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Google Maps for iOS having 'finishing touches' put to it

Google Maps is almost ready to launch on the iPhone and iPad, according to reports, after being replaced with the disastrous Apple Maps.

Good news if you bought an iPhone 5 -- or upgraded to iOS 6 -- and are sick of Apple Maps pointing you in the wrong direction. Google Maps is almost ready to launch on the iPhone and iPad, the Wall Street Journal reports. That'll be a relief to anyone who's looked for Heathrow Airport and ended up in Hyde Park.

Google has been putting the "finishing touches" to the app, according to the paper. While it hasn't submitted it to the iTunes App Store for approval yet, it has been sending it out to individuals outside Google.

A Google spokesperson wouldn't confirm the rumours, but said, "We believe Google Maps are the most comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps in the world. Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system."

Google Maps was available for Apple devices before the launch of iOS 6, when Apple replaced it with its own version as the default maps app. It also kicked out Google's YouTube app. But unfortunately Apple failed to test its Maps app thoroughly enough, with some of the data woefully out of date: as well as misplacing entire towns, it pointed out the nearest Our Price and Woolworths shops. Which is only handy if you've got a time machine.

Apple Maps is improving, but it'll take a while to right all these blunders.

The next version of Google Maps is said to feature turn-by-turn navigation, according to the Journal's source. This was missing from the previous iOS version because of a disagreement between Google and Apple.

Judging from the reaction to the joke that was Apple Maps, I think we can expect plenty of downloads when Google Maps goes live on the App Store.

Are you waiting for Google Maps to upgrade to iOS 6? Is Apple Maps improving fast enough? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.