iPhone users have been waiting for a Google Maps app ever since Apple got rid of the old one. Apple attempted to replace Google Maps with Apple Maps, but that poorly devised mapping app just didn’t cut it.
Finally, Google Maps for the iPhone is here. After months of working on a dedicated iPhone app, Google’s Maps is finally complete. Needless to say, Google Maps rose straight to the top of the Apple Store today. Here’s what you can expect to find if you download Google Apps (and, really, you should).
All the Old Familiars
Google has brought back everything that you loved about Google Maps. Transit directions, walking directions, ratings, turn-by-turn directions, street view, satellite view, and photos. All those things that made Google Maps so great are back. Further, the new Google Maps uses vectors instead of tiles, which means that the map app loads a lot faster (and uses less data). In addition to all the old goodies, the new Google Maps for iOS also comes with a cleaned-up interface.
When you look at the new Google Maps app, it becomes apparent that the Google team really put a lot of thought into developing this app for iOS users. When searching, results show up on the bottom of the map app in a clean white space. A new panel allows users to slide in and out of map details. If you use Google Maps mostly for transit options, you’ll also love the fact that you can swipe across the screen to reveal different transit routes, and it is also possible to tap to view transit directions more closely.
The whole Google Maps app is intuitive, simple, and efficient. Surprisingly, this version of Google Maps for iOS is even better than the last one – Google managed to improve on Google Maps without removing any of the former elements that made Maps so great to begin with. The only drawback, right now, is that an offline version of Google Maps for iOS doesn’t exist yet, but Google has told press that the company is working on this issue.
Using the Google Maps App
At the time of this writing, the new Google Maps works with iOS 5.1 and higher. However, Google’s new Maps does not work with the iPad right now. There’s no doubt about the fact that Google has the map app market cornered. Even though iOS users across the board attempted to find a replacement for Google Maps when Apple made the switch, nothing compared to what Google originally offered. Now, Google Maps for iOS is even better than it was, which is really quite a feat.
If you are currently running iOS 5.1, make sure to check out Google Maps. The new map application is currently in the Apple Store, and Google Maps is completely free to download. Google’s Maps should be rolling out to more than 40 countries and will be available in more than 30 different languages. Clearly, Google remains king of the map app.