One of the major new features of the app is voice-controlled turn-by-turn directions, something that proved a sticking point between Google and Apple back when Google Maps was the default iOS mapping software. Google wanted more brand presence within the app and integration with its Latitude software, Mac Rumours reports.
Some users might have had some issues downloading Google Maps last night when the app first went live, but granted how long some people have been demanding and pleading that Google come out with an alternative to Apple Maps, it isn't surprising that the demand last night was overwhelming.
The app also brings with it some other changes to the previous Google Maps interface, including vector-based maps designed to look smoother and load faster, Google shared in its official blog. They've also included a search box at the top of the screen to search local businesses.
Some of the features that have been missed by iOS users since they switched over to Apple Maps are now available through Google Maps, including directions by public transit and Street View.
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To get the word out about the new app, Google has released this succinct commercial:
Despite the widespread panning of Apple Maps, however, this won't be the last you hear about it. Google Maps is still just an app in iOS; Apple Maps is still the default mapping software, so chances are, if you're using one of the iPhone or iPad's integrated search features, it'll still send you through Apple Maps first.
Google Maps is available now in 40 different countries for iOS 5.1 and higher.
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