Google Street View goes live on mobile Web maps for iOS
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is rolling out its Street View technology to its maps application for the mobile Web, with the feature now live in most supported areas of the world, according to AppleInsider.
Street View presents interactive, 360-degree images of roadways across the globe, enabling users to view photos of homes, businesses and landmarks from a sidewalk-level perspective. Street View was a component of Google Maps services pre-installed on past Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS devices, but with competitive tensions between the two mobile giants mounting, Apple dumped preloaded Google services like Maps and YouTube from its new iOS 6, rolling out its own mapping effort developed in-house.
Apple Maps has so far failed to match the standard established by Google Maps, however--customers have cited numerous errors and inconsistencies, prompting some iPhone users to stop using the service in favor of accessing Google Maps data via their device's Safari browser. Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a public apology for the new Maps service, admitting "We fell short" on meeting customer expectations and suggesting that consumers consider alternative mapping technologies like Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing, Waze or MapQuest, or "use Google or Nokia (NYSE:NOK) maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their Web app."
The current status of a native Google Maps app for iOS is unknown. Last week, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said the company has not taken any steps to submit a native solution to Apple's App Store but added the two companies are in constant communication "at all kinds of levels." Schmidt said that any decision on Google Maps' return to iOS or approval of a native app is in Apple's hands. "We think it would have been better if they had kept ours," he said. "But what do I know? What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It's their call."
The New York Times reports Google is indeed at work on a Maps app for iOS, although it is unlikely to surface for at least several months. Sources said Google was blindsided by Apple's move to end their mapping relationship and did not begin work on a native Maps app until after Apple publicly announced its own mapping service this June. In addition, Google is rumored to be readying a Google Maps with 3D imagery comparable to Apple's, but its own 3D technology exists separate from its Google Maps database as part of the Google Earth service, and combining the two will take considerable time and effort.
- read this AppleInsider article
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