After short absence, Google Maps returns to the Apple iPhone

Google Maps, which was temporarily banished by Apple from all iOS 6 devices, is back in style. 

Google
Google Maps is returning to iOS 6 devices, including the Apple iPhone 5, pictured here.

Back in September, Apple booted Google Maps from iOS 6, and replaced it with an in-house mapping application called Apple Maps. Panic ensued. Users, who had been leaning on Google Maps since the launch of the first iPhone, in 2007, suddenly found themselves saddled with a buggy, incomplete, and sometimes wildly incorrect piece of software. 

"[Apple] Maps," seethed David Pogue of the New York Times, "is an appalling first release. It may be the most embarrassing, least usable piece of software Apple has ever unleashed." 

Now, a couple months later, Google Maps is returning to iOS 6-equipped iPhones and iPod Touch handsets. The new Google Maps app, which is available for download from the App Store, displays more map on the screen, and includes turn-by-turn navigation, a feature sorely missing from earlier iterations of the app (if not from Apple Maps). In addition, Google has added far more data on more than 80 million businesses, the Mountain View company says. 

Google Maps, Google's Daniel Graf wrote in a blog post today, is "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. The app shows more map on screen and turns mobile mapping into one intuitive experience." 

There is currently no customized iPad version of the overhauled Google Maps app, although as Greg Sterling of Search Engine Land notes, "the new Google Maps app will obviously also work on the iPad."

Happy to have Google Maps back? Drop us a line in the comments section. And hey, why not follow us on Twitter? Find us @venturenaut.

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