Google Maps returns to App Store, turns up missing by day's end

Summary:Google on Wednesday officially said that a new Google Maps app was available for the iOS platform. However, the app couldn't be found in the Apple iTunes App Store later in the day. Now, iPhone and iPad users won't have Apple's Maps app to kick around anymore?

The announcement about the return of Google Maps to iOS came from Daniel Graf, director of Google Maps for Mobile. It was in a post on the Google Official Blog. The company said the app had been redesigned "from the ground up" and provided an improved mobile mapping experience.

However, later in the evening there was no evidence of the app on the iTunes App Store.

The app shows more map on screen and turns mobile mapping into one intuitive experience. It’s a sharper looking, vector-based map that loads quickly and provides smooth tilting and rotating of 2D and 3D views. The search box at the top is a good place to start—perhaps by entering the name of a new and interesting restaurant. An expandable info sheet at the bottom shows the address, opening hours, ratings and reviews, images, directions and other information.

Google said that the map database included information on more than 80 million businesses and points of interest.

The world around us is constantly changing and, thanks to feedback from you, we make tens of thousands of daily updates to keep Google Maps accurate and comprehensive. Here’s a helpful hint for the new app: if you see something off, simply shake your phone to send us feedback.

To complete the Google Maps ecosystem, we’re also releasing the Google Maps SDK for iOS, and a simple URL scheme to help developers use Google Maps when building their beautiful and innovative apps.

Releasing the new SDK for iOS, Google hopes to woo developers from Apple's Maps.

The SDK features vector-based maps that load quickly, allowing users to easily navigate 2D and 3D views, rotating and tilting the map with simple gestures inside your app. Developers can also change the Google maps view to include information such as traffic conditions, and control camera positions in 3D. Access to API keys is being progressively rolled out to developers who register interest.

The release will likely roil the business model of a number of companies that have been offering Google Maps-based apps. For example, Maps+ by IZE, a Romanian company, had already been running into limits with Google Places queries, according to a note on the app's latest description in the App Store.

This API powers the Search functionality and this is the reason why users are seeing "Over query limit" error. We're in talks with Google to increase this limit. Please bear with us. Thank you.

Perhaps as customers download the Google app, the demand in the IZE alternative will decrease. If they can download the now disappeared app.

Topics: Google, Apple, Google Apps, iOS, iPad, iPhone

About

David Morgenstern has covered the Mac market and other technology segments for 20 years. In the recent past, he founded Ziff-Davis' Storage Supersite, served as news editor for Ziff Davis Internet and held several executive editorial positions at eWEEK. In the 1990s, David was editor of Ziff Davis' award-winning MacWEEK news publication a... Full Bio

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