Google Maps to insert Street View into mobile Web app

In what will most likely attract iPhone users disgruntled with Apple's map app, the tech giant plans to announce this week the addition of Street View to its Google Maps Web app.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
Street View on Google's Android map app. Google

In the midst of Apple's iOS 6 map debacle, Google is looking to strengthen its grip on mobile maps.

According to AllThingsD, the Web giant is planning to announce the debut of Street View images to its mobile Google Maps Web app this week. The news comes from AllThingsD's Walt Mossberg's review on Google Maps for Android.

Here's more from Mossberg:

"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."

When Apple opted to boot Google Maps from its recent iOS 6 -- essentially forcing customers to use its own native app -- many users got up in arms. Complaints about Apple Maps include inaccurate data, lack of details, distorted images, and erroneous directions.

Apple could have kept Google's more reliable and mature mobile mapping app, but it made a strategic decision about something it needed to own and monetize. Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the growing furor over the beleaguered map app and said he was "extremely sorry" for the frustration felt by customers and vowed to improve the program.

In his apology, Cook pointed users to its competitors' apps, including Bing, MapQuest, Waze maps apps, or using Google or Nokia's map Web sites while the company works to improve its own app.

It seems that Google is now jumping in at just the right time -- upping its Web version of Google Maps -- to show that it will continue to strive to have the most user-friendly and reliable mapping system.

There isn't any news yet of Google releasing a maps app for iOS, however. And even if it does, it could still find ways to differentiate the Android version, such as including newer features or broader capabilities.

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