Windows Phone users lose access to Google Maps

On Friday, some users reported that Google Maps were not working anymore on the Windows Phone platform. That raised a rumor that Google was blocking Windows Phone users from accessing Google Maps. This rumor is not true.


The reason why Google Maps don’t work any more is because the mobile version of Google Maps supports only Webkit-based browsers. The Internet Explorer on Windows Phone platform is not based on Webkit and that’s why Google Maps will not work anymore.

Google explained 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.

Until this happened, Google Maps worked very fine with Windows Phone, then why is this sudden problem? It seems that Windows Phone never officially supported Google Maps, but there was a glitch or a bug that made it do so. Google must have fixed this glitch or bug that blocked Google Maps support from non-WebKit supported browsers.

Google Maps still work on Internet Explorer for Windows 8 even though it is not WebKit based browser. That’s why Google’s argument looks invalid.  Is it that Google has purposely started creating an artificial blockage? Maybe, or ma be not, but WebKit support is really a weak excuse from Google.

Roger Dunning is a technology evangelist. He lives in New York with his wife and pet dog. You can find him 24×7 on the Internet.

One Comment

  1. John Jensen

    This time Google was not to blame, but Google are trying to prevent Windows phone to get a solid grip on the market, which make me think that MS has come up with a system that Google fear will take a good share of the smart-phone market.
    It’s also make me see it as a “seal of approval” from Google, without them to say that.

    By the way to my own surprise, I really like W8, I have been using it for more than a year now, starting by installing Classic Shell, but soon uninstalled it again because I did not use it and W8 with Metro and the expansion on the shortcut keys, really works more smoothly than any other Windows version.
    Yes I am surprised.

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