Google will bring “an amazing Google Maps experience on iOS,” but what does it mean?

Daniel Bader

June 24, 2012 10:42am

It was all too apparent that much of Apple’s iOS 6 announcement took pleasure in shafting Google from its once-prominent presence in the company’s mobile OS. The company’s arguably most-important inclusion, Maps, was replaced by an Apple-owned and controlled solution.

But Google’s Senior Vice President of Commerce & Local, Jeff Huber, said the company would be “providing an amazing Google Maps experience on iOS,” but what does that mean? Are they going to release a stand-alone Maps app to download from the App Store? And if so, what will differentiate it from Apple’s impressive (and newly-default) Maps, which itself includes turn-by-turn navigation and 3D imaging.

We know that Google will be heavily updating its Android mapping feature set to include high-resolution 3D flyovers and a number of excellent improvements to Earth, but that won’t be enough to turn users’ attention. It needs something that Apple cannot offer. Google Maps ties in with Places and Local, the company’s database of shops, restaurants and landmarks; it’s powered by Zagat and provides a lot of great information. But Apple uses Yelp and OpenTable to glean similar data for Siri, which is heavily tied into the OS.

We’re confident that Google will try to bring its Street View feature to iOS — that is the one inclusion Apple hasn’t match Google on — but is that enough to give users a reason to switch? Perhaps, like in Android, the company will bring offline mapping capabilities to iOS, allowing you to cache large swaths of far-away locations for use without a cell signal.

Whatever it is, competition is good for consumers, and Google is thankfully working very hard to counter Apple’s iOS 6 attack.

Via: PhoneArena

  • Chimp

    What does it mean? It means they’re going to bring an amazing maps app to iOS.

    • 7-Down

      BEST. COMMENT. EVER! lol.

    • JJ WATT

      what will the experience on BB10 be?

  • Greedy

    Too lazy to search for it, but I heard Apple’s map solution will only have driving directions initially?

    • Greedier

      That’s right. Initially you’ll only be able to use the maps app for driving directions. No general map viewing/zooming will be possible. Only directions.

  • boojay

    I care about what Google will be bringing to Android, not to iOS.

  • Greedy

    Lol thanks Greedier!

    Driving directions are great, but personally when I travel I’m more likely to be walking around or taking public transit. I think for a lot of iOS users Google Maps will still be relevant, at least in the short term.

  • GT

    Someone woke up at Google after apple kicked them out :-)

    The same old crap, must be connected to the internet so it can work, no than you

  • Grabthar

    Uh, Maps for iOS already HAS streetview. It’d be bringing it back after apple ‘removes’ that functionality with their own maps. Thanks for the downgrade apple.

  • W

    The current iOS Google maps is already provided by Apple, it’s baked in to iOS, it’s just using data from Google maps. Ever wonder why the “google maps” icon in iOS was a crappy generic icon? No reference to “G”?

    Anyhow competition is good.

    • CuriousCursor

      that’s changing in ios6 genius

  • Joe

    “Apple’s impressive (and newly-default) Maps, which itself includes turn-by-turn navigation and 3D imaging.”

    Whats so impresive? Doesn’t Google already have Turn By Turn Navigation… And the 3D is just for cosmetics, I don’t need to see where I’m going in 3D i just need the directions to get there, I can see everything live in front of me in 3D…

    • Rio

      As I agree Google maps is amazing, google was holding apple back with its offerings.

      Google’s terms with Apple were were limited meaning apple was not able to offer built in turn by turn navigation which is a very big selling point.

      The only thing Apple is missing in their new maps is street view

    • MobilePhonesFan

      @Rio:

      First off, let’s note that Google didn’t ‘hold Apple back’ …Apple managed to do that all by themselves. Google offered to license their Navigation app, which includes ‘turn-by-turn’ and ‘voice-assist’. But Apple wouldn’t agree to Google’s terms, which would have required the app to display Google’s logo.

      It’s that simple. iPhone users have been stuck with a Maps app that lagged behind Android’s because Apple didn’t want to give plainly visible credit for another company’s work and property. Now, Apple is suing almost every other phone maker in the world by claiming they ‘stole’ some tiny detail of iOS.

      You’re also wrong about what the new Maps.app doesn’t have that Google Maps does. In addition to Street View — according to my sources the second most popular feature of Google Maps, after voice assited navigation — Apple’s new Maps.app for iOS 6 is also missing these features.:

      – Maps of public parks, beaches and trails
      – Maps of indoor spaces (e.g.: museums, stadiums, markets)
      – Public Transit info.

      That last one — Public Transit — is worth a special note.

      PT was added to Google Maps, last year. It helps you find local rail stations and bus stops, hooking directly into their schedules so you are better able to connect with the next train or bus. This feature is fast growing in popularity, so its absence will likely prove a big loss for iPhone users.

      Also, iOS6 Maps doesn’t match the detail provided by Google Maps. For example: seen at block-level, Google’s overhead view of New York City shows every street name — Apple shows far less than half. Mobilesyrup is afraid of links, so Google it: ‘Gizmodo Google Apple Maps Comparison’.

      Hope this helps.

  • Otter

    Google maps is getting an update…for that up close and privacy invading detail that only the US drones can bring.

  • The Truth

    Wow, this article is written as if Google was the new kid on the block that has a lot of catching up to do. Are you serious? The map service that Apple has paid for is still inferior and will be for many years to come. Things seem to get worse after Apple buys it. i.e. Siri.

    • Tminus

      Google’s navigation needs internet connectivity regardless if your device has a built in GPS, WOW Groundbreaking! On the other hand Apple’s maps utilizes TomTom, which using the app on iOS does not need a built in GPS to work without internet connectivity, just triangulates your position using cell phone towers, man Apple is so s**t. /sarcasm, just wanted to make fun of a fandroid

  • *sivaD*

    Yeah, I would think that Apple has a lot of catching up to do. I wonder what users will think when they realize that Apple has removed a better app on their phone for a lesser one because it is better for the company, not the user or user experience.

    I wonder how similar the brain patterns are between a lobotomized person and an Apple fanatic?

  • agoogler

    Google does offer something iOS / tom tom doesn’t. I’m talking about underground maps, transit maps and much much more. There is a consensus of iOS users who are refusing to update to iOS6 because of this. Afterall google maps have been a staple of the iOS os for over 5 years and apple can’t just gut it out and replace it with tom tom as easily as they think they can. They will of course but people who rely on google maps will be pissed.

    • RIo

      People are going to welcome this change.

      Apple is trading in street view for turn by turn navigation.

      Turn by turn navigation is a huge feature, one that google refused to offer on the iPhone.

      Not to mention Apple seems to have beat Google to 3D maps.

  • boojay

    There’s something that Google offers than Apple doesn’t. A good phone.

  • ace

    funny that apple even is saying that OS will have a google experience, and finally they have turn by turn nav??? THAT WAS 2008 on ANDROID!!!!!!!

    • dmyster

      Actually TomTom provided turn by turn for a few years on Apple idevices, just not for free. This was mainly because Google would not give Apple the same attention as Android for maps and nav. This is all okay and Apple went and found their own solutions. Do not see what the bid deal is here.