Google Maps hits Apple App Store, Google admits iOS Maps app is better than Google Maps for Android

“Today, Google Maps for the iPhone has arrived. It’s free, fast and fantastic,” David Pogue writes for The New York Times. “The brand-new, completely rethought design is slick, simple and coherent. Google admits that it’s even better than Google Maps for Android phones, which has accommodated its evolving feature set mainly by piling on menus.”

Pogue writes, “Google Maps for iPhone is a home run. It is not, however, without its footnotes. The biggest thing you give up is Siri integration. If you say to your iPhone, ‘Give me directions to the airport,’ Apple’s Maps app opens automatically, your course charted. It takes more steps to get started in Google Maps.”

“And despite its superior design and fluidity, the iPhone version of Google Maps doesn’t have all of the features of the Android version. It still doesn’t let you download and store maps for use when you don’t have an Internet connection. It doesn’t have indoor maps (of shopping malls and airports, for example),” Pogue writes. “Finally, although Google Maps runs fine on the iPad, it’s just a blown-up version of the iPhone version. There’s not yet an iPad-specific app.”

Pogue writes, “Google says that goodies like those will be coming soon. But for a 1.0 app, created in the space of only a few months, Google Maps for iPhone is an astonishingly powerful, accurate, beautiful tool. For millions of iPhone owners, it’s a drive in the right direction.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Well, lookie here: All of a sudden Google Maps goes vector-based and gives iOS users turn-by-tun navigation and Street View.

Who says Apple’s Maps didn’t work?

Regardless, or more accurately, because of Google’s “okay now you can have what we could have given you all along but withheld in order to move our and our partners’ iPhone knockoffs” effort, we’ll pass, thanks. Apple Maps are the superior choice for iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, and iPod touch users.

63 Comments

  1. I’m glad that it’s available for those that want it, but Apple Maps has quite honestly been working just fine for me ever since iOS 6 was first released, so I’m going to stick with it and skip this.

    1. This is a web app at best. It runs inside of Safari on my iPhone. No internet (like in your car without a cell service) no map. No one said we were hoping to get a web page link from Google. Really, couldn’t make a real iOS map app. Isn’t web apps what HP dumped after trying it on their hand held device crap.

      Google takes the short cut again.

      1. You sure you didn’t go to maps.google.com and install a web shortcut like they suggested before the app was available? You know you need to go to Apple’s app store to download the actual app, right?

        Because the new Gmaps app definitely does NOT run inside Safari on my iPhone on iOS6. Another way to tell: Every new session of google maps in Safari, it will ask you for permission to access your GPS location. The new app only asks the first time you launch it.

  2. Damnit MDN.
    Why can’t you just admit that Apple Maps is awful awful! I live in Denmark. I can find everything(!!!) with google maps. Apple Maps is not even a runner up.

    It’s a beautiful app and all, apples, but form over function isn’t always the right choice.

    1. I love the impatience of people who are truly “I wannit NOW!!” spoiled. Get a life. Apple’s Maps problematic days will soon be way behind it. The entire weight of the company has been thrown in to fix it so says CEO Tim Cook. I bought the Garmin app as a backup and I haven’t needed to use it once. Do something useful like inform Apple of Denmark issues. It’s doubtful even now Apple Maps is screwing up every Denmark map inquiry.

      1. Exactly. The experience of any maps application is never the same for everyone everywhere. I’ve been lucky to have perfect success with Apple Maps so far, but I don’t pretend that other people aren’t having problems. Similarly, those who are having problems shouldn’t assume that their experience is representative of all users.

        ——RM

    2. Perhaps TomTom’s map data in Denmark is screwed, I don’t know. But in the US Apple’s new maps app is far better & more accurate than the old one using Googles mapping data.

      For instance I went to get directions to our local YMCA and google thinks it’s in the woods behind someone’s house
      http://maps.google.com/maps?q=lionville%20YMCA

      Apple’s new maps get’s it spot on.

