Google Maps for iOS 6 launches on iPhone, iPod Touch
Google Maps is now available on iOS, saving countless customers from the horrible mess that is Apple Maps
Designed to lessen the company's dependence on Google, which produces the extremely popular Android rival to iOS, Apple's decision to remove Google Maps from its mobile devices and replace it with the homebrew Apple Maps application was met with disdain: despite some clever features, Apple's offering has been admitted by the company to be sub-par - to the point where Australian police have issued a warning that the software is not be used as several motorists became trapped in the confines of a national park due to misdirection from the software.
Now, thankfully, Apple users have an alternative in the form of the official Google Maps app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Available for devices running iOS 5.1 or higher, although of most use in iOS 6 where Apple Maps replaces the original Google Maps software, the system includes all of Google's mapping features including vector, satellite and 3D views, turn-by-turn navigation with voice guidance, and the Street View system that allows you to see actual photographs of a location taken by Google's camera-equipped cars and bikes.
The launch also comes with a software development kit (SDK,) which allows iOS developers to tie in to Google Maps rather than Apple Maps for their in-app mapping needs. With Google's mapping software offering noticeably higher quality data than Apple's own, this is a feature that developers are likely to adopt as soon as possible.
The app is available now from the Apple App Store for free.