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Brand new Google Maps lands on Apple's iPhone and iPad

An update to the Google Maps iOS app brings the popular mapping service back to the iPad.

Since Apple ditched Google Maps for the troubled Apple Maps in iOS 6, iPad users who updated to the most recent version of iOS have not had access to Google Maps, except in the browser.

An iPhone version has been available since December, but downloading it on the iPad simply provided an iPhone-sized app on the iPad's screen. As a result, some users have avoided updating from iOS 5 to iOS 6 until Google Maps was available for their tablet.

Google Maps Version 2.0, however, provides a "new design for iPad
," so those with an iPad or iPad mini can tap into Google's impressive mapping database.

"A dedicated tablet design brings all the features of Google Maps, including Street View, to a larger screen, which makes exploring the world from the comfort of your living room engaging and fun," Google said in a blog post. "Go from the Colosseum to your local pizza joint in just a few taps."

The update also brings some improvements for large and small iOS gadgets alike. Google promised enhanced navigation, like live traffic updates and incident reports, which rolled out on the desktop last year.

An Explore option, meanwhile, provides tip on local restaurants, bars, stores, and other locations, as well as reviews from friends and content from Zagat, which Google acquired in September 2011. The search giant will also tie in deals from Google Offers.

In addition to Street View, the app update also includes indoor maps with walking directions for malls, transit stations, airports, and more.

These updates were added to Android last week.