Since the implementation of iOS 6, Google and Apple’s relationship has changed a bit. Now, the Google applications that graced the home screens of iPhone users since the birth of the iPhone, including YouTube and Google Maps, were now gone. A deal couldn’t be reached for this new software and so, Google Maps was replaced with the infamous Apple maps, and YouTube is now reduced to either the Safari version or the App Store YouTube app. The same fate now befalls Google Maps. Does the app makeup for the death of the native Google Maps app, or is it just another Apple Maps? Let’s take a look and find out.
The interface of the Google Maps application for iOS is quite similar to what we have seen from the native app from iOS 5 and before. The application features a very clean and simple interface that is un-distracting.The main map screen shows the current location button and search features at the top. Business search interface follows a very clean design scheme, making use of only black and blue ink with a white background. Speaking of business pages, the design includes a map view at the very top, with the name, Google rating, reviews, and driving time from your current location to the business’s address. You also have business info, hours, address, and photos.
Many of the features of the Google Maps app is what we already remember from the native app, however with the added space of a more dedicated application, there is more freedom in what is included and how it is done. For example, as mentioned before, the business listings have expanded exponentially. Also, there is improved directions. No longer is there the click-to-advance directions, now you can get turn-by-turn voice directions, improved transit directions, and the live traffic we saw from iOS 5. Street View is improved on Google Maps for iOS, with more vibrant images to match the Retina display, the ability to see inside participating businesses, and satellite views of the maps.
What We Love
A couple of things I’m loving about the new Google Maps: first off, the turn by turn directions are a huge plus. This truly advances it as a competitor (or at least an equal for Apple Maps). However, what advances it to bring the Apple Maps behind the dust? Performance is a huge reason, of course! Due to the Google Maps making obvious use of the Google API, you get the performance you have come to expect from Google. It is too early for us to find anything that we currently dislike about the Google Maps application.
If you are interested in kicking the Apple Maps to the curb, at least until it straightens out, then give the new Google Maps a try. The application is free to use and is available in the app store for you to enjoy.