      Point is all mapping databases have issues. It’s just like “antenna gate” all phones have signal attenuation issues when you wrap your hand around the antenna (was proven again and again that all smartphones have this flaw) yet such a big media storm over the iphone displaying the same behavior.
      I for one will be glad when applehaters just get on with their lives and quit posting in forums & writing in blogs trying to convince others to emulate their apple eschewing lifestyle.
      I guess misery loves company, eh?

        1. WTF…
          Apple is licensing TomTom’s mapping data that “petey” claims he is having problems with (in Denmark)
          Who said anything about Holland?
          Dude, you really need to get a grip.

  3. I will NEVER willingly download another Google app on my iOS devices from such an evil and disingenuous company. ESPECIALLY Maps from them. Schmidt rankles no end. He is SUCH a gigantic a-hole. Love how he conveniently leaves out salient facts (playing stupid) such as the fact Android makes a relative pittance in profit to Apple despite a larger market share. Grrrr… DON’T DOWNLOAD THIS APP IF YOU DON’T TRULY NEED IT!! (And you don’t.)

  4. I downloaded Google maps as soon as it was available to my iPhone and have been looking at it and comparing it with Apple maps that is native to the iPhone.

    My observations are:

    – Apple maps remains superior in terms of ease of use and the ability to navigate or find navigation points on the map. It looks cleaner, and less cluttered than the Google version.

    – The honking huge search box in Google maps obscures 15% of screen space and is a waste – it just gets in the way. Apple maps search box is tucked away on the top and lets you have an unobstructed view of the mapping area.

    – I can find directions better on Apple maps than Google maps due to the cleaner interface, less cluttered text and larger lettering.

    I was griping about Apple maps when it first came out but having got used to it I prefer it to Google maps now for the reasons stated above.

    However, Google maps still has the one thing that Apple maps lacks: StreetView. I think I’ll retain Google maps just for this feature alone.

      1. First, enter the address of the location you want to find. It will then drop a pin on the location. At the bottom of the maps window there will be a box with the address corresponding to the pin. Touch the address and the box will ‘lift up’ displaying more options. One of the options will be StreetView – it will be labelled as such on the box bearing a picture of the location.

          1. You mean… Apple’s old app was easier to use than google’s new one even though the new one has more checklist features?

            So in essence you are saying that even in copping what apple had already done Google lacked attention to detail & followthrough WRT how features actually function, rather then just check marking functionality?

            Why does that seem familiar?

  5. CNN article falsely claims that Apple’s Maps doesn’t have turn-by-turn

    I am not a big fan of Google anymore, but I will use GMaps few times, it does have few things I like. 95% Apple Maps, 5% Google

  6. Sticking with Apple Maps myself. But let me see if I got this right: Google wanted Apple to pay lot of dosh for google maps App WITHOUT turn by turn. Apple refused to pay. So now Google gives a FREE maps App WITH turn by turn? What just happened?

    1. Apple strong armed them for the net benefit of the iOS consumer, that’s what happened.

      At the end of the day if Apple didn’t put out their own version, Google would still be providing a shitty mapping experience without turn-by-turn nav for iOS.

      Apple wins again, although I wish the hit to their reputation was avoided.

      1. “..although I wish the hit to their reputation was avoided.”

        On our UK national radio just yesterday there was a feature along the lines of “Google to provide an iPhone version of Maps following the disaster of Apple maps” – distortions like this tend to stick following that single mistake of letting Apple Maps into the wild with errors.

        Commentators never look behind these so-called “facts” – they just parrot the last bad report until it somehow becomes a truth and the damage is done, rarely to be undone.

    2. Google doesn’t automatically get all the user data or branding/exposure that they would’ve liked. A user must download and install a separate app, and can’t be made default. They also don’t get map/API licensing fees from Apple anymore

      Google is also entirely responsible for supporting and fixing issues.

      So, they don’t get as much as they could have, AND have additional costs associated with it.

