While it was probably with great reluctance that it did so, Apple has approved and released an official, standalone Google Maps app for the iPhone. It follows several months of rumours regarding the development of such an app, after it was removed from iOS 6 earlier this year and replaced by the much maligned Apple Maps.
Apple Maps wasn’t the polished product we’re all used to from the Cupertino-based company, and it attracted much derision for weeks after its release. Apple wasn’t happy about it either, and it took the unusual step of apologising to owners for its shortcomings when the outcry was at its peak, promising it would be improved. This is certainly happening, but not at a fast enough rate.
Any fears Apple would block an official Google Maps app were unfounded, as Google Maps is now available to download from the iTunes App Store. It’s only compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch at the moment though, however this has been Google’s strategy in the past, having only recently updated its YouTube app to offer native support for the iPad.
Google Maps for iOS features voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation for drivers, walkers and public transport, the option to use Street View, plenty of information on businesses and points-of-interest, plus a slick new interface which is reminiscent of Google’s other new apps for iOS. It’s good-looking and the interface is beautifully smooth. Put simply, it’s everything you were missing, just better.
You can download Google Maps for free here.