By now, you probably know the story. Apple dropped Google Maps from its Maps app on iOS 6. People don’t like Apple’s new version so much. Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized to customers today for the lackluster product. Apple is even going so far as to recommend alternatives from the App Store.
Google Maps, however, is not in the App Store. Still, you can use Google Maps from the the mobile web version on iOS 6. This is pretty much common sense, but Google has taken to Google+ to post some steps for using Google Maps on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch:
Google Maps is available to everyone using any mobile browser. And this includes iOS6 users. Accessing Google Maps is really easy—just follow the steps below.
1. Open the Safari browser and go to maps.google.com
2. Tap the Share button (on the bottom middle of the screen on iPhone, at the top on iPad)
3. Tap “Add to Home Screen”
4. Tap “Add” in the upper right corner of the screen
5. Now, simply tap on the icon and let Google Maps get you where you want to go!
With Google Maps on your mobile browser, you get many of the same Google Maps features you’re familiar with, including the ability to:
-See your current location
-Get driving, transit, biking and walking directions
-Turn on satellite, transit, traffic, biking and other layers
-Search for nearby landmarks, restaurants and other points of interest
-See clickable icons for popular businesses and transit stations, as well as detailed information such as hours of operation, Zagat scores and more
-When signed into your Google account, access your recent searches, starred locations and My Maps
Google Maps for mobile web browsers provides the latest features without needing to install any updates, no matter what device you use.
Even Cook mentioned the web version of Google in his apology letter as possible alternative. Clearly, Apple does not want to sacrifice user experience too much, and doesn’t want to alienate customers over such an important part of the mobile experience.
Google will likely have an actual app for Google Maps out by the end of the year, and Apple will no doubt work vigorously on improving its own offering. It will be quite interesting to see how the two are competing with each other a year from now. In the meantime, other services are getting a chance to shine, even with Apple’s help through featured App Store promotion and Tim Cook’s highly publicized letter.