December 13, 2012
Google Maps For iPhone Is Here; A Win For Google & Apple
Google Maps for iPhone is finally available, ending a frustrating few months for those who could just never come to terms with Apple’s maps app.
Google maps for iPhone is very good, with a strong design scheme and the massive amounts of detail that users had become used to from its many years on the iPhone. The feature list is strong, almost matching what is on Android: turn-by-turn directions, two-finger tilting, syncing with one’s Google account, and Street view.
Some of the polish was so strong that it made this Galaxy Nexus user slightly jealous. The interface is very similar to the newest version of Gmail, which received a substantial reworking this week. Google has clearly taken its time on this app with a purpose: it wanted a strong, capable application out of the gate.
After spending some time with Google Maps for iPhone I did see some areas where the Android version is still more powerful. Offline maps, indoor maps, and full tablet support have yet to make it onto the iPhone map. Those Google reps have said these are coming, with the goal of bringing consistency to the mapping applications no matter the platform.
Is the praise for Google Maps going to result in a negative hit to Android?
Google’s goal is to obtain users for its platform. Whether they come from Android or iOS is less important: using that data for specific advertising information is the main goal.
Apple, on the other hand, is in the business of selling hardware. Even with some subpar applications, the rest of its ecosystem is so strong, and its devices so appealing, that it will continue to do well.
So Google Maps for iPhone actually benefits both companies: Google gets more data about its users, while Apple gets to keep them happy with more choices.
Image Credit: Derek Walter