Great news for all iPhone users came today in the shape of Google’s maps app for IOS, which is available on the App store by clicking here. Since the launch of Apples own attempt at a mapping service in September of this year, it has been met with a wide range of criticism and frustration from it’s users owing particularly to incomplete and inaccurate mapping information provided by the service. Read our own post “Have you just lost 400 million customers” to find more information about this. This embarrassing turn of events has ultimately lead to Apple being pressured into accepting apps that would potentially contravene certain rules within their terms and conditions, such as not permitting apps that replace core features of the device (this might be interesting to watch once Apple has ironed out some of it’s more prominent flaws). Whilst Apple continues to make improvements in their mapping technology in any case, we wonder whether Googles app might well replace Apples on the first page of users mobiles for the foreseeable future, or at least until Apple decides that it’s had enough again.
One of the new features to have been added to the new maps mobile application is the development of turn by turn navigation, which was not present in the old version. This allows users to use the app as a sat nav, based on current location and direction that the device is facing. Initial thoughts are that its very good, not as pretty as Apples maps app but very functional.
Unlike many of Googles applications up to now, their all new maps app has been natively coded for IOS (not simply HTML5 in a wrapper) which makes it run smooth and fast.
One of the elements of great praise for the new Apple maps was the change to vector based map tiles. This slows load times and reduces the amount of data that is required to be downloaded.
Having only had a short time to play with the new application we can already see that Google have done a great job of simplifying the user experience and compared to the old app bundled with IOS it seems miles ahead.
One of the most crucial elements that Apple haven’t addressed is the public transport navigation that was present in the old maps app. Thankfully, Google maps for IOS brings this back, so no more working out train or bus times.
Although we are liking and getting used to Yelp, we are glad that businesses (not just restaurants and coffee houses) are now appearing once again with Google Places.
Yes, we can now see everything again. This is a great feature and would have taken Apple a long time to replicate.
Although we think that Apple is certainly progressing with their mapping service, the overall consensus is that it’s nice to be able to get back some of the Crucial features that were so great about mobile maps in the past. Inevitably this might also take some pressure off Apple who will be able to spend more time developing their service than fighting criticism, but rest assured the Maps war is far from over.
We would love to know if you have downloaded and installed Google Maps for IOS and what you think of it? Please leave your comments below.