  7. Thus far, I’ve had exactly ONE error show up in Apple Maps, and the error was just 1 block off. Since then (October) it’s been fixed. I also use Navigon which has been pretty solid, though not without error on occasion. Apple Maps will continue to improve and become ever more full-feautred.

  8. Last Saterday we were envited to a party in Cupertino. Using Apple maps we ended up at a Los Altos hills address. Seven other guests did the same thing. Google Maps has the correct location. How stupid. Cupertino isn’t even mapped correctly. Why doesn’t Apple mappers just do a complete comparison to Google Maps or Earth. How much time would that take. Must be a fairly simple algarithym to do that. All but one of the guests used thier car,s built in GPS, the other called the hosts. The one Android guy at the party had a big grin all night. Gees.

      1. Hey, be nice. Poor CupertinoJoe is just another product of the stupidly unionized US public school system. It rolls idiots by the millions off its assembly lines each year.

        1. It appears, ‘First-2010-Then Probably-Not-2012-So-We’ll-Scrap-The-iCal-And-Go-With-2014-and-Then-2016’, that your choice of navigation app has mistakenly lead you to an Apple discussion, when in fact you were after something a bit more whiney and politically-biased.

          Double check.

        2. Steve Jobs went to unionized public schools, as did Wozniak and a whole list of others.

          Is it the teacher’s fault if the student’s parents don’t make sure the kid does the homework? Or comes rested and fed in the morning? Or has been instructed in the way to behave in public?

          The problems In US education start in the home- not the classroom.

          1. You would do well to check Steve’s views on the state of the public school system and the role teachers unions play in that before using him as a reference in a statement defending them.

        3. Still enjoying those sour grapes I see. The 2012 prez election was the closest you delusional hyperbolic hypocrites will ever get to winning another presidential election even with Citizens united, redistricing to republican favored districts and voter suppression. The only card left to play nationally is changing the electoral college, and your party doesn’t have the votes to amend the constitution, that’s why you greedy fucks can only pass these laws at the state level and need a republican lead Supreme Court to institute laws that hurt the political process..lol sensing a trend clueless ditto head?

          And instead of insulting the unions, you should be thanking them for the 40 hour work week, paid vacations, child labor laws, and making sure pay and the standard of living across the board including whatever brain dead job you have acquired. And if you would have paid closer attention in your unionized civics class you would acquired some critical thinking skills and learned how to analyzed emprical data.

          And that’s right we should just hand the keys back the party that drove the US economy off the deepest cliff in the last 80 years. Sounds like a fantastic idea! So let’s another 5 trillion of wealth disappear right Bush Jr. What could go wrong?

    1. Yeah, and I can tap on an address on my iphone for some friends who live near the south-west coast of England, and Apple Maps will drop a pin right by their house driveway. Google, on the other hand, can’t even recognise the address as even existing.
      Maybe you spelled it wrong…

  9. I did a “taste test” between Google Maps and Apple Maps. I looked up transit directions between two points of interest in my home town. The user experience is eye-opening. Apple is wonderfully open and lets third party apps handle transit directions (user choice). Google handles transit in-app. The experience with Apple Maps, when it hands off to the third party app, is alarmingly slow AND stressful, as you’re dumped into an entirely different user interface to sort out your transit directions. The experience with Google Maps is, by contrast, fast and delightful.

  10. I tried it and already found an error. It had a new pizza place locally that I had never heard of before and when I went to street view to see where it was, it was located in a residential area with no sign of any restaurants nearby. I reported the error and I will check back to see how long it takes Google to fix it.

    I was impressed with the content of the app in terms of the POI information, but the interface is definitely fugly (especially that horrible search bar). I also did not like that Google continuously wants me to “login” but at least it was optional.

  11. Competition is good, users win, and Apple also wins. It goes to show that iOS is a more lucrative platform to Google than its own Android, prompting it to not only release a new version of its maps but also one which is better than that of Android.

    It appears Google had the new version all along, but wanted to extort more money and other concessions from Apple before releasing it. Apple now gets what it wanted without any concessions.

    Everyone wins, except of course AAPL, which nosedives on the news.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.