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In line with expectations from earlier today, Google has released an official Google Maps application for Apple’s iOS platform. The application runs on the iPhone and iPod touch.

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.

Search
* 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.

Directions
* 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.

The free application arrives following several rumors about the app, and comes in the weeks following Apple’s official launch of iOS 6. iOS 6 was the first version of iOS to not include a Maps app with a Google backend. Instead, it uses Apple’s own backend that has been the source of much controversy. So much controversy that two senior Apple employees who worked on the project, Scott Forstall and Richard Willamson, were pushed out of Apple for reasons relating to the app’s flaws relating to data reliability.

Even with flawed data, Apple’s new Maps application has been praised for its speedier design, 3D Flyover feature, and turn-by-turn data. However, it lacks the popular Street View and Transit directions features from the Google Maps-based app found on Apple mobile devices prior to iOS 6′s release.

Some videos about Google Maps for iOS:

Google’s new iOS Maps application brings back the data that iOS customers were used to in addition to the Street View and Transit directions features. New in the mix from Google for iOS devices is turn-by-turn directions. Apple reportedly wanted to built in Google’s turn-by-turn functions into the then Google Maps-based iOS Maps app, but Google did not want to provide the data for Apple’s users.

Google has also announced a Google Maps for iOS SDK so that iOS App Store developers can embed Google Maps (once again) into their applications.

Alongside the newly designed Google Maps for iPhone, we’re also excited to announce the Google Maps SDK for iOS. With the Google Maps SDK for iOS, developers can feature Google maps in their applications on the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad. Also, the SDK makes it simple to link to Google Maps for iPhone from inside your app, enabling your users to easily search and get directions.

Additionally, a URL scheme service is available with Google Maps on iOS:

Any iOS app can also launch the Google Maps for iPhone app using a URL scheme. This allows Google Maps for iPhone to be launched to complete a search, show a map or Street View imagery, or to see and navigate walking, driving and transit directions easily.

Google Maps from iOS is available now on the App Store.