Google is enjoying the moment, but it needs to land a native Maps app soon
The Apple iOS Maps saga continues to unfold and, while it's still unclear how much of the blame for the current situation goes to Google, the company seems to be trying to help iOS users stuck with the inferior maps app.The latest move, which hasn't been confirmed yet, is enabling Street View on its mobile maps site. The feature had been available on the desktop site and the native apps so far, but not on the mobile website.
The feature will be available to anyone with a smartphone, of course, but the target here are obviously Apple fans, which were left without Street View, not to mention reliable map data, since the jump to iOS 6.
Google does benefit from all the bad publicity Apple is getting, regardless of what Apple fanbois will tell you.
Samsung Galaxy SIII sales jumped after the Apple lawsuit verdict and after the iPhone 5 was launched, despite Apple winning the lawsuit.
This time around, Apple is clearly being portrayed as the bad guy, and the fact that people can see that Apple's map app is worse than Google Maps, even if the difference isn't as big as the hype would suggest, only helps to reinforce the idea that Apple can't be the best at everything and that there are other companies out there who can make products just as good or better than Apple.
That said, while Street View on the website is a great stop-gap solution and it helps people remember what they're missing out on, Google needs to land a Maps app on iOS sooner rather than later. That is, of course, if Apple allows it in the App Store.
You can be sure though that Google is working on a native iOS Maps app. While it may enjoy seeing Apple squirm, people will get used to the new app and few will use the web version of Google Maps regularly. Google stands to lose more than Apple by not having Google Maps on iOS.