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?

  • I liked google maps when it was on the iPhone. Apple maps provides a cleaner better turn by turn navigation, but I hate searching for things! I used to be able to open safari and randomly type things and it could take me into the maps app. I think I’ll use google for searching now and apple for the turn by turn

  • very nice app… and it has voice guided turn by turn hmmm… no reason to pay for tomtom at all

  • Google Maps not available in my country App Store.Very disappointed!

    • Miketyler

      That sucks it is in mine

  • tggt00

    And we even dont have this app in the appstore!!!
    neither google earth!!!
    F*CK USA!

    • RarestName

      Lies. It is available in my country, and I’m not from USA.

      • tggt00

        Im in Israel and I swear in god we dont have these on the appstore

      • IndiePhoenix

        Then create for yourself an Apple ID for USA. It’s easy.

      • Falk M.

        And hooray for the ever persistent mess of multiple Apple IDs that you might never be able to merge lol

      • tggt00

        You are dumb dont you?
        I need an amarican Apple ID to download apps!!!

      • Im no.You the one didnt mention your country.

  • The UI and overall experience is great! Street view is awesome on my 4S! Great job Google! This is what we have wanted since the beginning. Too bad it isnt integrated with iOS…. poo….

    • nftnft

      Can someone make a tweak to make Google Maps default on jailbroken 5.1.1 please, please? *puppy eyes*

  • ed

    I dont think is a good app. The Design its bad (like the youtube app) and also i try to use the turn by turn and it wants to drive thru a house!! To me its okay to search things but Turn by Turn its so much better the Apple Maps, its a okay app not a good app.

  • Eddie

    My firmware is 5.0.1 is there any why I can install it without upgrading?

  • unlucky it doesnt support iOS 5.0.1

  • Definitely a good start. Love the smooth UI.

  • charlie

    yess, crapple now you can see. and learn how to build the real maps on smartphone

  • Woodlandstar

    I’m confused, how does this ‘plug in’ to Apple maps for transit routing???

    • He means when you go to look for directions for public transit on Apple map,it offer use the Google map for only that route but after it route you the public transit on Google map you could them choose car or any other choice ones in the Google map.

  • Falk M.

    If it weren’t for iOS 6 this app wouldn’t be as good as it is.
    (Google Maps for iOS 5 was… boring to say the least.)
    Also we wouldn’t even have Apple Maps, which amusingly works better in my city than Google Maps.
    Yes: BETTER.

    More streets, more POIs.
    Yes, the satellite imagery sucks balls, but apart from that it’s above Google maps.

    Love having both though. Together they are just plain wicked.

    Hooray for choice and damn hooray for iOS 6, although I still hate how unfinished Apple Maps generally is and damn you Scott Forstall – just a sidenote.

  • is there no way to navigate to your contacts addresses?

  • Swee Tan

    Nice! Now have reason to go iOS 6!!! Too bad Singapore doesnt have Google Earth.