Doubts have surfaced about the possibility of a dedicated Google Maps app on iOS. That wouldn't be good news for people struggling with Apple Maps on their iOS devices. In an article by our esteemed Michael Grothaus in the Guardian today, Michael quotes some Google sources as saying they are "not optimistic" that Apple will ever approve a dedicated maps app, and the only reason they are working on one is in the "unlikely event" Apple puts Google Maps in the app store.
Apple Maps has been a mess for many, including Apple. It forced Tim Cook to apologize and apparently played a role in the firing of Scott Forstall, who headed the project. The Apple app has only a small percentage of the data that Google has collected over the years, and Apple Maps had missing buildings, roads that appeared to lead nowhere and a festival of other mistakes. The issues are generally worse outside the US.
I'm not so sure Apple wouldn't approve an unofficial Google Maps app. Cook already suggested users try other solutions while Apple works the kinks out of Apple Maps. He even suggested people use Google Maps via the Safari browser, but it's a sub-par solution.
With all the bad publicity, I wonder if Apple can risk the firestorm that would result in not letting customers have the Google app? Since Apple already allows several commercial Navigation apps, they might even allow Google to provide turn-by-turn directions, something Google previously did not want to let Apple have.