Google Maps Finally Navigates a Path Back to the iPhone

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Google Maps Finally Navigates a Path Back to the iPhone

Great news for iPhone users: as of today, they will no longer have to put up with a world of missing towns and villages, melting highways, and shops located in rivers, for the world’s most popular, most reliable map app – Google Maps – has finally risen from the ashes.

That’s right folks, Google Maps has returned to iOS, much to the relief of hordes of Apple fans who, for the last few months, could be forgiven for looking a little lost.


Apple’s own maps program proved itself to be the biggest disaster for the company since, well, since it decided to dump Google Maps in the first place. So shoddy was the product that CEO Tim Cook even felt compelled to make a groveling public apology to Apple’s customers, going as far as to recommend alternative to products like Nokia Maps until they could (if they ever) fix the damn thing.

As well as the schoolboy errors listed above, so bad was Apple Maps that it was recently described by the Australian police as “life-threatening”, after several iPhone users were misdirected into a sweltering, snake-infested desert known as the Murray Sunset National Park, instead of the town Mildura, located 70kms away.

So all in all, most iPhone users should be pretty pleased that the reliable functionality of Google Maps is once again in the palm of their hands. And in stark contrast to Apple’s own efforts, Google is confident enough to claim that the newly updated version is a “major improvement” on the previous one that Apple was so eager to leave behind.

google maps for iphone

Google Maps is back with a bang!

“It’s designed from the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google Maps with an interface that makes finding what you’re looking for faster and easier,” says Google on its blog.

“The app shows more map on screen and turns mobile mapping into one intuitive experience. It’s a sharper looking, vector-based map that loads quickly and provides smooth tilting and rotating of 2D and 3D views.”

So what does Google Maps have in store for iPhone users?

Well, to be honest, it looks pretty similar to the old version, and so users will have a pretty easy time figuring out where they are. There are a few notable tweaks though, for example the interface looks more ‘Androidy’ than iOS. Also included is a beta version of Google’s turn-by-turn navigation (which, we hope, won’t get you lost in the desert), and there’s now a menu icon located in the bottom right corner that allows you to view info such as traffic, satellite photos, public transport and Google Earth.

The essential Street View also returns – simply enter your desired address, swipe upwards to see a streetview thumbnail, then tap on this to see it in full screen. The app also includes the ability to share locations via email and text message.

iPhone app includes Google Street View

iPhone app includes Google Street View

Those who want to can sync their Gmail account to the app, enabling them to enter addresses such as their home or workplace for better navigation. This will also enable across platform synching, so your search history will appear on your iPhone as well as your PC at home or at work.

Another little feature is Google Instant, which guesses the location, restaurant, shop or whatever else it is you’re searching for as you type it, a la Google’s search engine. Once located, users can then swipe upwards to find more information about the venue, plus reviews and photos.

One slight disappointment is that the app is currently only available on the iPhone, which means iPad users will have to make do with whatever they’re using now. Google says it’s planning to make one, but as for a release date that remains anyone’s guess – Google, as always, remain tight-lipped on that matter.

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley is an independent freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast from the UK. A journalism graduate of Nottingham University, Mike enjoys travelling... Read Full Bio
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  • Brian R

    I just want to say as an iPhone user I was happy that Apple built their own maps and added what I have wanted in the native app for years, voice guided turn by turn directions! The issue that everyone seems to be forgetting and leaving out is the fact that Google wasn’t going to provide voice guided turn by turn direction s for the iPhone maps app (presumably because they wanted the Android to have that as an advantage over the iPhone), therefore Apple made the right decision in proving users like me what we’ve wanted for a LONG time now.

    Now I hear Google Maps App is going to have voice guided turn by turn directions! Well, it’s a little late don’t ya think?

    I have also been using the new Apple maps for a few months now and can say I have never had any problems with the directions I got. Couldn’t say the same for Google Maps, I had recently done a local search for a business on google using Safari and asked it to show me the location of the business, it showed me a location I knew of as it was right by my house and I knew that business was no where near there, well, I loaded my Apple maps and found out it was 2.5 miles further down the street.

    Fact is none of these are perfect, Apple’s is new so you’d expect more errors from their maps, but for all those who swear by Google Maps accuracy, this product has been out for almost a decade and is still showing bad locations from time to time.

  • Mario

    Brian, your experience is truly unique to me. As I know, people are so negative experiences with earlier maps from Apple. Anyway, an interesting experience to see such a view.

    The article, well written, thank you.

  • Wes from Maryland

    While I personally have not had issues with Apple Maps, I do know of those who have. Just a few weeks ago I went to Atlantic City and used Apple Maps for the first time, and it worked great. I never had a problem with Google Maps but it was just a casualty of the mobile war with Apple. At least iPhone users can now choose which app they are more comfortable with.