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Google Maps for iPhone 5 is coming - but not until the end of the year

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Various sources have claimed that Google will have a Maps app ready for the iPhone 5 by the end of the year. This follows a widespread negative reaction to Apple’s decision to implement its own Maps app on iOS 6.

Yesterday we brought you the news that a Google Maps app for the iPhone 5 was a distinct possibility, but that the timing of its completion and release was uncertain.

Today that Google Maps app seems a whole lot more likely - but could be a couple of months away.

According to The Verge (which cites “two independent sources familiar with the matter”), Apple still had a year left on its Google Maps license when it revealed it would be implementing its own solution for iOS 6.

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This gave Google little time to start developing a stand-alone iOS app. The result: “an app which both sources say is still incomplete and currently not scheduled to ship for several months.”

It’s a view upheld by The New York Times, which claims that people pining for a Google Maps app for their iPhone or iPad “will get one eventually, but likely not for another couple months or so.”

The paper goes a little further than the previous report in describing its sources as “people involved with the effort” and claiming that Google is “seeking to finish by the end of the year.”

The sources agree that Google was caught off guard by Apple’s June announcement that it would be ditching Google Maps, which has led to a frantic scramble behind the scenes get something up and running on Apple hardware.

We might suggest that even a half-operational Google Maps would be an improvement on Apple’s Maps apps, but that would perhaps be a little unkind.

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