Google has just released an update to its Google Maps software development kit (SDK) for iOS.

The new 1.1 version of the SDK features a number of interesting additions, including ground overlays, gesture controls, and geodesic polylines.

What’s more, coinciding with the update is the opening of the SDK to all developers. Previously, as noted by The Next Web, developers who wanted to use the SDK needed to register first and wait for access.

Now, developers just have to enable the Google Maps SDK for iOS service in the Google APIs Console, where keys can be obtained.

These keys can then be entered in the new sample app that comes with the new version of the SDK. This sample app demonstrates the core features that developers can take advantage of in integrating Google Maps into their own apps.

These features include Google’s base map and satellite imagery collection, which is said to be the largest and most comprehensive in the world.

Watch the video below for a demonstration of the Google Maps SDK for iOS 1.1 by Google Maps Developers Live’s Mano Marks and Paul Saxman.

If you can’t see the video embedded above, please click here.

Google Maps had been the infrastructure behind Apple’s Maps app since the launch of the iPhone in 2007. That was up until the release of iOS 6 last September, when Apple decided to come out with its proprietary mapping solution.

But Apple’s Maps app had received widespread criticism for its various inaccuracies. This criticism prompted Apple CEO Tim Cook to issue a public apology for the subpar product. It also led to the firing of Apple’s iOS head, Scott Forstall, and its maps manager, Richard Williamson.

Earlier this month, Apple posted several job listing in hopes of hiring additional software engineers to improve its Maps app.

Google Maps, of course, had made its much-awaited comeback on iOS as a standalone app in December last year. Optimized for iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 5.1 or later, it’s available in the App Store for free.