The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is putting the finishing touches on their native Maps app for iOS. Were Apple to accept the app, it would compete directly with the company’s own mapping software that comes preinstalled with iOS 6.

According to the report, people outside of Google are now using a test copy of Google Maps for iOS. When that process is completed, the app will be submitted to Apple for approval.

A Google spokesman said:

We believe Google Maps are the most comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps in the world. Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system.

Google Maps was the backbone behind Apple’s Maps app prior to the launch of iOS 6 in September. The current iOS app, which was developed by Apple, TomTom, and Waze, has been heavily criticized almost from the start. This criticism lead Apple CEO Tim Cook to apologize for making a product that “fell short” of the company’s commitment to make world-class products. Since then, Apple has made some noticeable improvements to the app.

The version currently being developed by Google is said to include turn-by-turn navigation, which is often cited as one of the reasons Apple changed the native Maps app in iOS 6. Previously versions had not included this feature, due to “various disagreements between the companies over other aspects of the Apple-controlled app.”

Earlier this month, The Guardian reported, “sources at Google,” were “not optimistic” that the company’s own Maps app would ever be approved by Apple. Stay tuned.

Source: The Wall Street Journal