Google Maps for iOS Returns!

Google Maps for iOS is back!

The app appeared in the App Store late Wednesday evening (12th December 2012), providing joy and comfort to disgruntled Apple Maps users everywhere.

Google Maps for iOS looks and functions more similarly to its Android counterpart than it does to the version that used to be bundled with iOS.

The app also includes a few features formerly limited to the Android version of Google Maps, including guided turn-by-turn directions.

If you're having issues downloading the app, give it a few minutes. Within moments of its release, it appears as if Apple's servers were briefly crushed, with some users finding it difficult to download the app.

I've only spent a few minutes with the app, but here are my first impressions:

  • The interface is noticeably cleaner than before, though I still prefer the looks -- if not always the accuracy -- of Apple Maps
  • Users can choose to designate a home and work address within their profile, which is particularly handy
  • Voice-guided turn-by-turn appears to work well
  • Users can opt to view public transit as an overlay on the map itself, which is a nice touch
  • I love being able to access public-transit directions within my maps app again
  • Google Places have been more prominently integrated into the app