Yesterday the interwebs went crazy over Google blocking Windows Phone from using their Maps application the web browser. Instead users were redirected to the Google homepage, quite frustrating was that this appeared to be a conscious decision on half of Google. Turns out that was the case and a recent development has been made to rectify the situation for Windows Phone 8 users attempting to access Google Maps on their devices.
In a statement with The Next Web, a Google spokesperson clarified the situation surrounding Google Maps access with Windows Phone and other platforms. The main culprit according to Google was performance. Google stated that earlier versions of Windows Phone didn’t perform to their expectations and resulted in a redirect to the homepage. However, they appear to be fixing this soon for Windows Phone 8 devices as the Mountain View company has found Internet Explorer to be up to par with handling their web app.
Here is the full statement from Google:
“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.”
In the eyes of Google, their decision to restrict access to Windows Phone users wasn’t out of hurting a competition platform, but instead to provide a certain level of service to their products. Take that as you will, it could just be PR talk as Windows Phone 8 has been out for some time.
Currently, you still can’t access Google Maps on a Windows Phone from the web browser, but when they rectify the situation we’ll be sure to let you know.
What do you think? Is Google just trying to avoid bad PR?
Source: The Next Web