Google have at last released an all new Maps app for iOS which completely destroys Apple's default option. Ever since the release of iOS 6 which introduces Apple's new maps app, their have literally been millions of users who have complained because Apple's option was no where near as good as Google's. Google have the data and have years of experience to build what is most probably the best maps service available to consumers.
Rumours have been flying around for months that Google had a maps app in the work for iOS. But they were either denied or Google execs said it'd be months away and that they were not sure that Apple would even accept the app into their App Store.
But the wait is over and the all new Google Maps is available on iOS. The new app has a bunch of new features which were not available before. Most notably, turn-by-turn voice guided navigation. This was one feature that was never available on iOS, it was an Android exclusive.
Other features include (taken from App Store description):
- Find addresses, places and businesses around the world with Google local search.
- Discover places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and local reviews.
- Sign in to sync your searches, directions, and favorite places between your computer and your phone.
- Find your way by train, bus, subway or walking directions.
- Access live traffic information in cities across the world.View 360-degree panoramas of places around the globe with Street View.
- See inside more than 100,000 businesses worldwide.
- View high resolution satellite imagery of locations around the world.
- An entirely new Google Maps experience on your iPhone.
- Newly designed and streamlined interface for even easier navigation of your world.
- Use gestures to explore the map and browse results.
The app itself is beautifully designed, using Google's minimalistic design that has been applied to most of their services.
There is no offline capability like on Android but I'm guessing this may come soon.
A unique feature of the app is that turn-by-turn navigation works even when you leave the app. It utilizes iOS' Local Notification feature to show you turn-by-turn directions through notifications.
The app is hugely gesture based. With a lot of tapping and swiping. If you don't read all the options and tips that come up on the app you may actually miss some vital features and not know how to operate them.