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Google Maps app is updated with new offline features and more ride-service options.

Yesterday, Google Maps added two new offline features. In addition to it, Google Maps also increased the number of international ride-service rate comparison options.

Google has released a major update of its popular navigation app, Google Maps 8 for Android and iOS devices (iPhone and iPad). Google Maps is updated to version 8 across all supported platforms. The latest update of one of the best navigation app bundles some of the most wanted features requested by its users. Among the features included in this update, offline maps and lane guidance are the most notable features.

Google has officially released Google Maps for iOS platform. Google Maps iOS app is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. This app is optimized for iPhone 5 and requires iOS 5.1 or later.

With the release of iOS 6, Apple replaced Google Maps with its own Apple Maps app, which soon has seen worldwide criticism, mainly, due to offering incorrect, and sometimes incomplete, map data. The worldwide critics forced Apple to launch a special “Find Maps For Your iPhone” section in its App Store for its customers. Before Google, Nokia released its own map, Nokia HERE Maps App for iOS users. With Google finally releasing the long-awaited Google Maps iOS app, it will hopefully appease many iOS users who were looking for a better map app. The Google Maps iOS app can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store here.

Nokia has rebranded its existing mapping service as the new HERE Maps. Nokia HERE Maps, an alternative to Apple Maps, is now available as free download from the iOS App Store for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The new iOS app uses mapping data from Nokia-owned NAVTEQ, and supports Here.net personalized POI (points-of-interest) Collections. Nokia HERE Maps covers over 200 countries and is an HTML5 app and not a native iOS software.

The new Nokia HERE Maps app includes turn-by-turn walking directions, which is still not offered by Apple Maps. Additionally, the iOS app also features live traffic, community maps (for selected areas), social sharing, public transportation and offline support. It allows users to select a local region and download the maps for that region in advance as a cache for offline viewing.

Apple iOS 6 came with Apple’s own Maps app removing the default Google Maps app from iPhone and iPad. Now, if you’ve not been living under a rock lately, you’ve probably heard about how iOS Maps failed to deliver to its users expectations. After the Maps app fiasco, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, himself releases an official statement about iOS 6 Maps in the form of an open letter. In the letter, Tim Cook says that Apple is “extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”

Cook in his open letter further suggested its customers to try alternative Map apps available for download from the App Store or use browser version of Google Maps or Nokia Maps:

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Following Cook’s official apology statement about Apple’s ‘Maps’ service, the Cupertino, CA, company went one step further and launched a new dedicated section on its iOS App Store called “Find Maps For Your iPhone.” The new list is also linked from the “Featured” section of the App Store. This dedicated section is curated to offers alternative map apps for iPhone and iPad users running on iOS 6.