Windows Phone users can once again access Google Maps

Google has made good on its word and has lifted the block that was preventing Windows Phone users from accessing Google maps via the phones IE browser. Google initially claimed that it was blocking all non-Webkit browsers from accessing the service as they said it offered a poor user experience.

Whatever the true motive behind Google's blocking of Windows Phone users from accessing the service is still a mystery, for those that need the service, you can now do so via your Windows Phone.

While we do wonder if Google only caved after public backlash, it was a bold move on their part to intentionally block a competitors product. The timing of the move was also interesting as well as the move came directly after Google escaped the FTC with relatively no wounds. 

Knowing that Google has now restored the access is a good move on their part but it does raise concern if and when we will see Google try and take similar actions again. We can be sure that the ecosystem wars are only getting hotter and this move by Google could foreshadow the future of the web. 

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29 Comments

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I just used Nokia Drive/Maps, why would I need to bother with a web based version of google.

I mean, google maps is great and all, but so is the built in tools, and the turn-by-turn navigation with offline maps are extremely convenient.

Damn...if people are that desperate for google products just get an android phone Oo

What API's did Microsoft close on you? If they never released an API to the public, you bitching about that fact is retarded. Had they released a public API and shut it down like douchebaggy Google did then that's another thing...

...and any WP user that trusts Google and starts to use their site again, should be smacked upside the head.

Even if Bing isn't something you like, there is the Nokia mapping site and several others that provide better features and are more accurate.

Having not used Google Maps ever before on my Windows Phone Samsung Focus... I tried it during the "redirect" time period, and was redirected. Now, when I try it, I'm not redirected, but.. wow, the experience is not that good. Zooming in/out can only be achieved by a long-tap on the page, followed by a "cancel" tap anywhere outside the long-tap-dialog, followed by a precise-tap on the text "Zoom In" or "Zoom Out". Not the best experience.

PUC_Snakeman said,
Having not used Google Maps ever before on my Windows Phone Samsung Focus... I tried it during the "redirect" time period, and was redirected. Now, when I try it, I'm not redirected, but.. wow, the experience is not that good. Zooming in/out can only be achieved by a long-tap on the page, followed by a "cancel" tap anywhere outside the long-tap-dialog, followed by a precise-tap on the text "Zoom In" or "Zoom Out". Not the best experience.

You can see what android and iOS users get with the User Agent Switcher app, their experience is much better:

http://www.windowsphone.com/en...4a4f-4a89-a315-7998fe1ced6e

PUC_Snakeman said,
Having not used Google Maps ever before on my Windows Phone Samsung Focus... I tried it during the "redirect" time period, and was redirected. Now, when I try it, I'm not redirected, but.. wow, the experience is not that good. Zooming in/out can only be achieved by a long-tap on the page, followed by a "cancel" tap anywhere outside the long-tap-dialog, followed by a precise-tap on the text "Zoom In" or "Zoom Out". Not the best experience.

Ironic uh? Other mapping sites, like Bing and Nokia's Home.com and a few others I had my techs test work just fine. Scrolling, zoom, etc.

Additionally many of the 'other' sites are using older pre-HTML5 coding.

So if everyone else and their dog can program mapping software that works correctly with standard HTML5, or older 'standards' that are not IE specific, then why can't Google?

Google buys technology, they are horrible at engineering and coding it. So either it is another example of bad programmers/engineers or something they are doing on purpose.

IE9/IE10 on WP7/8 are code identical to IE9/IE10 on Windows 7/8, yet the desktop versions work just fine. The problem is the 'touch' UI dynamics are something Google doesn't provide any functionality.

thenetavenger said,

Ironic uh? Other mapping sites, like Bing and Nokia's Home.com and a few others I had my techs test work just fine. Scrolling, zoom, etc.

IE9/IE10 on WP7/8 are code identical to IE9/IE10 on Windows 7/8, yet the desktop versions work just fine. The problem is the 'touch' UI dynamics are something Google doesn't provide any functionality.

Now, they aren't identical. Microsoft even has a few differences listed on http://blogs.windows.com/windo...s-phone-8-in-a-big-way.aspx

But IE (on any platform) doesn't support the HTML 5 Touch Events (all other modern mobile browsers do: Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome). Microsoft created their own form of touch events called MSPointer Events. MSPointer Events only works with IE10 on a Windows 8 based device. (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-u...y/ie/hh673557(v=vs.85).aspx)

The desktop versions are using normal mouse events and gestures, which are supported in all browsers.

A lot of features in Google Maps just don't work on WP8. Hell, I can't even get a blue dot to appear for my current location.

They still force re-direct to the mobile site even if you are requesting the desktop site. You then have to click the classic link and it's only for that session...

damage is done plus this only hurts google and making the case for the DOJ and EU about how this company simply can't be trusted any longer and it is just itching to do anything to stop competitors before they become a threat.

thankfully light kills all scum and google's practices were exposed.

PR lose for google, win for consumers.

Who cares? Bing maps seem to be doing the same job at least in the UK. And with Windows Phone 8 I can download the maps on the phone instead of stretching my data package. *Finger

Dot Matrix said,
I can almost see them doing some **** with GMail or Maps again in a few months when all of this has died down.

Won't happen.

techbeck said,

Won't happen.

Thats what the guy using google maps said.

I now have my 16'000 emails in gmail syncing with my outlook.com address. Once thats complete i will be able to switch over at a moments notice if google decide to pull another stunt.

techbeck said,

Won't happen.

Already has, they are ditching EAS and moving everyone back to an older and lower quality standard just to create a 'subpar' experience for Windows Phone/Outlook users.

I guess if you look at it that outside of Windows Phone and Outlook, everyone gets a CRAPPY experience with GMail, then stopping Office and WP users from having a better experience makes sense in 'we are crazy *******' logic.

Deviate_X said,

Thats what the guy using google maps said.

I now have my 16'000 emails in gmail syncing with my outlook.com address. Once thats complete i will be able to switch over at a moments notice if google decide to pull another stunt.

After the sync is complete, if you use WP, you can have all 16,000 emails on your phone with no performance loss. Something Android and iOS cannot even come close to providing.

thenetavenger said,

Already has, they are ditching EAS and moving everyone back to an older and lower quality standard just to create a 'subpar' experience for Windows Phone/Outlook users.

I guess if you look at it that outside of Windows Phone and Outlook, everyone gets a CRAPPY experience with GMail, then stopping Office and WP users from having a better experience makes sense in 'we are crazy *******' logic.

GMAIL, email in general, is more heavily uses than Maps and EAS. They messed up with blocking Maps but not the first time a company has made a mistake. Maps is back so really a non issue at this point and I am sure either Google will mess up again, or some other company.

In any case, always alternatives if people get to frustrated with Google.

I experienced the redirect on my Nokia Lumia 920 in Canada.

Works fine now. Still using Nokia Maps but it is nice to see they listened to users that wanted this access.

McKay said,
Were you accessing Google.co.uk? It didn't seem to happen with that site.

nope, google.com in Canada using my telco data plan.

Worked both signed in and anon.