Google Maps for iOS Arrives
The much-anticipated Google Maps for iOS is finally here (and tops the free charts in under 7 hours).The app offers iOS 6 users who are unhappy with Apple’s in-house Maps app an opportunity to switch back to Google’s map platform. The new app includes turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, Google local search and more.
There are a number of features and tidbits that come with Google Maps for iOS as well. Here’s a selection.
- Jesse Hollington notes on Twitter that Google Maps is now a transit routing app option that is linked from Apple’s Maps app.
- Google has created the Google Maps for iOS SDK, which allows developers to feature Google Maps in their applications rather than Apple Maps. Developers can do this in two ways. The first uses a URL scheme so developers can have their apps launch Google Maps to complete a search, show a map or Street View imagery, or view walking, driving and public transportation navigation easily. There are also API keys that allow developers to feature information like traffic navigation and general maps navigation.
- Google’s blog post on the app notes that Google Maps for iOS supports iOS 5.1 and higher, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. Apple’s turn-by-turn voice navigation does not support iOS 5 and those two iPhone models.
- A horizontal two-finger swipe allows you to access a menu that shows traffic, public transit, satellite view and Google Earth (which sends you to the Google Earth app).
- The app is available for 40 countries in 29 different languages, according to Google’s blog post.
- KamenLee notes you can shake your iPhone (in frustration) which will trigger a Feedback form to Google.
- Google’s point-of-interest database allows you, for example, to read a restaurant review on Zagat, read the menu, book reservations and see interior photos at 100 restaurants.
- Pogue also notes there’s a Compass Mode that allows you, at certain locations, to move your phone around and allow you to see the interior of a business on your screen.
- Google has added some Google Earth features to the iOS app, including the entire photographic model of the Earth and its oceans
- Pogue mentions that Google admits that the iOS app is better than the Android version in terms of design. The Verge says that Google told them that they took everything they learned about design and used it for this app.
- iPad version is coming
iOS version is available as a free download from the App Store. [iTunes Link]
In line with a report from just a few hours ago, Google’s new standalone Maps app for iOS [App Store] has just gone live in the App Store. The app offers iOS 6 users unhappy with the experience on Apple’s new in-house Maps app the ability to switch back to Google’s free offering.
The new Google Maps also offers a number of enhancements beyond what was offered when it powered the built-in Maps app on iOS 5 and earlier, most notably turn-by-turn directions. The absence of that feature from the built-in Maps app had been a major sticking point for the two companies, with its absence putting iOS at a disadvantage relative to Android and Google unwilling to add the feature to Maps for iOS unless Apple made concessions such as greater Google branding within the app and integration with Google Latitude.
Navigate your world with Google Maps, now available for iPhone. Get comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps with built-in Google local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, Street View and more. Use Google Maps to discover great places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and reviews from people you trust. Sign in to save your favorite places and quickly access all your past searches and directions from your computer, right on your phone.
A number of reports had indicated that Google was working toward submission of its standalone Maps app, but some Google employees were reportedly pessimistic about its chances for approval. [Google Maps iTunes Link]