Google Working on Removing Google Maps Redirect For Windows Phone Users
Yesterday there was a huge uproar over Google blocking Maps.Google.com for Windows Phone users, which resulted in the service not being usable in the platforms’ browser.
Instead Windows Phone users were redirected to the Google Homepage. Rumor was that Google was purposely redirecting users, since if you spoofed the browser user agent but just misspelled ‘Windows Phone’, the site would work just fine in the Internet Explorer Mobile browser. Turns out it was in fact, a conscious decision by Google, and they are now working to rectify the situation for Windows Phone 8 users. The company provided a statement clarifying the situation, and blamed performance, stating that earlier versions of Windows Phone didnt perform great with Google Maps in the browser, and as a result they had decided to redirect users. However Google found that the latest Internet explorer was up to par with handling the service after all, and is working to remove the redirection:
[quote_simple]“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.”[/quote_simple]
So basically, according to Google, they didnt meant to hurt a competing platform, they just wanted to have a certain level of service for their products, heh.
I just tried Maps.Google.com in Internet Explorer on the Lumia 920, and it still redirected to m.Google.com, so it appears they’re not fixed it quite yet. Personally I dont see the issue, since Windows Phone does have Nokia’s Maps powering the default app now, but it’s always nice to have more than one mapping solution on a phone, heh.