Google Maps Officially Returns to the iPhone

By Devon Glenn 

To the relief of many iPhone 5 owners, Google has finally made Google Maps available for download in the Apple App Store in more than 40 countries and in 29 languages.

Apple’s own maps application had failed to provide a good enough user experience to compete with Google Maps, which was originally left out of the newest iPhone.

Yesterday, the application returned to iOS devices with a new look. According to Google Maps for mobile director Daniel Graf, the vector-based maps will load quickly, filling a larger portion of the screen with 2D and 3D views that users can tilt and rotate.

Also new are the Business Photos, which build on Street View by showing users the inside of a restaurant or other business.

The search bar will turn up an expandable info sheet about local businesses or points of interest, including hours of operation, ratings, images, and directions.

Google Maps’ turn-by-turn navigation feature is voice-guided, showing live traffic conditions and public transportation options.

Developers can try the new Google Maps SDK for iOS and a simple URL scheme for building applications using Google Maps.

Wrote Graf, “We believe this delightful new experience is a great starting point—and we’ll continue to improve Google Maps for you, every day.”