It’s here, it’s here! The Google Maps iPhone app we’ve all been waiting for has arrived on the App Store. It’s everything we’ve been hoping for and more, bringing all that rock solid data, and even turn by turn navigation, to any iPhone released in the last three and a half years.
Google Maps for iPhone appeared as a free download on iTunes overnight, and will run on any iPhone 3GS or higher with iOS 5.1 and up. On first impressions, it’s been worth the wait: it’s clean, shockingly fast thanks to vector graphics and filled with all the data that Apple Maps was woefully missing. It even offers free turn by turn satnav directions, just like on Android.
The only things missing? Offline mapping you can download in advance as you can on Android, and support for iPad, coming later. Oh, and adverts, but we doubt you’ll be too upset about that.
For those who missed the furore earlier this year, Apple began using its own data and animation for its Maps app in iOS 6, ending a partnership with Google since the original iPhone. It didn’t work out: the pretty, woefully inaccurate Apple replacement was heavily criticised, forcing Apple CEO Tim Cook to make a rare public apology. The man in charge of iOS software, Scott Forstall, was subsequently forced out of the company, allegedly over Maps and other missteps.