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Roundup of Features in Google Maps for iOS: Better Design than Android Version, iPad Version Coming

The much-anticipated Google Maps for iOS is finally here. The app offers iOS 6 users who are unhappy with Apple's in-house Maps app an opportunity to switch back to Google's map platform. The new app includes turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, Google local search and more.

There are a number of features and tidbits that come with Google Maps for iOS as well. Here's a selection.

- Jesse Hollington notes on Twitter that Google Maps is now a transit routing app option that is linked from Apple's Maps app.

- Google has created the Google Maps for iOS SDK, which allows developers to feature Google Maps in their applications rather than Apple Maps. Developers can do this in two ways. The first uses a URL scheme so developers can have their apps launch Google Maps to complete a search, show a map or Street View imagery, or view walking, driving and public transportation navigation easily. There are also API keys that allow developers to feature information like traffic navigation and general maps navigation.

- Google's blog post on the app notes that Google Maps for iOS supports iOS 5.1 and higher, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. Apple's turn-by-turn voice navigation does not support iOS 5 and those two iPhone models.

- A horizontal two-finger swipe allows you to access a menu that shows traffic, public transit, satellite view and Google Earth (which sends you to the Google Earth app).

- The app is available for 40 countries in 29 different languages, according to Google's blog post.

- KamenLee notes you can shake your iPhone (in frustration) which will trigger a Feedback form to Google.

Notes from David Pogue's Review:

- Google's point-of-interest database allows you, for example, to read a restaurant review on Zagat, read the menu, book reservations and see interior photos at 100 restaurants.
- Pogue also notes there's a Compass Mode that allows you, at certain locations, to move your phone around and allow you to see the interior of a business on your screen.
- Google has added some Google Earth features to the iOS app, including the entire photographic model of the Earth and its oceans
- Pogue mentions that Google admits that the iOS app is better than the Android version in terms of design. The Verge says that Google told them that they took everything they learned about design and used it for this app.
- iPad version is coming

iOS version is available as a free download from the App Store. [iTunes Link]

Top Rated Comments

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78 months ago
Thanks Google for such an awesome app!:D
Rating: 54 Votes
78 months ago
Better than the Android version? I like the sound of that. :D
Rating: 31 Votes
78 months ago
Quite the disclaimer.....
Rating: 31 Votes
78 months ago

- Pogue mentions that Google admits that the iOS app is better than the Android version in terms of design.

I found this interesting...
Rating: 29 Votes
78 months ago
Apple Maps may go bye byes...
Rating: 26 Votes
78 months ago
Well at least now older iPhones can get a quality turn-by-turn.
Rating: 24 Votes
78 months ago
This Google Maps app ALONE is worth the price of admission of the iPhone 5.

Apple should really be kicking back some of the profits they make off iOS now back to Google.

If Google acted like Apple, they would have kept Google Maps exclusive to Android. Instead, they allowed iOS users have it for FREE.

Google supports customer choice whereas Apple believes in creating a monopoly.

Google believes in offering the best user experience despite jeopardizing potential revenues whereas Apple believes in protecting potential revenues despite jeopardizing the user experience.

Bravo Google! Thanks for making our iPhones complete again. :)
Rating: 23 Votes
78 months ago

As Apple would put it- "Revolutionary!"

Dude man. Google just freakin owned Apple with this map app. Not only does it actuall WORK, the features are fantastic. Wow.

And, the turn by turn voice on google is WAY nicer than Siri. Siri has the rudest tone. Google does turn by turn, Apple does turn by turd.

Rating: 16 Votes
78 months ago
Finally!!!!!!! I can search for a local business and have intelligent results! :)
Rating: 13 Votes
78 months ago

I can't believe Apple allowed this on the store. It is clearly a better product than Apple Maps. It's one thing to admit you screwed up, but to allow your direct competitor free reign on your platform?

Why is it so hard to believe or necessary to think of deep reasons? Apple has offered navigation apps for a long time, free and paid, with streaming and downloadable maps. It allows Netflix that compete with its movie sales and Kindle app that competes with its ebook sales, not to mention tons of podcast, online radio and online streaming music apps. The more apps, the stronger the platform. Simple as that...
Rating: 12 Votes

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