Google has released a brand new Google Maps app for the iPhone and it is available free in both US and international App Stores right now. The release follows on from the removal of the native Google Maps app that shipped with iOS devices, and the subsequent replacement with Apple’s own mapping solution. Up until now there had been some doubt on Google’s part as to whether Apple would even approve such an app for the App Store, but given that Apple CEO Tim Cook had recommended using the web version of Google Maps to bridge an shortfall with the Apple version, it seemed unlikely.
The new app features some pretty nifty features that set it apart from its predecessor and indeed the Apple Maps app. There are now turn-by-turn directions available in the Google Map which brings it up to the standard offered by the Apple Maps app. Google does warn that these directions are in beta however and may not be perfect. However in some anecdotal testing conducted by yours truly, they worked very, very well, and is compatible with both iOS 5 and iOS 6.
The app also features satellite imagery, Google Street View as well as traffic reports. Google has also released a Google Maps SDK for iOS, which means that Developers can integrate Google Maps features into their own apps. There are also APIs available for additional Google Maps functionality.
The app is, at the moment, iPhone only and there is no word on when an iPad version will be released, but many people expect it in the near future. You can grab the iPhone version on the App Store now.