Google released its native Maps iOS app last night and, perhaps predictably, already the much-expected software has surged to become the top free iPhone app on the App Store. This just goes to illustrate that competition is a good thing and how eager people have been to have that native mapping experience from Google on their iPhones.

The program features a sleek interface and features missing from Apple’s in-house offering, namely the excellent Street View and public transit directions, in addition to a number of the usual features ranging from Zagat restaurant reviews and turn-by-turn navigation, local Google search and more…

According to TechCrunch, which first reported on Google Maps becoming the App Store’s top free iPhone app, “Apple isn’t featuring the Google Maps iOS app in its special Maps-related Featured section”.

Google admitted that the application is better in terms of design compared to the Android build, which has been adding features over time by way of cluttering menus with new items.

It’s also interesting that the program acts as a transit routing option linked from Apple’s Maps app.


Additionally, the app borrows some features from the standalone Google Earth app, such as the entire photographic model of the Earth and its oceans.

Google Earth is a free download that supports the iPhone 3GS or better running iOS 5.1 and higher. Google has noted that they’re working on the iPad version.

Will you be using Google Maps on a regular basis?