Last week, iPhone owners had something to celebrate: a native Google Maps app went live in the App Store.
So how does Google Maps humiliate the competition?
Customers became disgruntled when Apple’s Maps app brought them to locations that didn’t exist. (It was even reported that several Australian motorists became stuck in a snake-infested, deserted corner of the country while using their iPhones for directions.)
Google Maps has already proven to be reliable through its online version, and now shows its accuracy through the mobile app. Many users have noticed improvements in the speed of the app, as well as the high-resolution satellite imagery of locations around the world.
Another well-received feature is turn-by-turn driving directions, provided by none other than Siri herself. Navigation will even function when you are not directly in the app, as it sends you a pop-up notification when your turn is coming up.
For the Modern Foodie
The Google Maps app gives you the ability to search for places to eat, drink, shop, and play with ratings and local reviews. Partnering with standalone apps that provide this service such as Yelp and Zagat makes this process clean and easy.
The people wanted it, and Google answered. Many consumers wished that Apple Maps included a section for public transportation. Google’s app provides detailed instructions of how public transportation can be used to get from place to place, with estimated times of arrival for the next train, bus, or subway.
Make It Personal
This app allows you to make your navigation experience personal if you sign in with your Google account. By doing so, you can save your home and work addresses and your favorite places, and get access to your past searches on either your computer or mobile phone.
I think most of the success of this app will be based on the fact that it is easy to use and has the clean, “Apple-esque” design that consumers love. It belongs in any iPhone users’ dock, and I don’t think it is going anywhere anytime soon.
Google Maps is also providing a software development kit (SDK) for iOS, which gives app developers the opportunity to use maps within apps for the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad. This should help users get the directions they want while using other apps, and ultimately strengthen Google Maps’ reach.
Google Maps is now available in the App Store for free and can be downloaded here.
What do you think ? Have you downloaded Google Maps to replace the Apple Maps app? What are your likes and dislikes? Let me know in the comments below!