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Google Maps for Apple's iOS finally launches to save the day

by Alistair Lowe on 13 December 2012, 10:45

Tags: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

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The long awaited Google fix to the Apple iOS 6 bug known as Apple Maps has at last arrived, however, is it enough for maps users to finally make the move over to iOS 6?

The truth is, the app is pretty basic, no-thrills, however it has done well to focus on the core functionality that is missing from the Apple alternative and, that's the ability to navigate accurately and correctly. There are actually improvements over the version previously available on iOS 5, which didn't feature some of the latest touches from its Android counter-part, unlike the new standalone application.

Google Maps for iOS

New features you'll find

  • Voice guided turn-by-turn directions and estimated travel times
  • Indoor panoramic images for opt-in customers on Street View
  • 3D building outlines and 3D viewing angles
  • Vector-based graphics for speedier and smoother zoom and loading
  • Clean 'Google Now' style interface
  • A new SDK for integration within third-party apps (including traffic and 3D support)
Good old features
  • Maps that provide accurate information
  • Latest Google satellite images
  • Directions by Car, Public Transport and On Foot
  • Street View
What's not available?
  • iPad optimised app (no doubt on the way)
  • 3D flyovers (instead directs to Google Earth as alternative app)
  • Indoor maps (present on Android only)
  • Offline viewing (present on Android only)
  • Voice search (present on Android only)
At the end of the day, the Google Maps 1.0 app will deliver the vital service that Apple removed from its products in iOS 6, functional navigation, however, right now the application is fairly basic and aside from the general UI doesn't look as pretty as its Apple alternative, without using Google Earth in tandem.

The good news is Google Maps for iOS is a standalone application. We still recommend readers try it out first, it works on iOS 5, however you can now have your cake and eat it, with an update to iOS 6, both Google and Apple maps will be available.

It'll be interesting to see how Google evolves the application now that it's out there and if the firm will build towards all-out competition with Apple Maps or simply focus on its Android offerings as before.

 



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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Shame it only seems to be for iPhone, no iOS 6 for me until theres an iPad version too.
Kinda glad I ditched Apple now, it's took ages for them to finally admit defeat and accept Google's app.
I still don't understand why apple's maps are so poor and why they thought it more important to boot google than to keep a good user experience.
There are plenty of suppliers other than google with better quality maps than the IOS maps they have right now.

AIUI they paid tomtom for the maps, did they only pay enough to get 1950s maps ?
apple licenced the latest tomtom maps - its just apples pi55 poor software that failed horribly.
Apple finally give in :D