Here it is everyone, what we’ve been waiting for. The official Google Maps for iOS app has launched — and it has everything it used to have, and more. Google has finally managed to get turn-by-turn in their iOS app, something we’ve been wanting for years. This also marks the welcome return of street view, public transit and walking directions.
The Verge has a good rundown of the app, and it seems another welcome addition is the presence of vector maps, but offline maps apparently don’t work — but hopefully should in the near future.
Unfortunately, the old interface is gone, and you’ll have to get used to a new way to use Google Maps. As The Verge puts it:
Google has excised most of the on-screen elements on Maps, displaying just a single, white search box and a couple of control overlays. Search results appear on the map and in a small white bar at the bottom, something Google calls an “Info Sheet.” You can perform gestures on that bar, swiping left and right between results.
Tapping or swiping up reveals the full info sheet, which utilizes a kind of vertical sliding panel to first show the map up top, then hide it as you drill into contact details, street view, and reviews. It may not be immediately intuitive to everybody, but it only took me a few minutes to understand the logic of how the app works. It’s certainly functional, especially as you learn to slide up the info sheet from its minimized view into a half map / half sheet view, and lastly into the full view.
We’ll see if this leads to people massively dropping Apple’s own Maps app — which I personally haven’t too much trouble with, but has been famously troubled.
Google is also making the SDK for the service available, so that other apps aren’t forced to use Apple’s Maps, but can opt in to Google’s instead.
Here’s the complete official app description:
Navigate your world with Google Maps, now available for iPhone. Get comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps with built-in Google local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, Street View and more. Use Google Maps to discover great places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and reviews from people you trust. Sign in to save your favorite places and quickly access all your past searches and directions from your computer, right on your phone.
* Find addresses, places and businesses around the world with Google local search.
* Discover places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and local reviews.
* Sign in to sync your searches, directions, and favorite places between your computer and your phone.
* Get voice guided, turn-by-turn driving directions.
* Find your way by train, bus, subway or walking directions.
* Access live traffic information in cities across the world.
Street View and imagery
* View 360-degree panoramas of places around the globe with Street View.
* See inside more than 100,000 businesses worldwide.
* View high resolution satellite imagery of locations around the world.
Simple and easy to use
* An entirely new Google Maps experience on your iPhone.
* Newly designed and streamlined interface for even easier navigation of your world.
* Use gestures to explore the map and browse results.