Google Maps is on the brink of returning to iPhone. The software giant has released a version of a standalone iOS application to a limited number of testers and it is believed that after some tweaks and finishing touches, the finished app will be submitted for Apple approval.

If there are no troubles with that process, it should be on the App Store soon. And there shouldn't be, because even though the Google Maps for iPhone app will be in direct competition with Apple's own much-criticised Maps software, the Cupertino rival has approved other Google apps of late. These include a YouTube portal needed when Apple removed integrated functionality with iOS 6.

The revelations come via The Wall Street Journal, which was told about Google's action plan by "a person with direct knowledge of the matter". The source didn't however reveal whether the new Google Maps application would be able to take over from Apple's own completely. For example, could it be set as the default maps tool for other apps to use? We suspect not.

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

The paper also believes that the new version of the app will include turn-by-turn navigation. It is spoken turn-by-turn navigation, and Google's refusal to add it to the original native app, that is being cited as the reason for the falling out between the technology giants in the first place.

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