The app offers the well know Google maps data with vector maps as well as turn-by-turn navigation.
The new app is quite different from what Google Maps used to be as a native app on previous version of iOS. Menus have been made larger and the user interface is overall more intuitive.
When launched the application first ask permission for storing “anonymous“ location history data on the device and on the cloud. So far so good, everybody is doing that: Apple, Nokia, etc...
Then Google repeatedly ask the user to connect the app to its Google account. The purpose of this linking is to “save your favorite places and get quick access to past searches and directions from your computer and phone.“
But besides the privacy aspect what is interesting here is that in opening the door back to Google within iOS, Apple is currently burying the exact reason why it created Apple Maps in the first place: kicking Google out. instead of that Google is actually leveraging iPhone users to make its map product even better.
The release of this app is also not the best news to Yelp who was supposed to receive a lot of traffic from Apple to its local reviews. A large part of this opportunity is gone now.
With Google's turn-by-turn navigation now available on iOS, it is also another nail in the coffin of paid navigation software vendors.