Yes. The day is finally here. You can download iOS 6 safe in the knowledge that you can also download the Google Maps app.
The Google Maps app is now available on the Apple App Store.
On 19 September Apple introduced its own Maps app with iOS 6, at the same time ditching the Google Maps app. The move backfired badly when it emerged that Apple’s attempt at a Maps app, while pretty, was flawed. So flawed in fact that Australian police this week warned people that using Apple Maps could endanger their lives.
Apple Maps was widely derided for inaccurate data and sloppy images – such as the cloud cover over Colchester in the satellite view. The iOS 6 also lacked transit directions – the link that in Google Maps would to bus or train routes simple lead to a list of Apps that could be downloaded.
After Apple was flooded by complaints, CEO Tim Cook issued an apology on 26 October in which he said the company was “extremely sorry” for bungling Maps. Cook said that Apple’s Maps would improve with time as users reported problems. Until then, he advised users could use Microsoft’s Bing, Google Maps or Nokia’s Waze. Shortly after Apple’s head of iOS,
Scott Forstall, was reportedly fired.
Soon after Apple launched its Maps App the AAPL stock began to nosedive.
Google has recently added indoor maps.
Google Maps is available now from the App Store. The app is free. The Maps App looks more like the web interface than the previous Google Maps app, it adds Street View and ‘beta’ navigation (which it warns you to use with caution), but at least you can have increased confidence that you will be walking or driving to the right location.
‘The battle for global maps supremacy’
Where does Google’s return leave rival mapping companies? David Quinn, Head of Consumer Applications at ALK Technologies, which makes the dedicated navigation app CoPilot, was publicly bullish about the challenges which Google’s return to iPhone mapping presents.
“Apple’s launch of its relatively disappointing maps service publicly exposed a fierce battle for global dominance. First Nokia launched its Here offering and now Google has returned to iOS with a new dedicated app. The prominence of mapping in the news over the past months, and the customer criticism meted out to both Apple and Nokia for their offerings, shows just how reliant people have become on their phones for directions,” he said.
“Smartphone mapping and navigation is a crowded space these days. A whole host of free and cheap apps have flooded the market, many of which are based on crowd-sourced map data or rely on a mobile data connection to function.
“The battle for global maps supremacy has taken a new significant turn with the return of Google Maps to iOS. But, as we’ve seen on Android, there’s still strong demand from drivers for full-featured and truly offline navigation.”
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