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Google Maps for iOS Hits Apple App Store

December 13, 2012

Google Maps

Nearly three months after Apple removed the pre-installed Google Maps from its mobile operating system with iOS 6, the search giant today released a Google Maps app for iOS.

The free app is now available in the App Store and will work with devices running iOS 5.1 and higher, Apple said. At this point, however, it installs the smaller-screened iPhone version on the iPad.

"Get comprehensive, accurate, and easy-to-use maps with built-in Google local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, Street View, and more," Google said.

That's likely a dig at Apple, which replaced Google Maps with its much-maligned Apple Maps. Those with iOS 6, however, quickly discovered that Apple's mapping solution was often inaccurate and buggy. Eventually, Apple's Tim Cook issued an apology, reportedly reshuffled senior staff over the gaffe, and even told users to check out competing products until Cupertino fixed its own mapping app.

Google Maps for iOS

Google Maps for iOS looks similar to the iOS app long-time users will remember, with a few tweaks that make its interface appear more Android than iOS. It includes a beta version of turn-by-turn navigation, while a menu in to bottom right corner provides links to traffic, public transit, satellite photos, and Google Earth.

The popular Street View is back. Type in the desired address, and swipe up from the bottom of the screen for a Street View thumbnail; tap it for full screen. You can also share a location via text message or email.

There's the option to sign in with your Google account and enter your home and work address for easier navigation. Activity is synced, so locations you searched for on your work PC via Chrome will show up on the "Maps history" tab within Google Maps for iOS.

The app incorporates Google Instant, so Google will guess the location, store, or restaurant you want as you type it. Once you find it, swipe up for more information, photos, and reviews from the now Google-owned Zagat.

A "shake to send feedback" option lets you compose a message to Google with a shake of your iPhone.




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