Back in September, Apple unceremoniously kicked Google's Maps off its operating system when it introduced iOS 6. But the tech giant was forced to reverse course after taking blistering criticism about the poor functionality of its own Maps program, which got widely panned for giving users less than exact directions. (Read more: Apple Maps May Be Hazardous to Your Life: Aussies .)
The reintroduction of Google's maps features a new interface that will help users find what they are looking for in less time, the company said in a blog post on its website.
The search giant also included voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, traffic conditions and public transportation information.
By all indications, the return of Google Maps was not lost on technology lovers. The application shot to the number one downloaded slot on iTunes Thursday morning, while the hashtag "GoogleMaps" was a trending topic on Twitter.