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Google homes in on Maps app for iOS 6, report says

The company is reportedly working on a Google Maps app, but there is rampant confusion over whether it was actually submitted for approval in the Apple App Store yet.

Google Maps in the browser in iOS.
Google Maps in the browser in iOS.
Matt Elliot/CNET

Google is planning to offer up its Maps application to iOS users, according to a new report.

The Guardian reported last night, citing sources, that Google is working on an application that will be available through Apple's App Store. That application will likely deliver the same Google Maps experience users had in previous versions of iOS.

Apple sent shockwaves through the mobile space earlier this year after announcing that it was removing Google Maps from iOS 6 and replacing it with its own Maps program. After iOS 6 launched earlier this week, Apple's software was quickly criticized for a host of errors and omissions, including missing cities, duplicated islands, and more.

That Google is working on a Maps application for iOS 6 seems to make sense. What doesn't make sense, though, are the rampant reports running across the Web suggesting Apple already has the Google Maps application in hand and might be slow to approve it.

The suggestion came from a tweet sent out yesterday by developer Steve Stroughton-Smith, who said that the Guardian's report "suggests they've heard that Google already submitted a Maps app to coincide with iOS 6." The developer then added a "yep," seeming to indicate that Google had, in fact, submitted the program to Apple. The Loop's Jim Dalrymple yesterday responded to that claim with a simple "nope," hinting that his sources have said Google hasn't submitted the program.

What's interesting about the debate is that the Guardian's report doesn't explicitly say that the application has been submitted to Apple. In fact, all the news outlet says is that Google is "preparing" the app. The report goes on to say that there might be "questions over whether Apple will approve it in the App Store," but that provides no evidence that the application has even been submitted to the iPhone maker.

Apple site 9to5Mac chimed in on the confusion, saying that its sources have confirmed an updated version of Google Maps is "awaiting approval" from Apple.

So, who's right? So far, neither Apple nor Google has offered up a statement on the matter. CNET has contacted both companies for comment, and we will update this story when we have more information.