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Google has launched a new version of its hugely popular Maps application for iOS. But most importantly, it has finally added iPad and iPad mini support so people don’t have to use Apple Maps.
First spotted by 9to5Mac, the app update brigs Google Maps for iOS in line with the latest version for Android. The primary additions include navigation that helps you avoid bad traffic conditions and a new “Explore” option that lets you browse nearby restaurants, bars, and shops in just a few taps.
Apple famously booted Google Maps from its iOS operating system last September with the launch of iOS 6. Users briefly had to settle for buggy and incomplete Apple Maps. Thankfully, Google released a third-party Google Maps apps for the iPhone in December.
But iPad and iPad mini owners still had to use not-so-great Apple Maps for navigation and exploration, so there’s no doubt iPad users will be quite happy with today’s news. The iPhone version also gets today’s update, but it likely won’t have the impact the iPad version does.
The old version of Google Maps has been removed from the iTunes App Store in the U.S. as of this writing, but we expect it will be available shortly.
Also today, Google also opened up its newest version of Google Maps for the desktop to any user who wants to give it a spin. (Previously you had to go through an invite process to get in.) This new version of Maps has been redesigned to be faster and include content from Google Earth, Google’s Street View, and more. It also lets you explore underwater and parts of space. (See the video here for more on this new version.)
Check out a few more screenshots of the new Google Maps on iPad below.