It's here. The new Google Maps for iPhone has officially landed in the App Store just in time to save Christmas and maybe even all of Australia along with it.
The fully revamped iOS 6 Maps app comes fully loaded with features like voice guided, turn-by-turn navigation and 360-degree Street View panoramas that opens up an iPhone window into places around the globe through visual teleportation.
Back in late September, Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt denied the Maps rumors saying that “Apple would have to approve it. It’s their choice,”. Apparently approving the app was a no-brainer for Apple after their own Maps app launch disaster left so many iPhone faithful losing their minds over constant direction errors.
You'll find the newly retooled Google Maps Version 1.0 is fast and fluid — with a side tab along the bottom for instantly accessing Traffic, Public Transit, a high resolution Satellite view and a far less useful App Store link to Google Earth.
“At the heart of this app is our constantly improving map of the world that includes detailed information for more than 80 million businesses and points of interest.” Google wrote on their company blog.
“An expandable info sheet at the bottom shows the address, opening hours, ratings and reviews, images, directions and other information.”
I've been one of the stubborn holdouts unwilling to upgrade to iOS 6 until I was certain there was a Google Maps option coming out before the end of 2012 — as earlier rumors pointed to.
If you're also one of those holdouts, you'll find iOS 6 Maps to be a welcomed relief. Although the newly streamlined interface and navigation changes will still bring a wicked learning curve along with it.
The new Google Maps app is available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (4th gen) iOS 5.1 and higher, in more than 40 countries and 29 languages, including Chinese, Korean, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.
Google has admitted that their new iPhone app is “even better than Google Maps for Android phones, which has accommodated its evolving feature set mainly by piling on menus.” David Pogue writes for the NYT.
With Twitter and Instagram locked in a private sissy fight over camera filters — it's so good to see Apple and Google working together to create an experience we all want or at least giving us the ability to choose what we want.
I must say — it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Download Google Maps