Google Maps Returns to the iPhone

Yes, you read the title correctly, Google Maps is back in the iTunes App Store ready to download on to your iPhone. It’s not a third-party interpretation either, this is the real deal from Google. With the introduction of iOS 6 earlier this year, Apple replaced the popular Google Maps navigation system with its own, far less popular, Apple Maps program. It wasn’t a success and iPhone owners have been crying out for a standalone Google Maps app ever since.

Rumours of such an app have been swirling for several months, but neither Google nor Apple would commit to one being in the works, so it’s a welcome surprise to see it available to download this morning. The app is free but not universal for the iPhone and the iPad (this isn’t much of a surprise, as it was the same situation with the YouTube app), although it is enhanced for the iPhone 5′s larger screen.

The app features voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions for drivers, walkers and those travelling by public transport, plus there is live traffic data too. Street View has been included along with a satellite view, and there are listings of more than 100,000 businesses.

Google has redesigned Maps for iOS, so it’s quite different to the app iPhone users have used before. The interface shares similarities with the YouTube and Google+ apps, and is very easy to use.

We’re sure everyone who misses Google Maps will be pleased to learn of its return, and that Apple didn’t block its release. It’s available to download from the store right now.

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