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Google Maps for iOS said to go live in App Store within hours (Update: now live)

Google Maps for iOS said to go live in App Store within hours (Update: now live)
Google Maps app for iOS is set to go live in Apple's App Store within hours from now, AllThingsD reports. (Update: now live)

The app will offer respite to iOS users reeling under 'Mapgate' ever since Apple replaced Google Maps on iOS with its own Maps.

Apple announced its decision to ditch Google Maps - which came bundled with all iOS devices since the original iPhone's launch, until iOS 5 - in favour of a version of its own Maps at WWDC back in June. During the brief demo, the Maps presented themselves well but, as it turned out, the reality was very different.

When Maps finally released in September - first as a software upgrade (iOS 6) for existing iPhone and iPad users, then bundled with the iPhone 5 - the reactions ranged from confusion to amusement to sheer frustration. The Maps were widely criticised for being less detailed than Google's and at other times for being flat-out wrong.

How big a disaster were Apple Maps? CEO Tim Cook had to write a public letter of apology and recommend third-party apps as alternatives. Apple announced that key personnel, including iOS head Scott Forstall, will be leaving the company in the aftermath of 'Mapsgate'. Another executive who oversaw the development of Apple Maps was let go late last month.

Earlier this week, we saw fresh reports emerge out of Australia about people being stranded in the desert after following Apple Maps' directions.

All this while, we heard reports that Google was working on its own Maps app for iOS, and it looks those reports are finally set to come to fruition a few hours from now. Google Maps will join a host of third-party Maps on iOS, including those from Nokia, which  released its HERE Maps for iPhone, iPad last month.
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