Google Releases 3D Maps App For iOS Ahead of Apple

Google Releases 3D Maps App For iOS Ahead of Apple

There is no need to wait for Apple’s iOS 6 to use 3D mobile apps. Today, Google launches their 3D update to iOS Google Earth apps.

Just last month, Google introduced the new map update for Apple’s operating system, and now they’re finally going live today. Unfortunately, the new feature will  only work with more recent Apple products although all iPhone owners can download the update. The 3D app for Android is already enabled.

The 3D imagery for Google maps currently features 14 major regions including Los Angeles and Boston. According to Peter Birch(Google product manager for the geo team), by the end of this year, Google 3d map should cover 300 million people, then expand from that.

The update is more than just maps, it also features tour guides, with cities of interest, which will be a useful tool for people who want to learn more about certain travel destinations.

This update gives Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) a leg up with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) which currently offers iOS 6 to a small margin of Apple fans prior to the big release.

Once upon a time, every mobile device and smartphone offered flat virtual map applications that quickly replaced the traditional maps, which sat on the dashboards of our cars. Now, it appears those old mapping applications are being phased out in favor of three dimensional map applications. It’s truly amazing how one gimmicky feature like 3D can spice up the most mundane tools.  I wonder what they will think up of next?

Despite the fact that Google just updated and enhanced their Earth mobile app, I really don’t think that will deter Apple fans from using their in-house 3D mobile application, when it comes out later on this year. I’m just wondering if Apple won’t find a way to ban Google maps from their App Store.  Both companies have been fighting hard over the last few years, primarily because Apple sees Google’s Android as big competition. Both mapping applications sound good, the only reason anyone should choose one or the other is all in the matter of personal preference.

At press time, the Google update has yet to take affect although it should be running sometime during Thursday, July 26th.

I wonder if Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has any plans to update other popular applications in the near future? Only time will tell what happens next with Google and the future of their company.