Late last night Apple opened the App Store doors and welcomed Google Maps back into its walled garden. Early reports have the new maps app from Google as being even better than its Android version at this point.
The application now includes turn-by-turn, street view, live traffic information, bus, subway, and walking directions, as well as a whole host of other features that weren’t available in the stagnated version Apple booted from iOS in the first place. It sounds like Apple has managed to light a fire under Google’s backside.
It’s also being reported that Google’s considering including its indoor maps feature, offline maps, as well as a dedicated, and somewhat less useful iPad version of its Maps application.
The release, which went live less than twelve hours ago for most, has already sky-rocketed up the App Store charts and is sitting comfortably as the App Store’s most popular application. No. 1, baby. The application is also performing quite well in the ratings department, averaging 4.5/5 stars from over 1,026 votes. We’re not sure if people are actually voting because the app is stellar, or because Google played savior and now offers an alternative to Apple’s own mapping application.
It’s a little ironic that Google has had to swoop in and rescue iPhone users from a mapping fiasco. Apple’s Maps application isn’t nearly as bad as the tech press has made it out to be, but unless 1,026 tech journalists hit up the App Store and cast votes, it sounds like an awful lot of people we’re looking for an alternative.