After a three month absence, Google Maps has returned to iOS devices as a standalone app.
As described in a blog post by Google Maps for Mobile director Daniel Graf, the revamped Google Maps app is available now at no cost for any iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen) running iOS 5.1 or higher (no word on an iPad version, however). It can be downloaded in more than 40 countries, and runs in 29 different languages. Google\’s also released the mapping service\’s SDK for any iOS developers who\’d like to integrate it into their own apps.
So how is it? Well, it\’s still the same Google Maps at heart, with Street View, restaurant and other local business reviews, Google Earth functionality, public transit info, and all the other bells and whistles usually found on the Android version of the service. This time, though, it\’s been \”designed from the ground up\” with a noticeably cleaner new interface and vector-based look, and gives the users the ability to shake their device to send feedback.
It also has, at long last, brought voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation to iOS users. This is significant, as that feature was one of the key points of contention between Google and Apple earlier this year in a debate that caused Google Maps to be removed from iOS devices entirely when iOS 6 launched this past fall.
That disagreement led the Cupertino clan to introduce its now infamous Maps app as the default for all of its devices, which was widely panned for having a wealth of errors tied to its mapping accuracy and detail.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has since publicly apologized for the lackluster effort, and top Apple executives like iOS\’ software head Scott Forstall were said to have been ousted due to its failures thus far. Now, however, the two sides appear to have come to some sort of truce — much to the relief of iOS users looking for more options in the mapping marketplace.
Source: Google Official Blog