Google rescues iPhone users from the outback with new Maps app

The launch of the downloadable app comes after two-and-a-half months of confusion for users

iPhone users can at last find their way after Google last night launched its Maps app for the Apple phone.

The launch of the downloadable app comes after two-and-a-half months of confusion for iPhone users who have had to make do with Apple’s inferior and often plain wrong mapping service.

Computing giant Apple replaced Google as the default navigation system for its smartphone in September when it launched its new iOS 6 operating system.

But users soon spotted serious errors with the app. In London alone it located Paddington station two miles to the east, airbrushed QPR’s Loftus Road football ground out of existence, buried south London suburb Crofton Park in the middle of nearby Brockley Cemetry and misspelt Shepherds Bush as Shepards Bush among other mistakes.

This week Australian authorities also warned that Apple Maps could even be life-threatening after a man looking for the town of Mildura was wrongly directed into the outback and stranded for 24 hours in temperatures of up to 46C.

Apple’s misstep forced CEO Tim Cook to issue a rare and humiliating public apology, recommending iPhone owners use rival mapping services from competitors Microsoft, Google or Nokia. Soon afterwards Cook fired iOS 6 software chief Scott Forstall and has reportedly fired Richard Williamson, the man in charge of Apple Maps.

Despite Apple users’ annoyance with the wayward app, the debacle has a silver lining for iPhone users. Many of better features included in Apple Maps, such as turn-by-turn navigation and three dimensional views, are now available in Google Maps. Google had included these services on its own Android phones and its reluctance to feature them on the iPhone is thought to be one of the reasons for Apple’s original decision to ditch the search giant.

The new Google app, which is a complete redesign of the service, also features integration with users Google+ accounts, traffic news, public transport information, street view, business information and maps history.

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