Well, that didn’t take long — the Google Maps app for iOS, which was released late last night has already sky rocketed to the top slot for free apps in the App Store. The accomplishment came in under 24 hours even though Apple has yet to feature Google Maps as an alternative to its own maps within its special maps/navigation section of the App Store.
The new Google Maps app was apparently in development for quite some time prior to being released last night and the attention to detail within the app, makes it evident that this isn’t just some code port, but rather a well-done iOS native version of Google Maps.
According to Daniel Graf, director of Google Maps for mobile, “You’re not going to see any menu here, the map is the UI. The map is completely vector based, very fast, and we have the search box on top. Those are the two things Google is familiar with, speed and search. Panning around is super fast, labels appear quickly. You Zoom in, you can pan down with gestures for 3D.”
Graf also mentioned that the Maps team plans to iterate on the app quickly, meaning you could see an update sometime shortly after the new year. Right now, the app features a number of features including turn-by-turn navigation, built-in Google+ Local support with the “Info Sheet” feature, and public transit and walking directions.