Just hours after reports surfaced that Google would be releasing a standalone iOS app powered by its expansive mapping service, the official Google Maps app made its way to the App Store and is available for download now.
The wait for Google's official Google Maps app is over as the company released the free app late Wednesday night, complete with turn-by-turn navigation, Street View and transit information.
Many have been awaiting the standalone app's release after the erstwhile Google Maps-powered software previously found in iOS was removed in iOS 6. With the most recent operating system, Apple replaced the Google Maps-powered Maps app with a proprietary solution that leverages location data from TomTom, among other navigation companies.
Longtime iOS users will feel at home with Google's new mapping app, as the overall look is much the same as the legacy Maps and the Google Maps web client. However, the user interface is completely redesigned and takes on cues from other Google iOS apps like YouTube and Gmail. Multi-touch gestures are supported with all features available with the swipe of a thumb.
Making a comeback to the native iOS app is Street View, the lack of which was the source of complaints heard from a number of iDevice users. In place of the Google-built feature, Apple implemented a 3D tool dubbed Flyover, which provides a bird's-eye view of certain large metropolitan areas around the world. While not as comprehensive as Street View, Flyover does offer a unique and detailed look at a supported city with fairly quick load times compared to other competing services.
From Google Maps' official blog:
The world around us is constantly changing and, thanks to feedback from you, we make tens of thousands of daily updates to keep Google Maps accurate and comprehensive. Hereâs a helpful hint for the new app: if you see something off, simply shake your phone to send us feedback.
Alongside the rollout, Google also released the Google Maps SDK for iOS, to help developers integrate the mapping service into their own third-party apps. The SDK will also allow app makers to bypass Apple's own iOS Maps, which was met with criticism when it launched in September.
Earlier on Wednesday, sources told All Things D that the internet search giant would be rolling out Google Maps for iOS later tonight, but offered no details regarding the product.
Google Maps weighs in at 6.7 MB and can be downloaded through the App Store.
From the App Store description:
- 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. Directions
- 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.