When Apple launched iOS 6, they did away with Google’s mapping service in exchange for their own. The Apple Maps app was so bad that the company’s CEO made a public apology and recommended that users seek an alternate map app for the time being. After a few months, Google launched its own map app for iPhone (still not optimized for the iPad), which led to an influx of iOS 6 adoption from users who refused to update their software until they could use Google Maps on them.
At that time, Google also launched a software developer kit (SDK) for iOS developers so they could embed Google Maps into their app instead of Apple’s Maps app. The SDK also allowed developers to specify in their apps if an address or direction should be opened in Google or Apple’s map app.
In order to access the SDK, developers had to register their information and wait in line to be approved. This is why so many apps with map features still open Apple’s Maps app, even though Google Maps is on their iPhones.
As of yesterday, Google released version 1.1 of their Maps SDK for iOS. This update supports ground overlays, gestures and control, and geodesic polylines. It also makes the application program interface (API) immediately available to all developers who want it. No more waiting in line or registering with Google.
It is highly likely that app makers will implement Google Maps into their apps at a fast rate. Maybe Australia can finally update their FireReady app so that community volunteers don’t get lost on the way to the fire.