Google Maps has made a dramatic comeback to the iPhone after Apple gave it the boot with iOS 6 in favor of its own homegrown navigation app. Although the best part is that it features turn-by-turn guidance, it also has a few other interesting things to quietly toot its horn over.
Apple released its own version of maps for iOS 6 and was immediately inundated with mixed feedback to say the least. The company had failed to renew negotiations with Google for an app for its new platform, sending the latter scrambling at the last minute. Meanwhile, the Mountain View Internet search giant kept itself busy, updating the Android version of the app in August this year.
Optimized for the iPhone 5, the new application shows more of the map on the screen, making it slightly more convenient to use. A post on the official Google blog says that it has been designed ‘from the ground up’ and is vector-based, leading to quick loading times. It also gives users a familiar feeling when they tilt and rotate 2D and 3D views.
At the top of the application there is a search box while the bottom conceals an expandable info sheet. For example, if iOS users enter the name of a restaurant in the search box, the info sheet will display things like the address, directions, images, opening hours, reviews and other relevant information.
There’s the Street View, but the Google Maps app for iPhone also gives users voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation when driving and public transit directions when taking the train, the bus or the subway. Besides, it grants users access to live traffic conditions so that they can plan ahead to avoid the most congested routes.
But that’s not all. Since people have to deal with an ever changing world, several thousand updates per day are required. And if those using the new app users find something amiss, all they have to do is shake their phone to send feedback to Google’s hard-at-work team. Take a look at the short, peppy video below.
iPhone users can get the new Google Maps application from the Apple App Store in a 6.7MB package. Apart from the iPhone 5, it is compatible with several iOS devices including the iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S, the 3rd, 4th and 5th generation iPod Touch, as well as the iPad, and will run on version 5.1 or higher of the OS.