Google is developing a standalone maps application for iPhone and iPad that is likely to be launched by the year end, the New York Times has reported.
Apparently, Apple had a contract for one year with Google Maps when it made the decision to replace the app with a proprietary solution, resulting in a very little notice to the search giant to develop a standalone version that could run on iOS 6.
Earlier, in an interview with Reuters Tuesday, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said the company was yet to build any standalone application.
Apple's proprietary mapping solution that was introduced at the WWDC drew widespread criticism subsequently for the faulty address and nomenclature of places.
Apparently, Apple's decision to introduce a new mapping system with iOS 6 and iPhone 5 followed a disparity in features of the mapping application between the Android and iOS versions.
The New York Times report also goes on to add how Google was not aware of Apple's decision until it publicly announced in June that it would replace the app with its new maps app. Google is said to be navigating the business relationship with Apple that has become tricky by the day.
Reportedly, Google may prefer to release an app that includes 3-D imagery so it is comparable with Apple. But Google comes with 3-D images in Google Earth application, which has a different code base from Google Maps, so it may take time to combine the two.
Google Maps VP Brian McClendon has told The Verge he's committed to offering Google Maps on all platforms, indicating that an iOS app will eventually appear.