Google Maps app for iPhone released

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Google Maps returns to iPhone

Apple users can once again use Google Maps on their smartphone devices, after the popular service became available in the app store today at no charge.

It brings to an end a long wait for iPhone owners, with Apple launching their own mapping system in September. After a number of mistakes were discovered and a great deal of criticism was levelled at the company, they were forced into a humiliating climb-down. The extent of the problem for Apple Maps was made clear by a statement from Apple CEO Tim Cook advising users to turn to an alternative service.

Problems with the service included locations being labelled wrongly or even missed off the map altogether. For example, a search for Manchester United Football Club would direct users to Sale United Football Club, a small community team for players aged five or younger. Further issues included towns Stratford-upon-Avon and Solihull completely missing from the map and a furniture museum was reported as being located in a river.

Google Maps features boost Apple users

The return of Google Maps will allow increased functionality for Apple users in need of a maps service, with such features as public transport information and street view, giving iPhone owners the ability to view photographs of a location at street level.

While Google Maps remains the market favourite, Nokia Maps has also been gaining popularity with its interactive 3D mapping service which could be a real contender for Google. With a number of well established mapping rivals and the re-emergence of Google Maps on the iPhone, Apple Maps looks likely to face an uphill struggle to compete.

Kleon West, business development director at theEword commented: "It was always going to be a hard task for Apple to make themselves the market leader in this field, with Google Maps a highly effective and popular service. This is another blow for the progress of their maps service, and it remains to be seen if they will successfully establish themselves."