Thursday, December 13, 2012

Google Maps for iOS is here, finally

Everyone was tired of Apple's in-house maps on iOS6 and were founding out alternate ways and work-arounds to get Google Maps back to iOS. After a long speculation and what seems to be an endless wait, Google has finally launched its Maps app for iOS. But at least Google has tried its best to make this wait a worthwhile by packing it with a lot of features. Also, Google has launched an SDK for the app so that other iOS developers can integrate it with their own app.

Google Maps for iOS app comes with all the usual things such as turn-by-turn navigation, public transportation info and Google's own Street View. Voice based, turn-by-turn driving instructions and live traffic information are also present to be enjoyed by the user. While it has launched, its gradually making its way to international app stores so users outside of US might have to wait for a little while. But Indian iTunes App store has got the app so we can have a look at it. The app has a lot of similarities to its Android counterpart but is surely built for the iOS. It has got the clean UI Google has used recently for its other apps and is so intuitive that sometimes it feels Google could teach Android Maps app some of these tricks.

One of the most interesting things Google has done with its maps app is provide an SDK for the maps app for the developers to integrate with it. According to Andrew Foster, Senior Product Manager, Google Maps, API keys are being provided to developers who register interest. This is what he says on his blog.

This will let iOS developers to link their apps to Google Maps instead of Apple's maps and also bypass Apple's mapping system to use Google's Mapping data in their apps. This all will lead to fiercer competition between map makers and result in much more feature rich and accurate maps. Its all getting good for iOS users.

Here you go with the official-feature list by google.

Google has released a promotional video for its latest iOS app.

Google has aced again in providing a very useful, functional and clean app for iOS. But it took its amount of time to do that and in the meanwhile, Nokia launched its HERE platform and its iOS app with some good features and very accurate mapping data. It is yet to be seen whether Google Maps kick Nokia HERE to the curb or not but we sure are liking the effort from both the giants.

Google Maps on iTunes
Nokia HERE on iTunes


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