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Google Maps for iOS arrives with Street View, public transport

iPhone owners are free at last! Google has made its Apple Maps-beating maps app available on the iOS App Store.

iPhone owners are finally free of Apple's terrible built-in Maps app, thanks to Google's long-awaited iOS Maps software finally making its way onto the App Store.

The app is available to download now, and brings all modern comforts to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch customers, including public transport and a compass-controlled street view that lets you scroll by waving your mobile around.

It's early days, but my first impressions of the new app are positive. The ability to search public transport from the app is crucial, and even alerted me to some nasty delays on London's central line.

Satellite information looks good, and the app itself is fast and well presented, with an attractive minimalist look and on-screen controls that will be familiar to any long-time iPhone owners. It's certainly much better than using Google's web-based maps service in a browser.

The only issue is that links to maps on websites or within other apps will likely still open Apple's Maps app, as there's no way to tell iOS which app you'd like to use by default.

Apple controversially did away with Google's excellent mapping data, instead building its own app using TomTom data. The move was a bold one that had many intrigued, but when Apple's effort turned out to be less useful than a canoe made of Ryvita, iPhone owners clamoured for the big G to make a glorious return.

The cartographical crisis at Apple HQ has seen boss Tim Cook offer a public apology, and several key employees shown the door.

Have you used the new app? What do you think of it? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.