Google’s new standalone Maps app for iOS has just gone live in the App Store, following Apple’s controversial decision to replace it with their own brand of mapping software. The move was widely criticised after numerous mistakes were found in Apple Maps’ search results. The new Google app offers iOS 6 users unhappy with the experience on Apple’s new in-house Maps app the ability to switch back to Google’s free offering.
The new Google Maps also offers a number of enhancements beyond what was offered when it powered the built-in Maps app on iOS 5 and earlier, most notably turn-by-turn directions.
The Apple service was based on Dutch navigation equipment and digital mapmaker TomTom’s data. But users complained it contained glaring geographical errors and lacked features that made Google Maps so popular.
For example, police in Australia warned drivers not to use the Apple software after a number of people ended up lost in the wilderness in scorching temperatures.
Motorists trying to find the town of Mildura became lost after following the map system, which locates it about 43 miles (70km) from its actual position in the state of Victoria.
The product’s shoddiness prompted Apple CEO Tim Cook to issue a rare public apology.
He recommend that iPhone owners consider using Google Maps through a mobile web browser or seek other alternatives until his company could fix the problem.
Google said its new Maps app is better than the one that used to be on the iPhone.
The app will be compatible with any iPhone or iPod Touch that runs iOS 5.1 or higher.