Google Maps for iPhone Arrives as Your Knight in Shining ArmorBy: Josh Wolford - December 13, 2012
If you’ve been waiting to be rescued from the evil Apple Maps (and didn’t make a product switch when Tim Cook told you to), you are in luck – as your white knight is here. Google has just launched the all new Google Maps app for iOS.
This is the first native iOS maps app from Google since Apple kicked them out of iOS 6 and replaced them with (Apple’s) own maps product. That hasn’t really gone so well, as you may have heard (or experienced).
Here’s what Google has to say about their brand new maps app:
“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. The search box at the top is a good place to start—perhaps by entering the name of a new and interesting restaurant. An expandable info sheet at the bottom shows the address, opening hours, ratings and reviews, images, directions and other information.”
On first glance, it is pretty. It’s no prettier than Apple Maps’ interface, but hey – that was never the complaint to begin with. The readily available location information is also a nice touch.
Of course, with Google Maps, you’re getting everything you know and love about Google Maps – 360 degree Street Views, indoor Street View with over 100,000 businesses across the world. But with this new release, iOS users are finally getting voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, a feature previously reserved for Android users.
For developers, Google is also releasing the Google Maps SDK for iOS alongside the maps app. With the Google Maps SDK, devs can easily insert the new Google maps into their iOS apps.
“The SDK features vector-based maps that load quickly, allowing users to easily navigate 2D and 3D views, rotating and tilting the map with simple gestures inside your app. Developers can also change the Google maps view to include information such as traffic conditions, and control camera positions in 3D,” says Google.
You can apply for an API key here.
The app, which is available in over 40 countries and 29 languages, is ready to download in the App Store today. You definitely wouldn’t be the first. The app is already the number one free app in the world, garnered a five star rating with over 8,100 reviews in about eight hours. You may want to grab it before you start that road trip across Australia. Or, maybe not.