Google Maps app released for iPhone

Last updated 10:05 14/12/2012

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Google has released a new Maps app for Apple iOS, allaying the concerns of many irritated and lost users of Apple's own mapping application.

"People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone," director of Google Maps for mobile, Daniel Graf, said in a statement. "Starting today, we're pleased to announce that Google Maps is here."

In September, the previously pre-installed Google Maps app was removed from iOS with the launch of Apple Maps in iOS 6. Since then, there have been numerous complaints from users about locations labelled incorrectly and giving incorrect directions.

Google previously refused to enable voice navigation for its maps app, because it invested heavily in its own Android software's turn-by-turn navigation. But voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation is included in the new Google Maps app, which is available on iPhone and iPod Touch.

"We make tens of thousands of daily updates to keep Google Maps accurate," said Graf.

Apple's map replacement - launched before it was error-free - left many iOS loyalists longing for the days of Google Maps. Even CEO Tim Cook formally apologised for Apple Maps, admitting the product fell short. Mobile software head Scott Forstall and Maps manager Rich Williamson have both since left the company.

The incorrect and sometimes dangerous directions given by Apple Maps even led to Victoria Police urging users to stay away from it and use something else after it led to numerous cases of users getting lost in the bush trying to get to Mildura in regional Victoria.

NSW Police said modern vehicle mounted GPS devices should be used only as an aid to navigation and not as a navigation system.

"Navigation systems for boats and aircraft cost many tens of thousands of dollars and are accordingly accurate but even printed maps can have errors," it said.

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"Users are strongly urged to cross-check their whereabouts through other reference methods and if in doubt, verify with other sources such as paper maps or enquiries through local residents or police in remote areas."

- © Fairfax NZ News

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