Monday, October 15, 2012

Work-arounds for using Google Maps on iOS6

As i promised in my last post that i am gonna post work-arounds for using google maps on iOS6, here i am doing the same for you. First, lets do a short recap. We talked about grieving iOS6 customers and faulty Maps app and then i told that a hack is in works to solve this issue but it is far from complete yet.

Now, there are 2 workarounds for using Google Maps on iOS6.

1. A shortcut on Homescreen

This is an easy to setup method and requires nothing but Safari App. So lets see how it is done.

Step 1: Open Settings>Location Services in your iDevice and toggle ON in front of Safari .

Step 2: Open and click on 'OK' when it asks you about location services. Step 1 was to ensure that after OK reads your location.

Step 3: Tap the arrow at the bottom of the screen and then tap on 'Add to Homescreen' .

Step 4: A menu will appear, type in the name you want for your icon and then tap.

Step 5: A button on your homescreen will appear which can be used directly to use google maps through Safari App.

Now thats how you can add a shortcut to google maps on your homesccreen and use it as a substitute.

But there is a problem in this method. It is a substitue and not an actual app which you can use to access Google's mapping data.

So lets see an app which uses it.

2. Maps+

There are plenty of apps in app store now which use google's mapping data but i really like this one because of its feature-set and resemblance to maps app that we had till iOS 5.1.1. But,the best thing about Maps+ is its free(;)). You can download it here.

It's single most important feature is the fact that it is based on Google Maps data, so everything you loved about Google Maps for iOS 5 is here: standard / satellite maps, driving, bicycling and walking directions. You can even get atlas-style terrain data; something that was completely missing from Google Maps for iOS 5.

But that's just Maps+'s Google Maps-based features. The app comes with a powerful set of its own features as well. You can set location-based alarms, see what people are tweeting around you, and even share / open links to bookmarked places, alarms and routes. All of these amazing features are packed in an apple style minimalistic UI. By default, you can access them with th '...' button at the bottom right, but users are given option to place these features on the maps view for easy one-touch access.

One thing which Maps+ is missing is public transit directions. But for basic users, the features available in Maps+ free should suffice. But those of you who bookmark locations and routes regularly will have to pay a reasonable one time fee of $2.99 via an in-app purchase.

Maps+ is the happiest alternative(in my view) to the grievances of  Apple Maps on iOS 6 right now. I'd even say it's better than the Maps app on iOS 5 because of the feature-set it brings with it.So, if you didn't upgrade to iOS 6, you should still try this out. It's also a universal app which works on iPad as well.

I hope i was able to resolve some grievances of iOS 6 users for now but lets hope either Apple fixes its Maps app real soon or Google comes out with its stand-alone Maps app for iOS 6.


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