According to the Wall Street Journal, the app is undergoing final testing before being sent to Apple, and it will include turn-by-turn navigation, along with all the other features iPhone users became used to when Google Maps was a standard element of iOS.
When Apple updated their OS version to iOS 6, Google's Map service was removed, and replaced with Apple's own Maps application. Unfortunately Apple Maps proved to be far from a finished product, leading many iPhone users to complain at the sub standard offering.
Many important locations were missing from Apple Maps, shops and restaurants and other locations listed were no longer up to date, or listed incorrectly and simple search requests were not understood.
The issue eventually led to Apple CEO Tim Cook having to make an embarrassing apology, stating that iPhone users should seek out alternative mapping solutions from the Apple App Store until Apple Maps became fit for purpose.
The news of Google Maps imminent arrival for iOS follows on from Nokia's announcement earlier this week, detailing HERE, a new multi-platform version of the popular Nokia Maps service that is scheduled to launch for iOS first, with an Android version due for launch early in 2013.
Whilst Google Maps remained a fixed part of iOS, Google were unable to implement some of the updates that Android users enjoyed, including the popular turn-by-turn navigation feature. By becoming a standalone app, Google will be able to add features much more frequently, providing a real competitor to Apples own Maps and Nokia's HERE.