Ending all the months long speculation, Apple today passed the Google Maps app for iOS devices -- now avilable for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch in more than 40 countries and 29 languages.
The Google Maps app for iPhone offer comprehensive Google maps with built-in local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, Street View and more.
In addition, users can sign in to save favorite places and can also quickly access all their past searches and directions from a computer, right on your phone.
"The app shows more map on screen and turns mobile mapping into one intuitive experience. It's a sharper looking, vector-based map that loads quickly and provides smooth tilting and rotating of 2D and 3D views. The search box at the top is a good place to start--perhaps by entering the name of a new and interesting restaurant. An expandable info sheet at the bottom shows the address, opening hours, ratings and reviews, images, directions and other information," posted Google.
Also, this app includes detailed information for more than 80 million businesses and points of interest offering a preview with Street View and see inside places with Business Photos to decide on a table or see if it's better at the bar. To get you there, "you've got voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation, live traffic conditions to avoid the jams and if you want to use public transportation, find information for more than one million public transit stops," google added.
And, "if you see something off, simply shake your phone to send Google feedback."
In addition to Google Maps app, as part of the ecosystem, a new Google Maps SDK for iOS, and a simple URL scheme to help developers use Google Maps when building their beautiful and innovative apps is also released today.
"With the Google Maps SDK for iOS, developers can feature Google maps in their applications on the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad. Also, the SDK makes it simple to link to Google Maps for iPhone from inside your app, enabling your users to easily search and get directions," Google wrote.
"Any iOS app can also launch the Google Maps for iPhone app using a URL scheme. This allows Google Maps for iPhone to be launched to complete a search, show a map or Street View imagery, or to see and navigate walking, driving and transit directions easily," Google added.
The new Google Maps app is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen) iOS 5.1 and higher from iTunes App Store.
Here is a full list of feature included in the Google Maps app for iPhone:
- Find addresses, places and businesses around the world with Google local search.
- Discover places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and local reviews.
- Sign in to sync your searches, directions, and favorite places between your computer and your phone.
- Get voice guided, turn-by-turn driving directions.
- Find your way by train, bus, subway or walking directions.
- Access live traffic information in cities across the world.
- 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.
Update 12/15: Google announced that just a day later of releasing the Maps app for Apple iOS, it has become the top free download in App Store. However, the Maps app courted trouble in Germany as Google has violated German data protection and privacy rules. According to a report, "when users install the app and agree to the terms and conditions there's a check box that authorizes Google to collect "anonymous" user location data. The fact that this box is an opt-out (rather than an opt-in) violates German privacy regulations, which require "informed consent" where personal data collection is involved."
The fix is simple -- and involves of "unchecking the box as the default."