Google brings own Maps app to iOS

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Google brings own Maps app to iOS
Google's Maps app in action. (Courtesy: Google)

Gives users option to abandon Apple Maps.

Google has released a Maps app for iPhone and iPod touch devices on Apple's App Store, months after being dumped from iOS6.

The firm said in a blog post that the Google Maps app is available in more than 40 countries and 29 languages.

It also unveiled a Google Maps software development kit for iOS, enabling developers to "feature Google Maps in their applications".

"Access to API keys is being progressively rolled out to developers who register interest," Google Maps senior product manager Andrew Foster said in a separate blog post.

"Our goal is to provide you with the right tools to build the best mapping experiences across platforms including Android, Web, and now iOS."

Google was reported to be working on a standalone iOS6 app since being excluded from the latest Apple mobile operating system.

Upon launching iOS6, Apple replaced Google Maps with its own Maps application, which has suffered a series of problems, culminating in Apple reportedly firing its chief of Maps last month and CEO Tim Cook apologising to customers.

But the problems have continued. Earlier this week, Mildura Police said they had been called to assist wayward motorists that had become stranded in remote areas by following the "Apple iOS 6 mapping system".

Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt always maintained that Google's own Maps app was superior.

"We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?" Schmidt told a Reuters reporter back in September.

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