Google adds Street View to its maps mobile web app

image captionThe web app launches a separate window when using Street View

Google has updated its mobile web app to allow iPhone and iPad users to access its Street View facility.

They had lost access to the service's interactive panoramic photos in a recent system upgrade.

Apple has revamped its Maps app, replacing the original Google-powered product with its own service based on data licensed from others.

It sparked a user-backlash and apology from Apple's boss who suggested customers switch to Google's web app.

Google told the BBC it could not confirm if or when it might launch a standalone app.

The New York Times has reported that work on the product was already underway and could be completed by the end of the year. The move would mean Google would not need to run its software through a mobile web browser, allowing it to offer improved performance.

Google's web app still lacks some of the functionality that its Android-based product features - such as indoor and 3D maps, and turn-by-turn directions - giving the firm an opportunity to promote devices powered by its own system over Apple's.

Map wars

More than 100 million people have upgraded to the iOS 6 system.

Errors introduced in the new Maps app include labelling Tokyo's main airport as a paper factory, showing towns in the wrong places and suggesting directions that would take users on strange routes.

Reports suggested Apple made the move after Google proved unwilling to upgrade its service unless it was allowed to include more of its own branding and Latitude - a service which shows users where their friends are located.

The search giant also faces another related challenge - Amazon has opted to pre-load a Nokia-powered Maps app on its Android-based Kindle Fire tablets.

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