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Google Maps blocked on Windows Phone but with a twist

Update: Google responded to this matter

If you have a Windows Phone and try to access maps.google.com, you might end up being re-directed to Google search page. Google responded to Gizmodo saying that Google Maps is optimized for WebKit browser and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is not WebKit browser and thus not able to access it. However, someone has proven that this statement is NOT accurate.

google-maps-windows-phone

This is the official reply from Google (according to Gizmodo):

The mobile web version of Google Maps is optimized for WebKit browsers such as Chrome and Safari. However, since Internet Explorer is not a WebKit browser, Windows Phone devices are not able to access Google Maps for the mobile web.

However, Microsoft actually responded saying that IE on Windows Phone and IE on Windows 8 use the same rendering engine:

Internet Explorer in Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 use the same rendering engine.

It means that if we can access Google Maps on IE, we should be able to do so on Windows Phone. So, why can’t WP users access the Google Maps on Windows Phone?

From WMPoweruser, someone has proven that Google Maps on Windows Phone 8 works perfectly and should NOT be the WebKit issue that Google has responded. Here is the video.

What this person, Tom Verhoeff, did was to trick Google that it was accessing the Google Maps from another source (other than Windows Phone). He did this by altering the User Agent.

And on another experiment, he uses Chrome browser on a computer and altered the User Agent to Windows Phone and immediately, the Google Maps site is not accessible on Chrome browser.

Click Here to Read his Blog Post

Actually, in November, when I had the Nokia Lumia 820 review set, I already complained about the Google Maps on the WP8 IE. During that time, it was redirected to a very old Windows Mobile site.

So, from the information so far, I can only say that Google is definitely blocking Microsoft in some ways. First, they announced that they are stopping ActiveSync support. Now, they are blocking Windows Phone users from using the Google Maps.

Some might say that there is nothing wrong with such moves in business sense. I can agree with that. But if their official statement is wrong and on purpose, I don’t think many can accept.

What do you think?


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