Google Maps is back on the iPhone. Apple controversially replaced Google Maps on the iPhone 5 with its own mapping app, called Apple Maps. But the Apple software has proved wildly inaccurate. At launch, it put Luton on the coast of the UK, moved Brooklyn to Manhatten, wiped Stratford-Upon-Avon and London’s Paddington Station off the face of the earth, and gave Dublin a new, though only virtual airport.
Now, Apple has allowed Google Maps back in the App Store. The latest version includes information for more than 80m businesses and points of interest. It also includes voice-guided turn-by-turn directions with estimated travel times; 3D representations of the outlines of buildings; and indoor panoramic images of buildings that have signed up to its Street View Business Photos service.
Google revealed the news in a blog post today, and while it refrained from crowing about the move, it is a massive climbdown on Apple’s part. Last week, Apple chief executive Tim Cook admitted the firm had “screwed up” on maps, and earlier this week, police in Australia warned that inaccuracies in Apple Maps could prove “life-threatening” to motorists in the country. The warning came after police in Mildura, Victoria, had had to rescue drivers who had become stranded after following Apple Maps directions.
The new Google Maps app is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen.) iOS 5.1 and higher, in more than 40 countries and 29 languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish, Dutch and Chinese.