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June 25, 2012

Google Maps App for iOS?

Now that Apple's iOS 6 has a maps app that no longer uses Google Maps, many people wonder if Google will release its own app. After all, the built-in maps app has been developed by Apple and it didn't include many Google Maps features. Maybe Google wanted to keep features like navigation Android-only, maybe Apple focused on the new app and ignored the old app. One thing is clear: the Android app for Google Maps was a lot better than Apple's app.

The Next Web reports that Jeff Huber, Senior VP at Google, said that Google "looks forward to providing amazing Google Maps experiences on iOS." Google will compete with the built-in maps app so it will have to include features that used to be limited to Android like vectorial maps, offline maps, navigation, integration with Google Places and new features like the "fly-over" maps. Google says that it will add "3D models to entire metropolitan areas to Google Earth on mobile devices," but an app that combines Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Local would be more useful. Upgrading the Google Earth app is much easier than building a new app and the existing users won't have to install another application. Google Earth is the second most popular Google app for iOS, after Google Search.

10 comments:

  1. "One thing is clear: the Android app for Google Maps was a lot better than Apple's app"... ahh!?
    based on what? beside of street view google maps is not better then apple apps in any way. so cut the bullshit.

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    1. Are you trolling? It's light years ahead in almost every way. It uses vector imaging so you never see loading tiles, and uses 1/100 of the space for maps data, so loads far far faster and uses less of your monthly data allotment. You can rotate the map with two fingers, you can cache areas for offline access, turn by turn navigation...

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    2. I think you are misreading it - by "Apple's app" it doesn't mean the new Apple Maps, it means their old Google-powered Maps app for iOS

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    3. No they are not misreading, the article is meant to compare the new Apple Map App vs the new and up-coming Google Maps App for iOS. The thing you don't really see here is the coverage of the apps google has much larger data base of maps than the ones Apple bought to create their own app, then for turn-by-turn navigation on the new Apple Map App the idea is for you to have apps that have the turn-by-turn applied to their information (for example a restaurants app) and using that app you get the turn by turn navi on the apple app (Apple themselves said so) then if you live in USA or any major country you might get full maps but let's say you are an iPhone user from latin america (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, etc) you'll lose the maps you have with google when you update to apple since non of the companies that apple adquired to create their map app support any of those countries. So the Apple new Maps App is far behind that of Google with location of points of interest, turn-by-turn navi has been doen on Android since day one while on Apple you couldn't, then maps data base is far below average on the new app while google has take his time and money to create the best maps app in the world giving support for turn-by-turn navi even on third world countries. Now after this explanation think about which app is really the best.

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    4. Let me clarify that for you. "One thing is clear: the Android app for Google Maps was a lot better than Apple's app." means that the Android app for Google Maps was/is better than the built-in Maps app from iOS 1, iOS 2, iOS 3, iOS 4 and iOS 5. You could call it the old one.

      I didn't compare the Android app with Apple's new app, but I can do that if you like. Even if Apple adds a few interesting features that aren't available in Google's Android app (flyover maps, asking questions in navigation mode), Google Maps has better coverage, more detailed maps, more local businesses and points of interest, Street View. Google spent a lot of time and resources to improve Google Maps, so it's not easy to build a better service in a few months/years. OpenStreetMap could be the answer for improving maps.

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    5. "Let me clarify that for you. "One thing is clear: the Android app for Google Maps was a lot better than Apple's app." means that the Android app for Google Maps was/is better than the built-in Maps app from iOS 1, iOS 2, iOS 3, iOS 4 and iOS 5. You could call it the old one.

      I didn't compare the Android app with Apple's new app, but I can do that if you like. Even if Apple adds a few interesting features that aren't available in Google's Android app (flyover maps, asking questions in navigation mode), Google Maps has better coverage, more detailed maps, more local businesses and points of interest, Street View. Google spent a lot of time and resources to improve Google Maps, so it's not easy to build a better service in a few months/years. OpenStreetMap could be the answer for improving maps."

      i would agree with that... the current google maps on ios is crap. the new on will be a new beast.
      (i'm the one who comment the first post... so no i'a not trolling. )

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  2. But will Apple allow the user to specify the Google offering as the system default map-handler?

    Or will that require jail-breaking as with making alternate browsers default?

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    1. I could be mistaken, but last time I checked iOS doesn't let you specify apps as default handlers or maps or email or anything like that like Android does. Again, I could be wrong. It's been a few years since I owned an i-device.

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    2. I realise it doesn't now, but so many Apple apologists keep saying that Google can release its own app so what's the harm.

      The harm is that all geographic links will now open in a maps app that doesn't support pedestrians, cyclists or public transport. Considering that it's illegal to use a phone device for GPS purposes in cars in many states/countries, it's the worst combination of features for a default app.

      Where are the antitrust authorities when Apple is involved?

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    3. Nice commeent Mike... Apple is making many game moves keeping any non-apple app out of the way when it comes to their mobile platform, not giving the user the ability to change the defaults of the system, but if Windows or Google does something like keeping track of what your visitor see or search on their sites or if they keep an app from being able to be the default for something they get investigated.

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