News that many Apple users have been waiting for has finally come true, Google Maps has officially been launched for Apple devices.
The surprise early Christmas present to Apple users and Google fans alike turned up on the iTunes store earlier today with the simple, if not somewhat sardonic phrase, “Navigate your world with Google Maps.”
Just under a month ago some reports leaked that Google would be releasing its Maps application on the iOS platform but the company played down such suggestions. The long delay in releasing the app for iOS seems to have been time well spent; Google’s application comes with many of the features that Android users are used to and ones that Apple fans were accustomed before Apple removed Google’s white labelled app.
Google has also been smart about its app and created it so that users can log into their Google Account in order to save frequent searches and directions. This should allow them to lock users into their ecosystem more than Apple can with their Maps application.
According to Google,
“People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone. Starting today, we’re pleased to announce that Google Maps is here—rolling out across the world in the Apple App Store…The app shows more map on screen and turns mobile mapping into one intuitive experience. It’s a sharper looking, vector-based map that loads quickly and provides smooth tilting and rotating of 2D and 3D views. The search box at the top is a good place to start—perhaps by entering the name of a new and interesting restaurant. An expandable info sheet at the bottom shows the address, opening hours, ratings and reviews, images, directions and other information.”
Features in this first version of Google Maps for iOS include;
* Find addresses, places and businesses around the world with Google local search.
* Discover places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and local reviews.
* Sign in to sync your searches, directions, and favorite places between your computer and your phone.
* Get voice guided, turn-by-turn driving directions.
* Find your way by train, bus, subway or walking directions.
* Access live traffic information in cities across the world.
Street View and imagery
* View 360-degree panoramas of places around the globe with Street View.
* See inside more than 100,000 businesses worldwide.
* View high resolution satellite imagery of locations around the world.
Simple and easy to use
* An entirely new Google Maps experience on your iPhone.
* Newly designed and streamlined interface for even easier navigation of your world.
* Use gestures to explore the map and browse results.
Google had previously provided the default mapping app for Apple devices but was banished from the Apple’s ecosystem when the company released Apple Maps. That, of course, was a disaster, both for users and Apple’s PR. Apple’s own maps were replete with errors; Ireland’s Minister for Justice called Apple’s Maps “dangerously misleading,” when it placed an international airport in a residential area of Dublin City that just happened to be called Airport and just this month police in Australia called the app a threat to public safety and warned users against relying on it for navigation purposes.
Apple Maps was even responsible for preventing some users from upgrading their iPhone, iPad, and iPod versions of iOS because they were eager to keep Google’s default mapping application.
The Google Maps app for iOS is compatible with, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.1 or later. This app is optimised for iPhone 5 and is translated into about 29 languages.
Google has also released the official Google Maps for iOS SDK to help developers build the system for Apple devices.