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Google courts Apple developers with new Google Maps tools

Google updates its iOS developer tools so that any developer can integrate Google Maps into the apps they produce.

Screenshot by Donna Tam/CNET

Google has updated its developer tools so that any iOS developer can access its Google Maps data and integrate the features into apps.

The updated software developer kit, or SDK, is now available to all iOS developers, not just developers the company had previously granted access to, Google developer advocate Paul Saxman said in a video demonstrating the new tools.

The new version includes support for ground overlays, gesture control, and geodesic polylines. Giving access to all developers may mean that more third-party app developers will choose to use Google's mapping data instead of Apple's.

The two companies continue to tussle over their mapping apps. Apple kicked Google Maps out of the App Store during the iOS 6 debut in September and replaced it with its own Maps app as the default program for iOS. Shortly after, Apple Maps users found that the maps had missing locations, faulty images, bad directions, and a host of other glitches.

Apple fessed up to its Maps mess and Scott Forstall, Apple's iOS software chief, was reportedly fired over the Maps fiasco after refusing to sign a letter apologizing for the flaws in the app.

Google introduced a standalone app for iOS in December.

(Via Ars Technica)