Google Maps returns to iPhone after Apple fiasco
Google Maps returned to the iPhone Thursday, allowing users to
replace a glitch-ridden Apple program panned for omitting key landmarks
and sending people in wrong directions.
“People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone.
Starting today, we're pleased to announce that Google Maps is here --
rolling out across the world in the Apple App Store,” said Daniel Graf,
director ofGoogle Maps for mobile, in a blog post. “It's designed from
the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google
Maps with an interface that makes finding what you're looking for faster
Graf said the new mapping app is available for the iPhone and iPod
Touch using iOS 5.1 and higher, in more than 40 countries and 29
languages, including Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian,
Japanese and Spanish.
“It's a sharper looking, vector-based map that loads quickly and
provides smooth tilting and rotating of 2D and 3D views,” he said. The
maps disaster marred the image of a company which seemed to have the
Midas touch for hugely successful new products like the iPhone and iPad.
Apple was forced to make a highly embarrassing apology in September
for its own maps application in the new iOS 6 operating system used by
the iPhone 5, and urged customers to use rival programs while
improvements are made. “Google Maps for iOS” was a top trend on Twitter,
and users and analysts immediately welcomed the news, some with satire.
“Now Google Maps for iOS is back, we can finally find our way out of
this asteroid field near Alderaan that totally appeared from nowhere,”
said one tweet.
Another said: “Just installed the new Google Maps for iOS and
confirmed what I've suspected for days: this is definitely not my
Greg Sterling, an analyst with Sterling Market Intelligence who
contributes to the Search Engine Land blog, said the new application “is
better than Google Maps for Android because it has been built or rebuilt
-- from the ground up -- and didn't grow by accretion.” But he added
that “it's also not 100 percent satisfying” because it is not integrated
with Siri, Apple's personal voice-assisted program, to allow a user to
speak and obtain directions. Apple had booted off Google Maps -- which
had been the default program for Apple devices -- when it developed its
own application for its smartphones.
Apple's maps program immediately drew scorn for showing melting
bridges, misplaced landmarks, and major cities disappearing.
In Australia, police recently warned motorists about using Apple Maps
on the iPhone's latest operating system after rescuing several people
left stranded in the wilderness, saying the errors could prove deadly.