Rejoice, Google Maps lovers on Windows Phone, because you should be regaining access to the mobile web version of the service soon. One day after Windows Phone users found that they were redirected to Google's home page when trying to access Google Maps in their device's browser, Google has told The Next Web this redirect was the put in place because the mobile version of Internet Explorer "did not offer a good maps experience" in recent tests.
This new statement is different than the one given by Google yesterday that simply said that Windows Phone users were unable to access Google Maps because IE isn't a WebKit browser. Google now says that improvements made to IE and Google Maps provide an improved experience and that it's working to remove the redirect. Google's full 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."
While there are other options available to Windows Phone users in need of a mapping solution, including Microsoft's own Bing Maps, some users may prefer using Google's product. That's why it was a bummer to see that Windows Phone users were being redirected when trying to access mobile Google Maps in their browser, especially since users report that they were able to access Google Maps on their devices without issue before yesterday.
It's also worth noting that things have been rather tense between Google and Microsoft lately, which certainly didn't help this whole Google Maps in IE situation. The good news is that at least this part of the Google-Microsoft story is coming to a good (and swift) end, and Windows Phone users will soon have access to Google Maps in IE once again. Be sure to give us a shout in the comments below once you Windows Phone folk regain access to mobile Google Maps!
Via The Next Web