In September, Apple dropped a bombshell on its iOS user base. It removed the popular Google Maps app from the latest iteration of its mobile OS – iOS 6. Apple’s own Maps had all the bells and whistles – a sleek interface, vector graphics, fanciful 3D flybys. But ultimately, fundamentally flawed.
It was so flawed that, CEO Tim Cook had to step in an publicly to apologise on record for the shortcomings of Apple Maps. Apple eventually even fired Scott Forstall, the Apple executive responsible for iOS and Apple Maps.
The high-flawed mapping app became a butt of jokes and popular internet meme for all the wrong reasons.
Mapping software can only be as great as its mapping database. And none can match, as yet, the seven year-old Google Maps.
Today, Google officially unwrapped the much-awaited Google Maps app for iOS. No more broken bridges, misplaced landmarks resulting in crashing cars and getting users horribly lost.
The Google Maps app is sexy, fast and free. There’s vector graphics and spoken directions. Being a v1.0 app, however, there are some missing features compared to the Android version, though. No offline maps and Siri integration is nada.
Also, there isn’t an iPad version as yet, although it can run as a 2x blown-up version of the iPhone.
Some shortcomings aside, the new Google Maps is still much better than its predecessor, and Google itself admits, better than the Android version.
The new maps app has quickly soared to #1 spot in the App Store. The return of Google’s map app may even encourage more iPhone owners to upgrade to Apple’s latest mobile software, iOS 6.
Download the new Google Maps from the App Store.