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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 maps.google.com 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.

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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

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