Google, Inc. on Wednesday night at 11PM Eastern Standard Time released Google Maps for Apple iOS 6, the company’s long-awaited answer to Apple Maps.

The free Google Maps application includes Google local search, voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions and street views.

While the app only just now came to market a Google executive claims that Apple simply took a while to review and approve the mobile application. According to the Google rep:

“We believe Google Maps are the most comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps in the world. Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system.”

Google Maps iOS 6 Return

Google’s turn-by-turn voice guided directions seems like a slap in the face to Apple. It has largely been rumored that Apple cut its Google contract a year short because of a failure to implement that very same feature.

While Apple may have lost its initial app battle With Google, the release of Google Maps for iOS 6 actually buys Apple time to work on its own mobile maps platform, while still offering a popular free program for mobile users. Apple has went so far as to hunt down and hire former Google apps programmers to help fix its application. Apple maps does have some features that Google Maps lack such as top-of-the-line offline performance, vector mapping and Siri integration.

Adding to Google’s lead may be the release of an SDK (software developers kit) for third-party developers, a system that allows app developers to launch into Google Maps to finish a search, show a regular map or open up Google Street View among other features.

Google Maps iOS 6

Will you be switching over from Apple Maps to Google Maps now that the option has been made available to you?

[Image via Pocket-Lint]