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The highly anticipated Google Maps iOS app has now finally arrived in the App Store in the form of a 6.7MB App Store download. The app, which is not yet optimised for iPad, features a new vector-based map which cuts down on data usage and provides sharper graphics and a tilting 3D view as well as the traditional 2D experience along with features like turn-by-turn navigation and Google Street View.

Google Maps was removed as a core app by Apple in favour of their own iOS 6 mapping software in the last update to the iOS platform, and while users could still access the service using in their browser many were hoping for a dedicated app. Google has not disappointed, now launching the app worldwide with features to rival Apple’s own in-built solution.

The app features a full-screen map view with a hovering search box from which turn-by-turn directions can be requested with a couple of taps. Street View is accessed in much the same way it was in iOS 5, by first dropping a pin and then choosing the Street View option from the summary that appears. Map type can be toggled between modes by tapping the toggle on the right of the screen and includes Traffic info and a Public Transport view, though the latter is only available in certain regions.

Google announced the availability in a blog post on their Google Maps Blog, citing the service’s “comprehensiveness and accuracy” in what is surely a sly nod to Apple. Users with a Google Account have the option of signing in to access the search history and favourite places stored by Google. The iOS app was released alongside the Google Maps for iOS developer SDK which can be downloaded from the Google Developers webpage.


All drivers relying on mobile apps should take note that police in the Australian state of Victoria have issued two warnings to smartphone users in the space of a week, the first due to drivers using Apple’s iOS 6 Maps getting stranded in the Murray-Sunset National Park Australian Police Warn Drivers Not To Rely On Apple's iOS 6 Maps App [Updates] Australian Police Warn Drivers Not To Rely On Apple's iOS 6 Maps App [Updates] Police in the Australian state of Victoria have recently warned drivers about the potential dangers of relying on Apple's notoriously unfinished Maps app bundled with iOS 6. In a news story posted on the Victorian... Read More and the second due to Google Maps directing drivers down the dangerous Wild Dog Road, just off a popular tourist route known as the Great Ocean Road.

Check out Google Maps for iPhone @ The App Store

What do you think of the new Google Maps for iOS? Long overdue, or have you adapted to live without it? Share your thoughts in the comments, below.

Source: Google Maps Blog

  1. Rene Bernal
    December 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    OK. i hope this could find my lost iPhone!

  2. James Bruce
    December 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Well, egg on my face. Now I look like an idiot for switching to Android. The only good thing about Android was the fact they have decent navigation built into the apps. Now with the Maps app having that too, there is absolutely nothing good holding me to Android. Screw it; I'll use my wife's contract to get a new iPhone 5.

    • Tim Brookes
      December 17, 2012 at 11:52 pm

      I could swear I literally said this to you. Bought an iPhone 5 not long ago, hell of an upgrade coming from a 4. Highly recommend it.

      The only think about Google Maps is that you'll need to Jailbreak in order to replace Apple Maps completely, though I have no interest in doing this (and I doubt you do either). It's still easy enough to launch Google Maps and search from there.

      So the incredible Android ecosystem, rich library of quality apps and that legendary Google UI design not doing it for you then James? ;)

      • Muo TechGuy
        December 18, 2012 at 9:35 am

        It's a long list of niggly little issues that add up to an unsatisfactory experience basically. Nothing that is deal breaking in and of itself, but the sum of which piss me off to high hell.

        But you were right. I was expecting a standalone app at some point, but not with voice navigation features too. That just really takes the biscuit.

        • Tim Brookes
          December 18, 2012 at 10:21 am

          I think that would make me not want to use the phone, which reminds me of old phones I have had that were awful. You should totally write an article about it. Or did you? I may have missed that one. Which phone did you get again?

        • Muo TechGuy
          December 18, 2012 at 10:41 am

          HTC One X, though I doubt it's hardware specific. I'll try to collate my thoughts into something coherent, good plan.

  3. Ahamed Yaseen
    December 17, 2012 at 2:20 am

    smart app...

  4. Jason Papapanagiotakis
    December 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I'm still on iOS5 , should/can I get this?

    • Tim Brookes
      December 16, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      You can and that means you might want to go and upgrade to iOS 6 now, seeing as you have an alternative if you don't like Apple Maps. Personally I don't think Apple Maps is as bad as everyone makes out and it's definitely been improved since release.

      Of course... two map apps are better than one!

  5. Tanim Istiaque
    December 16, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Google maps for android is way better than that of iphone. Not surprising though

    • Tim Brookes
      December 16, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      Is it really? And what drew you to that conclusion, because from what I've seen (on the Google Play entry for Maps and on my iPhone) they're pretty much matched in terms of features. I can't see one thing that the Android version has that iOS doesn't.

      • Tanim Istiaque
        December 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm

        Offline maps is the deal breaker for me. And the android version feels smoother, may be it's just me.

  6. gumnam
    December 15, 2012 at 12:09 am

    How about to Android Phone?

    • Tim Brookes
      December 15, 2012 at 12:12 am

      Considering Google develop the Android platform, it's safe to say that Android users have been enjoying Google Maps for a good while. In fact, this iOS version seems to be based on the last revision of the Android version of Google Maps. Makes sense, too.

