’t half bad is Windows 7. Windows 8 is pure crap.

      Also, I’d just love to see MS block Google Chrome on PCs That would be an amazing move on their part. It would really push Windows adoption *rolls eyes*

  • Simble

    There is a 3rd party gmaps app in the windows marketplace, works well.

    It’s already difficult to view google search results in windows phone, not sure if that’s google or Microsofts doing

  • BB King

    I have a Windows based Nokia Lumia 900 and have NEVER used Google’s inferior maps. Both Bing Maps and Nokia Maps are far superior!

  • rl

    Yawn, Nokia maps are fine.

  • hotcar

    i honestly am not buying a andorid phone other than a nexus(maybe). They failed to update my atrix 4g(well Motorola did that) but its become a problem. Just look at the Samsung galaxy s1 which is still on 2.3.6,my point is andorid is fail when it comes to updates and i will most likely switch to blackberry 10.

  • Gsizzle

    Title made me lol.

  • ile2010

    Time to ditch Google completely.

  • Nathan

    Works fine on my Lumia 920.

    Never attribute malice to what can be explained by incompetence.

  • Myles

    Haven’t used a Google service other than Youtube since Windows 8 came out. Hopefully I can keep it that way.

  • rich

    What do you people expect. They are direct competitors in more ways than apple is. I mean they both have mobile OS, search engines, Maps, Browsers, plus I probably forgot a few. Does Ford let GM use there technology in GM cars.

  • Paul

    Isnt there nokia maps on windows phones? If so why wouldyou want to use Google Maps?

  • EvanK

    Seriously, Google? That’s pretty low.

  • DrBadass

    April fools Windows!!!? Oh wait.

  • cayote

    Google is becoming more evil. I’m glad not to use anymore of their moonlighting products.

  • glonq

    When bad things happen to bad people, it’s good, right?

    Besides, they can just use Bing maps

  • TouchMyBox

    The quicker windows phone dies the better.

    • W

      YAY to less competition! /s

  • DaveB

    I’ve never used Google Maps on my Windows Phone, never had the need to.

    But it does prove that Google is now the Evil Empire. They’ve come so far from their roots, such a shame.

  • Phone user

    WHY DOOESNT THE COMMENTS WORK ON A PHONE FOR THIS WEBSITE?

    MOBILESYRUP FIX THAT PROBLEM FIRST!

    • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack

      What phone r u using and what software level r u at? Communication is key. I’m commenting from a phone that works. Nexus S, Jelly Bean 4.2.

  • Dinko

    To those asking why would anyone use something other than Nokia or Bing maps… it’s because those two are worse than Apple maps.
    I had to use Google Search to find the exact address of a large Montreal shopping mall 2km away from me because none of Nokia Maps, Bing Maps nor Bing Search were able to find it! It’s only with the exact postal code that Nokia Maps was able to properly direct me.
    With a name search, Nokia Maps found an entry with a somewhat similar name… in western Turkey! Bing couldn’t find a single entry.

    I love my Lumia. Fast and zippy, incredible call quality, MS Office, has everything else I need from a phone… but if I need maps, I tether my iPod to the Lumia. It’s faster and more accurate.

    • phreezerburn

      Funny that traveling from Thunder Bay to Vancouver I’ve never had a single issue with Nokia’s Drive, Maps or City View which I used to picked the door to park near in malls to be closest to the store I’m interested in. I also tracked down a tiny vintage clothing store for my daughter in Regina’s old shops district which took all of about two minutes using thick fingers to type-retype on the Lumia 800’s small screen.

  • len

    I love how everyone says that WP8 is crap…
    You know what, there are other OS’s out there and if people like it that’s fine.

    Just because people choice of product isn’t good is offensive how?

    And everyone that says WP should die…
    When has less competition been good for anyone?

    Thanks to iOS, Andriod, WP and BB10 we will see continuous improvement in each OS.

    They will take ideas form each other… So just because you don’t like a particular OS or your a fanboy of a particular OS doesn’t mean your right.

    If that’s the only thing you can bring to the conversation, maybe you should revaluate your point of view

  • LeafsFan77

    I see an anti-trust lawsuit coming.

  • rick

    I just like to say that I have been running my home computers on Windows software for at least 20 years.

    Over that time, all my Windows software have been pirated and I never paid anything to Microsoft.

    Thank you Microsoft.

  • Kathleen Canning

    I don’t see where I can enter the contest.

  • Nathen

    You People should listen to your selfs.
    Apple and Windows would love nothing MORE then to have GOOGLE go away and leave the mobile space, remember the NorteL deal ?
    I don’t see ANY reason why GOOGLE should go out of there way to appease APPLE and MS.
    I mean really ? are you people that Dumb ?
    You Think Steve Ballmer wants to place Nice with anyone else let alone Google ? LMAO
    Google should be what is best for Google. If MS does not like it then OH WELL , too bad. Besides just like the APPLE MAPS fiasco MS simply wants what GOOGLE has for the time being untill they can do there own services at wich point they will Kick out Google faster then you can Blink.

    I support you GOOGLE. Stay the course and take care of your own Users. Forget MS and APPLE, they can do there work and take care off there OWN usrs. Thank you very much.

  • NorOntByndWrlss

    @Justa Notherguy As someone who sells a fair amount of Windows phone I can see that you do not know what you are talking about. There are several lesser know browser that you can download on a Windows phone.

  • phreezerburn

    gMaps Pro and Metro Tube are working great right this minute.

  • JJJ

    At least it’s better than Google blocking access to the Nexus 4 for paying customers. I hear the fix may take 6 weeks.

  • Michael

    F google.

  • mmathieum

    Google Maps mobile website is only optimized for webkit browsers (Chrome, Safari…).

    The Google Maps desktop website is not usable on any mobile OS: even on Google’s Android OS you have to fake the user-agent to access Google Maps desktop website and it doesn’t work very well… requires Flash for Street View…

    Google will put its web services on any significant OS and Windows Phone market share is to low now for Google to spend money adapting Google Maps mobile website to IE or to develop a native app.

  • babablacksheep

    But I thought Google was so great, Android is the best ever, and that they could do no wrong according to all the Android sheep here?

    So now everyone is giving thumbs up to how evil Google is all of a sudden? You Fandroids are such bandwagon jumpers, further proof that you are all sheep.

    Google proved years ago they were evil, and you just realize this now?

    Baaaaaa run along now sheep, there’s a new bandwagon passing by.

    Baaaaaaaaa. Thumb me down, that will only prove how right I am

    • GENERAL WONG

      stfu you piece of garbage

    • caribouroader

      Showing some real class GW :(

    • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack

      @babablacksheep

      I will double thumb up you in person and you will like it.

  • robbers

    That’s a really cheap move Google. Now I have a bad image of you guys

  • blackkey

    Good, the native maps app on WP8 is better than the Google maps mobile site anyway.

  • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack

    Seriously, Microsoft does not have taste. They failed with their Zune MP3 because they don’t love music.

  • jon

    just wondering, does any Android user use Bing maps?