Ever since Apple replaced Google Maps in its iOS devices for their own Apple Maps across iPhone’s and iPad’s there has been quite a backlash from consumer. Sadly, the Apple maps were far from perfect. From offering wrong labeling of locations, restaurants, guiding people through wrong turns to leading a group of Aussies all the way to a desert infested with snakes, Apple has had a rollercoaster ride that can be at best described as a nightmare.
A company that prides itself in developing unique experiences and better than state of the art applications has now bowed to public pressure and allowed Google back into the iOS system.
Google has just announced that its maps would be available on Apple devices sporting iOS 5.1 or higher. However, Google Maps is not returning as the pre-integrated feature but in the form of an app in Apple Store. Apple for itself has been promoting other Map apps and encouraging its users to buy or use other maps that are free of errors.
Here’s the official word from Director of Google Maps for Mobile, Daniel Graf:
People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone. Starting today, we’re pleased to announce that Google Maps is here.
Google Maps comes with its extensive mapping, street views, Google Earth with a 3D view, turn-by-turn navigation and voiceovers. The app is still very much like the one available for Android but the feel is tidier and lighter. Google Instant is integrated with the app hence while you enter a destination or start to type in the name of a store; Google prompts you with the possible names. Additionally, there is transit information and traffic updates which can be accessed from the bottom right section of the screen. The popular Street View is back. Type in the desired address, and swipe up from the bottom of the screen for a Street View thumbnail; tap it for full screen. You can also share a location via text message or email.
However, iPads users will have to do with the iPhone version of Google Maps for the time being which is a relatively smaller screen display for the tablet.
With Google Maps app, users can even sign in with their Google account which would sync all activities and maps history, whether one uses computers at work or their PCs back home.
I think this is a good move by Apple, they realized that they had an inferior product/service and instead of forcing users to use it, they put themselves in the users shoes and identified what they wanted/needed.