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Google launches new iOS maps

13 December 2012, 12:06 Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town - Google has launched a Maps application for the latest version of the iPhone operating system.

The search giant announced on Thursday that the new app was available for iOS, and did little to disguise a jab at Apple's maps blunder.

"Starting today, we're pleased to announce that Google Maps is here - rolling out across the world in the Apple App Store. 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," Daniel Graf, director for Google Maps for Mobile wrote on the Google blog.

Apple advertised that it was dropping Google's popular mapping program from the latest version of its operating system that powers the iPhone 5.

However, soon after the launch, there were several complaints about Apple's maps, which mislabelled important landmarks and had inaccurate data.


On Monday, Australian police warned that Apple's maps were dangerous after six drivers had to be rescued in an isolated area after following flawed directions.

Apple CEO Tim Cook took the unusual step of advising iPhone users to make use of rival mapping programs.

"While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app," Cook wrote in a letter to customers.

Google indicated that maps are constantly updated and advised users to report any errors.

"The world around us is constantly changing and, thanks to feedback from you, we make tens of thousands of daily updates to keep Google Maps accurate and comprehensive. Here's a helpful hint for the new app: If you see something off, simply shake your phone to send us feedback," said Graf.

The search giant also announced a release of a developer toolkit to assist iOS engineers in location-based application development.

The iOS map application includes Google navigation and 3D views that users of its Android operating system are familiar with.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter



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