iPhone users, the wait for Google Maps is over. After four months, Google Maps will be back for iOS, and will be available in the App Store on Thursday, December 13.
The app features turn-by-turn navigation, live traffic information, and public transportation directions — all of which were missing or problematic on Apple’s new maps app. Google took the opportunity to call attention to its superior mapping data.
Daniel Graf, director of Google Maps for mobile described the first maps application that the search giant has made for the iPhone:
“At the heart of this app is our constantly improving map of the world that includes detailed information for more than 80 million businesses and points of interest. If you see something off, simply shake your phone to send us feedback.”
According to the New York Times, the Google Maps app for the iPhone has been long anticipated since Apple replaced Google Maps with its own Maps app with the launch of iOS 6 in September. The Apple Maps app was highly criticized, and the move seemed premature, as flaws in the company’s new service led to public embarrassment. When Apple Maps came out, iPhone users quickly began identifying misplaced landmarks, incorrect addresses and other problems. Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, told people to use competing maps services while the company improved Apple Maps, apologized for the error, and fired the executive responsible for the misstep.
Many industry analysts wondered whether Google would create an app for the iPhone because long-term fallout with bad maps for the iPhone could possibly benefit Google. Also, many speculated whether Apple would allow a Google Maps app in its App Store.
Here is part of the Google Maps app description from the iTunes store:
“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.”
The app has a more complete data set that won’t leave you stranded in the Australian outback.