Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Google Maps is now available for iPhone users to download as an app.
months after Apple removed Google Maps as a built-in map and replaced
it with its own product, Google said Wednesday that its revised map was
finally approved by the iPhone maker to be listed in the Apple app
"People around the world have been asking for Google Maps
on iPhone," wrote Daniel Graf, Director of Google Maps for Mobile, in
the company blog. "It's designed from the ground up."
redesigned the app to show more map on screen than the previous version
that was quashed by Apple for iPhone. The map also "loads more quickly
and provides smooth tilting and rotating of 2D and 3D views," Graf says.
users search for a place of interest, say a restaurant, an expandable
information sheet at the bottom shows the address, opening hours,
ratings and reviews, images and directions. The map contains more than
80 million businesses and points of interest, Graf says.
also installed voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation, which was missing
from the previous version. Live traffic conditions, public
transportation information, Street View and Business Photos that show
photos of inside places are also included.
The Google Maps app is available with any iPhone or iPod Touch that runs iOS 5.1 or higher.
launching its latest mobile operating system, iOS 6, in September,
Apple replaced Google Maps - one of the most popular apps on iPhone -
and introduced its own map. Reviews of Apple's map - which used data
from Dutch map maker TomTom - were mostly negative and users aired
complaints that it was laden with errors, misplaced cities and towns,
rendered wrong directions and was missing some key features including
public transportation data.
Google reminded iPhone owners that its
map was available through a browser but that did little to assuage its
fans who wanted a direct and quicker access to it as an app.
CEO Tim Cook issued a rare apology in late September and urged users to
try other map apps, including MapQuest and Waze. "We are extremely
sorry for the frustration (the map) has caused our customers and we are
doing everything we can to make Maps better," he wrote. "We launched
Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we
wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features
such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and
vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version
of Maps from the ground up."
Following the map debacle, Scott
Forstall, Apple's head of mobile software, was ousted in October partly
due to his refusal to sign a letter to Apple customers apologizing for
the map's flaws.