The Google Maps on Windows Phone debacle looks like it will be resolved after all. Google now says that it is in fact planning to get rid of the redirect that’s preventing Windows Phone users from accessing the Google Maps website using Internet Explorer — "soon," even. Google provided The Verge with the following statement:
"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."
That’s quite a change from what we heard just yesterday — Google told us that the reason for the outage was because the company had not designed its mobile Google Maps site with Internet Explorer compatibility in mind. WebKit-based browsers like Google’s own Chrome and Apple’s Safari make up the vast majority of mobile browser traffic, so it’s reasonable for Google not to be spending an inordinate amount of time testing on Microsoft’s platform. The real issue was the decision to redirect IE mobile traffic to the main Google.com site, which obviously caught a lot of people unaware, further antagonizing Windows Phone users after the company removed Microsoft ActiveSync support last week. Needless to say, it’s great that Google Maps users on Windows Phone will get the service back, but we’re left scratching our heads about the whole passive-agressive back-and-forth.
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