Google enhances Street View with “biggest ever update”

In a bid to trump its fiercest rival in the smartphone space, Google is launching what it claims is its “biggest ever update” to its Street View application.

Apple launched its long-awaited iPhone 5 handset in September this year, but the firm attracted criticism for its custom-built Maps application, part of its iOS6 platform.

The Google Maps app was dropped from the platform in favour of the app, but even Apple CEO Tim Cook conceded that users are better off using rival services, and recently apologised for the glitches in the Cupertino firm’s own offering.

Google has opted not to release a new version of Google Maps for the iOS platform yet though, and is focusing on developing it further in an effort to convert Apple users to its Android platform.

It is adding Street View coverage in Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the US, Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada. In addition, the firm is doubling its “special collections”, which are in-depth maps covering areas of interest such as university campuses, zoos and malls. It has launched new special collections in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico.

“Street View is a useful resource when you’re planning a route or looking for a destination, but it can also magically transport you to some of the world’s picturesque and culturally significant landmarks,” said Ulf Spitzer, Street View program manager at Google. “We hope you enjoy taking a virtual stroll around some of the world’s beautiful places.”

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