Dec. 5, 2012 -- Google and Apple might still be at each other's throats, but Google has just released two new apps for Apple's iPad and iPhone. Users have been waiting for them -- Gmail and YouTube, updated to keep up with Apple's changing devices.
Google did not deliver the app people seem to be waiting for -- Google Maps. Be patient.
The new Gmail app for the iPhone and iPad is a much-needed redesign. Six months ago Google released a Gmail app but it was slow and lacked features many Gmail users demanded, like multiple account support. The new Gmail 2.0 does that and more.
Gmail for the iPhone is great for the smaller screen, but the new version for the iPad really shines. It has a three-pane view. When you select messages to delete, it places them in an animated pile. A bit of testing shows it can slow down at times, though.
Joining Gmail is a new YouTube application for the iPad and iPhone. The iPhone version has been optimized for the iPhone 5's larger screen; the iPad app is entirely new. It follows the same design cues as the iPhone app, with a two-pane view. You can swipe outward from the left to see your favorite channels and search YouTube. It also now has an AirPlay feature, so you can stream videos from your iPad to a nearby Apple TV.
Since then Apple has been working hard on its maps, but Google has also been working on a stand-alone app for the iPhone. Right now iPhone users can access Google Maps through the iPhone Safari browser.
"We believe Google Maps are the most comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps in the world," said a Google spokesperson in an email. "Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone, regardless of device, browser, or operating system."
So where is the Google Maps app for the iPhone? It has been reported that it would be released before the end of the year, which leaves them about three weeks.
Gmail 2.0 and the new YouTube app, however, are available now in the Apple App Store.