Google Maps finally returns to the iPhone in the form of a new and shiny app. iOS 6 came with it’s on Maps app that left many looking for other solutions to a few very specific problems. The biggest thing lacking in the new iOS Maps app is that it doesn’t have walks directions nor public transportation data. Many iPhone users looked to other apps to find bus, train and rail data and returning empty handed. Apple itself told users to look for other map solutions until they had Apple Maps working as the users expected.
Google Maps has been built from the ground up to be an impressive looking maps app full of new features. Maps in Google Maps are now completely vector based, no more tiles being downloaded. Labels and such are now very fluid and crisp looking due to them not being drawn on the map tiles as they were in the past.
If you swipe up from the bottom of the screen an info sheet appears displaying info from Google+ Local with Google Streetview, 3d models inside buildings and images from Google+ that users have submitted. Data from Zagat is available too.
As with any more modern maps app you can select you can select your destination specify your starting location and then be presented with routes. Google Maps takes it a step further by using real-time traffic data to assist you in selection the best route. Voice guidance instructs you though each turn. Turn-by-turn directions on this new app is quite impressive and with some added gestures you can two finger swipe to the left you pull up your routing info.
The big thing that bothered users was when iOS 6 dropped native support for transit directions. Not being able to figure out how to get from one place to another via public transit can be quite challenging and no one does it better than Google Maps. Reports indicate that Google covers over one million transit spots in the world and more added every day. This app is amazing in that it can recommend if you can walk, or take some form of public transportation if you are near a stop. It can also tell you how much the fare is and how long it will take to get there. In a recent trip to San Francisco after iOS6 came out it was quite hard to figure out what was the best way to get somewhere using SF’s awesome public transit services, where in previous trips even the Apple created Maps of iOS 4 and 5 did a decent job of getting me to and from.
Over the next few days we’ll be testing Google Maps for iOS and will post a full review.
Where to download: Download Google Maps from the iTunes App Store
Google Maps – Navigation & Transit
by Google, Inc.
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
Customer ratings: (156162 ratings)