Google Maps for iOS


If you weren’t aware from the very loud sighs of relief from Apple customers worldwide, Google Maps for iOS was finally released Wednesday night.


Whilst Apple are still working on repairing their somewhat faulty version, Google has reworked their maps app for the iOS release so that it is remarkably different from the version we have known before (and the android version).


The new version can be used on all iPhones starting from the 3GS, an iPod Touch fourth and fifth generation, or an iPad running at least iOS 5.1 (although on the iPad you will be using the iPhone version).


When you start to use this version, it will ask you to sign in to your Google account. If you do this, the app has numerous additional extras you can utilize, but it is not necessary in order to use the app.


Let’s say you do log in, you now have the ability to recall all your previous searches (including trips looked at on separate devices), and have access to shortcuts to the addresses of your home or work. Nice.


After you make the choice of logging in or not, you’ll come to the main maps screen. A clean, nice looking interface with the search bar at the top, a directions button and a profile button on the top right, and a location icon on the bottom. To the right is a button made up of three dots, when swiped or clicked, it produces a screen that lets you choose traffic, public transit, satellite or Google earth mode.


The profile button is where you’ll find you’re saved shortcut addresses and all your previous saved searches (which you can also edit and delete at will).


Now to the important part: Searching. When you search for a business, each matching result will be represented by a red dot- tap on a specific red dot and the name of the business and the approximate time to that location by navigation will appear. You can swipe left to right to get to the next venue, and information about each venue will appear at the bottom of the page – information such as reviews, website, and the ability to call them or save the address.


So, you’ve found we’re you want to go, or you just want to go to a specific address. Here’s the other important part- navigation.


From the original main maps page, you can click on the navigation icon in the search bar. If you have already searched for a business or location, you can click on the transport icon down the bottom right of the page, it will ask if you want to go from your current location (change if you don’t). Pick the best option for you – you also have the option here to avoid highways and tolls by clicking ‘route options’- click start, and voice and map instructions will begin.


The app will continue to instruct you even when the phone has locked, but if need be, you can turn off the voice instructions and change the map into a list in settings.
One last cute Gimmick- shake the phone when you’re using Google Maps, and a screen appears asking you for your feedback.


Google Maps is back for iOS users. It looks good, it looks useful, so let’s see how this plays out, especially when Apple re-release Apple Maps… Should be an interesting match.


Google Maps for iOS available now for free in the App store.