Google Maps has finally landed on the iPhone

After months of waiting for the best maps app for iOS 6, Google has finally released their highly anticipated Maps app for the iPhone. With a slick interface and all the features you’ve come to love but found missing on Apple’s own Maps app (i.e. public transit info and Street view), it appears the long wait was well worth it.

Navigate your world with Google Maps, now available for iPhone. Get comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps with built-in Google local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, Street View and more. Use Google Maps to discover great places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and reviews from people you trust. Sign in to save your favorite places and quickly access all your past searches and directions from your computer, right on your phone.

Like Apple’s Maps app, the new Google Maps is vector-based, resulting in quick load times and silky smooth rotations in both 2D and 3D views. Sure it doesn’t have the fancy “Flyover” feature (one I’ve used no more than a handful of times just for the fun of it), but its UI is highly intuitive and easy to use. I love how search results of POIs and businesses (according to Google, there are over 80 million in their database) are displayed at the bottom, which you can slide left/right to reveal more, or simply pull up to reveal the Google Cards interface, where you can Call/Save/Share the location, read reviews, activate Street View and more. Public transit works in a similar fashion in that when you tap on a bus stop icon and “pull up” the info from below, the card view will display all the city buses that stop there and their next (2) arrival times.

I haven’t had a chance to check out how well the turn-by-turn navigation works yet, but judging by how well everything else has been put together by Google so far (and the 7,000+ 5-star ratings on the App Store at time of writing), I don’t anticipate any issues.

Google Maps is now available for the iPhone and iPouch Touch (not support for the iPad yet) and iOS 5.1 and higher is required. If you’ve got an iDevice and use it to navigate/look up POIs, there’s no reason not to download the new Google Maps app. Google’s 30 sec. intro trailer and The Verge’s First Look video below.

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Google Maps Features

* Find addresses, places and businesses around the world with Google local search.
* Discover places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and local reviews.
* Sign in to sync your searches, directions, and favorite places between your computer and your phone.

* Get voice guided, turn-by-turn driving directions.
* Find your way by train, bus, subway or walking directions.
* Access live traffic information in cities across the world.

Street View and imagery
* View 360-degree panoramas of places around the globe with Street View.
* See inside more than 100,000 businesses worldwide.
* View high resolution satellite imagery of locations around the world.

Simple and easy to use
* An entirely new Google Maps experience on your iPhone.
* Newly designed and streamlined interface for even easier navigation of your world.
* Use gestures to explore the map and browse results.

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