Google's Working To Bring Its Maps Back To Windows Phone After A Whole Bunch Of Weirdness

After a bit of craziness yesterday where the mobile version of Google Maps stopped working for Windows Phone 8 users, Google has clarified/changed its story. According to reports by The Next Web, Google Maps mobile is coming back after all.

Initially, Google explained the absence of the mobile app on Windows Phone 8 by saying that the mobile app was optimised for WebKit browsers like Chrome and Safari, but not Internet Explorer. Now Google's saying the redirect was the result of a performance test, and as a result of another one, they're working towards bringing the app back. Google's statement on the issue is as follows:

We periodically test Google Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure we deliver the best experience for those users.

In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality. As a result, we chose to continue to redirect IE mobile users to Google.com where they could at least make local searches. The Firefox mobile browser did offer a somewhat better user experience and that's why there is no redirect for those users.

Recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps now deliver a better experience and we are currently working to remove the redirect. We will continue to test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience for users.

It's definitely a good thing that Windows Phone 8 users will be getting their Google Maps back, but the way this whole thing went down has been profoundly weird. Hopefully everything will play nice from here on out. At least for a little while. [The Next Web]


Comments

    Dear Google,
    No thank you.
    Regards,
    95% iOS users and 99.9% of WP8 users

      What a shame. Nokia maps is faaaaaaaaaaaaaar better and more accurate than Google maps anyway.

        unless you live in Australia and happen to need public transport information. . .
        Nokia transport only recently had any data at all and currently its still really dumb in comparison to G-Maps.

          There are much better public transport app options than Google Maps.

            Not that I have found if you live in Perth WA. Everything either pulls up either limited or no data on the wp store, I'd know, I have tried almost every public transport app there is on the store

              Do they even have public transport in Perth? Surely you can walk everywhere you need to go, it's such a tiny place.

                so thinks ms and nokia too apparently

      What do you mean 95% of iOS users? Wasn't Google Maps for iOS the fastest downloaded app ever?

        Yes, with all the media attention, a couple percent of all iOS users downloaded it in the first 48 hours. (I know I did) i was being generous with 5%. Assuming eventually 10% of iOS users will one day download it and of that, half will continue to use it. (I won't)

          Wow....great statistics....pity they're part of the eleventy % made up...

            Google claimed 10 million downloads in 48 hours. This is out of over 350 million iOS devices. Downloads don't equal users. With all the Samsung carry on. I'm happy keeping google well away from my lumia.

              And how many since? And how many over the next few months as people realise it's available?

              Demand is not measured in 48 hours. That's pent-up demand and early adopters. Keep Google away from your Lumia if you wish, that doesn't mean everyone else will for their iPhone where Apple Maps is quite clearly inferior.

    Utter bullshit. Google are actively giving a shitty product to WP users. Hell my IE10 mobile doesn't even show a touch optimised gmail page, it's the same crap you'd get on an old dumphone.

    Do no evil Google? Sure, if you say so.

    Utter rubbish Google. Multi-touch, zoom and even street view worked for me when visiting several work around URLs. Not as good as Nokia Maps, but it still worked fine.

    Surely this is the greatest non-issue of all time? What WinPhone user would even think of using Google Maps anyway? If it hadn't been reported by journalists with nothing else to do, I doubt anyone would ever have noticed.

      No, it's definitely an issue.
      Google Maps has Street View. No others do.
      Google Maps also offer a significantly higher-resolution satellite view compared to Nokia maps (unsure about others).
      Google are giving Microsoft the short end of the stick since Google's services are available on Android, iOS, all desktop browsers etc, but specifically don't work with IE10 in WP8.

        Who needs street view on a mobile device? Once you get to the street, you can see it for yourself. Streetview is entertaining when you are stuck in an office all day but I can't imagine finding a use for it in a phone. And Nokia's maps are pretty much exactly the same resolution as Google, at least in populated areas (where it matters). Nokia have been doing this for much, much longer than Google and do it better. 4 out of 5 new European cars have Nokia powered sat-nav.

          The argument was: if I can access Google Maps with Street View on iOS, Android, Macs, Win PCs, Linux using Firefox, IE, Chrome, Opera - almost anything - why then, specifically, was WP8 IE10 actively blocked based on the WP8 IE10 browser's user agent string? It shouldn't have been blocked in the first place, and comments like "who needs street view on a mobile device?" are completely beside the point.

          I use street view on my mobile all the time. I check if there's suitable parking on-street at my destination (like looking out for no-park zones, avoiding steep hills for my motorbike etc). I could see what someone's driveway looks like if the houses aren't numbered or it's too dark. Just recently out for lunch with my grandparents, I showed them what their old house now looks like with Street View. You mightn't have a use for it yourself, but many others like myself do.

          Now that Google Maps (mobile site) is available on WP8 IE10, I've compared the satellite images for Brisbane CBD side by side with Nokia Maps, and Google's are significantly higher resolution by a long shot, allowing a much higher & crisper zoom level. Obviously we want use the best option available, & that title goes to Google's offering for the time being. (Nokia's vector maps however are fantastic)

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