It's a Christmas miracle!
When Apple's Maps was released, there were a lot of complaints regarding the application. However, one of the biggest complaints people had was that Google Maps wasn't among the alternative solutions. Despite the fact that Google Maps had been running on iOS since the beginning, users unhappy with Apple's own solution were unable to switch back to the old mapping application because there wasn't a Google Maps for iOS 6.
When complaints about Apple Maps reached a dull roar, talk of Google developing an iOS 6 app started doing the rounds. When rumors emerged that said Google had submitted an application for App Store approval, the search giant denied it. However, it seems Google has been hard at work developing an iOS app, as Google Maps for iPhone is now available in the App Store. The application launched late last night and has already amassed over 1000 reviews and more than 900 of them are five stars.
"People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone. Starting today, we’re pleased to announce that Google Maps is here—rolling out across the world in the Apple App Store," Google said last night. "It's designed from the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google Maps with an interface that makes finding what you’re looking for faster and easier."
Google Maps for iPhone is available for iPhones and iPod touches running iOS 5.1 and higher in more than 40 countries and 29 languages. These include Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. As you may have gathered, there isn't any iPad support. That said, the app works just fine on Apple's tablet, it's just not scaled for the iPad's larger screen real estate.
Apple has yet to comment on the release of Google Maps for iPhone, but it will be interesting to see if Google Maps remains available long term. Apple has been known to reject applications that replicate existing functionality. Get it while you can, guys.