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Google's iOS maps app reportedly getting 'finishing touches'

Google is prepping a version of its Maps app for iOS, according to a new report.

Citing a person with "direct knowledge" of the search giant's plans, the Wall Street Journal has reported that Google is "putting the finishing touches" on an iOS Maps app.

The paper did not know when the app would be submitted to Apple. Whether or not Cupertino will approve the app for inclusion in its store, meanwhile, is anyone's guess.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but told the Journal that its goal is to make its mapping service available across all devices and platforms.

Apple's Maps app has been a bit of a sore subject at the company lately. It replaced the built-in Google Maps app with iOS 6, but users quickly found that it was largely inaccurate and lacked key features found on Google's app, like Street View and public transit navigation.

Amidst the uproar, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the unusual step of apologising for the release of a lacklustre app. According to reports, former iOS chief Scott Forstall refused to sign that apology, prompting his dismissal.

At this point, Google has released an update to its browser-based version of Maps for Safari, which lets users access Street View. But it has thus far been coy about the possibility of an iOS Maps app. In late September, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said Google had no immediate plans for such an app.