  7. Anonymous
    December 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Better than life threatening apple maps LOL

  8. Junil Maharjan
    December 14, 2012 at 5:02 am

    Apple users will be safe now when travelling.

  9. darth
    December 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    what about the ipad version??

    • Tim Brookes
      December 14, 2012 at 2:04 am

      Now now, I'm sure it's coming. This version will work on the iPad, it just looks a bit "zoomed in" is all. Don't forget about in your browser too!

  10. Chris
    December 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I wish there was a way to import the location bookmarks from the old google maps (ios5x) into the new google maps on Ios5x

    • Tim Brookes
      December 14, 2012 at 2:03 am

      Good point. There isn't, right? Because old iOS Maps didn't have a login per se, and so that data was tied to your iPhone rather than your Google Account. Did it save these locations to your iOS 6 Apple Maps app at all?

      I don't remember because I didn't have any location bookmarks...

      • F
        January 30, 2013 at 12:03 am

        I have been holding off for months now switching to iOS 6 because i have the same issue. I have many valuable location bookmarks in the old iOS Maps (Google based) and do not want to loose them. I haven't seen anyone write whether they get lost in the migration to Apple's iOS 6 Maps. Too mush to loose for me to try it and too too many to email each bookmark manually one by one. If you have any suggestions, it would be appreciated. I am also ready to download the new Google Maps for iOS but also afraid it might replace the old iOS Maps on my phone (still running iOS 5.x).

  11. Mac Witty
    December 13, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Yes, Finally!!!
    Now we only waiting for an iPad version

    • Tim Brookes
      December 14, 2012 at 2:02 am

      Yep, it zooms to double size on a Retina model - correct? I saw someone complaining about it on Twitter, but hey - it's a start.

      I guess Google were looking to get the iPhone version up asap before thinking about optimising for the bigger screen.

  12. Brenden Barlow
    December 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    while i own an android, im glad iphone got google maps back. unless there was a significant portion of people who enjoyed the apple version....

    • Tim Brookes
      December 14, 2012 at 2:01 am

      You know, I really like Apple Maps. I think it looks better than Google's effort, especially flyover mode which, despite not being overly useful, is just a fun interface to swipe, tilt and zoom. Google's got the edge when it comes to searchable amenities and accuracy, but Apple Maps is still a very attractive system with tons of potential. After a few updates I can definitely see the gap between the two closing, though it's going to take some work and investment on Apple's part.

      • Brenden Barlow
        December 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm

        ive never used it, to be honest, so i dont have any personal experience with how it looks or performs. but i am glad there are people that enjoy apple maps. im sure that it really has quite a bit of potential to be a significant google maps competitor, given enough time.

  13. John Bunka
    December 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Finally! I have been waiting! Goodbye Apple Maps and Hello Google once again!

  14. Ken Evans
    December 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Such an essential app, I can't imagine what possessed Apple to remove it!
    I can't remember how to turn on 3D view for my iphone 4s? Any ideas?

    • Tim Brookes
      December 14, 2012 at 1:58 am

      Two finger swipe downwards/upwards to tilt the view. It's automatically in 3D all the time, as far as I'm aware. You can also two-finger twist to alter the perspective and tap the compass to find out which way you're pointing using digital compass data.

  15. Paolo Maffezzoli
    December 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Great Google app, voice guide turn-by-turn is a good new feature and also the full Google service integration like saved searche , etc is a nice feature.

    • hj
      December 20, 2012 at 2:04 am

      turn by turn was also in ios 6 maps...

  16. John
    December 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Google maps on IOS still try's to send me the wrong way down a one way street. It also turns a 1.5 mile trip into a 5 mile trip by plotting a very long and unnatural route. Google maps also thinks there is a road to drive down where in fact there is a 5 story shopping mail. Apple maps works better for me and defines the correct route for my trips pfff Apple maps for me then and it can only get better.

    • Tim Brookes
      December 14, 2012 at 1:57 am

      Interesting, John - whereabouts in the world is this?

      It seems neither mapping solution are 100% trustworthy, but then they're probably never going to be. Keeping track of the global road system has to be one mammoth job, and I'm not surprised Google and Apple both make mistakes every now and again.

      • John
        December 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm

        Sorry Tim I should of put the location in my post. London UK is where google maps is giving me problems. I totally agree with your comments the map apps are not going to be 100% acurate.

  17. Yiz Borol
    December 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    This!! I've been waiting for this for YEARS!!

    • Tim Brookes
      December 14, 2012 at 1:56 am

      Come on now, you've only been waiting a few months. iOS 6 came out in September, remember?

      • Yiz Borol
        December 14, 2012 at 2:11 am

        I know, it's just felt like years, I've only had an iphone for 7 months...

        • Anonymous
          December 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm

          You are really funny! Hahaha

  18. Roomy Naqvy
    December 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Google is going places. Literally. And doing wonderful things.

  19. Alexander
    December 13, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I don't own a iphone, But all i can say is finally :P Apple maps is dangerous !

  20. Thomas Petrucha
    December 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    AppStore -> search -> install --> HAPPY again with working maps ;)

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