Saturday 15 December 2012

Posted by Howzto
No comments | 19:27

Google Maps for iPhone®.
Google maps made a triumphant return to the iPhone, delighting both users and critics who had frankly got tired of even lampooning the much lampooned Apple maps.

In an indication of iPhone owners’ exasperation with Apple’s maps, Google’s app was already the top-ranking free app in Apple’s iTunes store early Thursday morning, reported the Associated Press. By 1700 GMT, users had chimed in with more than 10,000 reviews of the Google app. Nearly 90 percent of them gave Google maps a five-star rating — the highest possible grade.

This image made available by Google, shows the new Google Maps application, on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012: AP
And the critics are not too far behind in their praise either. The official (and lengthy) CNet review titled, “The king of maps is back and better than ever” doesn’t hold back in its praise of the new app saying, “With its iOS Maps app, Google sets the standard for what mobile navigation should be and more.”

The PC Mag review said, “Overall, the Google Maps experience on the iPhone is very ‘fly’”, adding that in their opinion it was even better than the maps app for Android.

USA Today said, “The reemergence in the middle of the night of a Google Maps app for the iPhone is like the return of an old friend. Only your friend, who’d gone missing for three months, comes back looking better than ever.”

Google’s mapping app for the iPhone doesn’t include ads, but that will likely change, based on the steady stream of marketing flowing through the Google maps app on Android phones.

The additional tools in the free iPhone app include turn-by-turn directions. Google’s previous refusal to include that popular feature on the iPhone app —while making it available for smartphones running on its own Android software— is believed to be one of the reasons Apple decided to develop its own technology. The increasing friction between Google and Apple as they jostle for leadership in the smartphone market also played a role in the mapping switch.

“We started from scratch,” said Daniel Graf, mobile director of Google Maps. Google engineers started working on the new app before Apple’s 19 September ouster, Graf said, though he declined to be more specific.

Google’s new iPhone mapping app also offers street-level photography of local neighborhoods, as well as three-dimensional views, public transit directions and listings for more than 80 million businesses around the world. The app still lacks some of the mapping features available on Android-powered phones, such as directions inside malls and other buildings.

“The irony is that Apple ended up getting a better version of Google Maps on its system by booting it off,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst at Opus Research. “At the same time, you could argue that Google is making a triumphant return to cheering crowds. So, in a way, everyone wins in this situation.”

The return of Google’s map app may even encourage more iPhone owners to upgrade to Apple’s latest mobile software, iOS 6. Some people resisted the new version because they didn’t want to lose access to the old Google mapping application built into iOS 5 and earlier versions.

Despite the app’s quickly rising popularity, Google’s solution still wasn’t listed among the 18 recommended mapping apps in iTunes as of early Thursday afternoon.


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