Google Maps Is Back for iPhone

The new Google Maps becomes most-downloaded app within hours of its debut Wednesday.

The new Google Maps application is demonstrated in New York on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012.

The new Google Maps application is demonstrated in New York on Thursday.

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After months of using flawed Apple Maps, iPhone users will now be able to find their way again. Google released its long-awaited Google Maps update for the newest iPhone Wednesday.

"People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone. Starting today, we're pleased to announce that Google Maps is here—rolling out across the world in the Apple App Store," the company wrote on its official blog.

[Photos: Google Cameras Map Grand Canyon Trails]

When the latest iPhone upgrade, iO6, debuted in September, it featured only Apple's GPS navigation app, Apple Maps. Previous upgrades had come with Google Maps, but the two tech giants bickered over spoken turn-by-turn directions, which Google featured on its Android Google Maps app, but not on the iPhone version. So Apple scrapped Google Maps in favor of its own map app, which featured spoken turn-by-turn directions. But it turns out building a good navigation app is expensive and time consuming, and without Google's head start Apple's attempt had more than a few navigation issues and technical glitches. The app was bad enough that Apple's chief executive, Tim Cook, apologized for it in a letter to customers in September.

"We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers, and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better," Cook wrote.

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Thanks to Wednesday's announcement, those customers can upgrade their iPhones without being stuck with Apple Maps.

The new Google Maps features turn-by-turn navigation and public transit maps, and it's clearly appreciated. It became the most-downloaded app in the Apple Store within seven hours of its release. The announcement was also greeted with relief, and snark, on Twitter. 

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Seth Cline is a reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at scline@usnews.com.