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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is finally said to be working on a maps app targeted at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) users unhappy with the forced change, but it is unlikely to be released before the year’s end. Apple’s announcement in June to replace Google Maps starting with iOS 6 with its own home-grown program apparently came as a complete surprise for the search company, which had a full year left on its latest contract with the iPhone maker. Since then, Google has been working on developing a standalone maps application, but it only plans to finish it by the end of the year, The New York Times said.
Publicly, Google has denied working on a new maps app for iOS devices, with company chairman Eric Schmidt even saying in Tokyo on Tuesday that they had no plans of submitting any such program to Apple’s app store yet. “It would have been better if they kept our maps,” Schmidt said in response to a question. “But what do I know?”
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Apple’s new application has not received any plaudits from its device users or tech reviewers, since it offers no inbuilt public transit options and is said to be riddled with several data inaccuracies and mislabeled landmarks.
Apart from the fact that Google was taken aback by Apple’s decision, the programming delay has also been attributed to the fact that the search company would prefer releasing an app that includes 3-D imagery comparable to Apple’s. However, Google’s 3-D imagery exists in the separate standalone app, Google Earth, and combining the distinct coding will take some time, The NYT added.
According to The Wall Street Journal, maps contract renewal talks between the two companies broke down over disagreements related to issues of branding, turn-by-turn navigation details, and Google’s interest in including new features such as Latitude.
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