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Google Maps on its way to iOS?

Another alternative to Apple Maps is just a few months away, according to new reports

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is making progress on its iOS Maps app, and are now in the external testing phase. The app will reportedly be submitted to the App Store soon.

“Google has distributed a test version of its new mapping app that will work on Apple’s iPhones and iPads to some individuals outside the company, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Google has been putting the finishing touches on the app before submitting it for approval to the Apple iTunes store, this person said, though it is unclear exactly when that will happen.”

Unlike the previous version of Google Maps for iPhone, it is expected that the standalone app for iOS will include free turn-by-turn navigations, similar to those offered on Android phones. Currently, Apple’s own turn-by-turn navigation system is one of the few free options for users.

Many users were disappointed by Apple’s choice to remove Google Maps from the iPhone and iPad with the release of iOS 6, and the standalone app from Google has been called for ever since. Some Google employees have spoken about how they are pessimistic about the app being published to the App Store, but with Apple still working to improve its own mapping services, the Cupertino company may be forced to allow the app through the Store to appease its customers.