As most iPhone owners have probably heard by now, Google released their own Google Maps app for iOS 6 yesterday, after Apple dropped them as the built-in mapping service provider in favour of building their own service. It’s been a long couple of months for people who upgraded to iOS 6 and lost their Google Maps, getting stuck with the new Apple Maps – a service that’s been found wanting in a big way – with no way of getting the old iOS 5 Google Maps service back. There’s been rumors of a Google Maps app that’s actually built by Google, and many people had crossed their fingers hoping for its arrival. It’s finally here now, and it’s very, very good.
Those who have had a chance to check the app out have remarked that Google did a fantastic job with the new app. It might have taken awhile, and people might have been annoyed by the lack of Google Maps for the last couple months of iOS 6 use, but the wait has been well worth it. The interface, the feature set, and the map data itself is all leaps and bounds ahead of Apple Maps, and anyone who hasn’t switched over yet is definitely missing out.
In the New York Times review of the new app, the writer points out an interesting tidbit of info. We’re not sure what the source on this is, but we assume the NYT is a reliable outlet. They say:
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.
If true, that’s a pretty bold statement by Google. They’ve put so much effort into the iOS version of Google Maps over the last couple months that they’ve actually leapfrogged past the Maps app on their own Android platform, quality-wise. The Android version will no doubt get some more love now that the iOS version is out the door, but nonetheless, it’s a testament to how much Google cares about being truly platform neutral, and providing the best possible service to everyone, regardless of what device or operating system they’re using.