Thursday, December 13, 2012

Google Maps Returns to iOS

We all knew that, as soon as Apple "kicked out" Google Maps from the iOS, it would be just a matter of time untile Google got back with a native app, fulfilling everything that still can't be done with a web app. And now, that day is here, and we once again have access to a native Google Maps on iOS - bringing everything you could expect... and more.

As expected, you get the latest Google Maps (with the more efficient vector graphics that Android users have had for a long time), as well as traffic info, public transport (integrated with the native iOS maps/navigation), places information, and Streetview is also available.

More: you also get a navigation App, with voice guidance, that works even if you leave the App or have another App running in foreground.

There's also another tidbit that might be seen as a jab to Apple, as Google has also announced a SDK so that developers can use Google Maps in their own Apps in a simple way. That's a not so subtle way to tell them their maps still suck, and that developers can now bypass Apple maps entirely. (Let's see if any big developers choose to do so... and if they'll face pressure from Apple not to do so.)

Google Map on iOS is a lot nicer and cleaner than the Android version, as the team said they've hear the users and tried to provide a better user interface (let's hope they'll do the same for the Android version as well).

One thing that's still missing is the option to download sections of the map for offline use. But, maybe that's something you can ask for in the feedback report... that you can get to by simply shaking your iPhone. An iPad specific version is also in the works and promised to be out soon.

[via Google e The Verge]

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