Google Maps is back on iOS

You can now download the Google Maps app for iPhone. After months of speculation and complaints about Apple Maps, Google Maps is back, and I’m happy to say it’s even better than the old native iOS Google Maps app.

You have Street View, traffic monitoring, public transport, and of course directions. You can choose directions by car, on foot or by public transport, as you’d expect, and it’s all backed up by Google Maps still unparalleled location data.

Apple Maps came in for a lot of criticism about sparse or inaccurate information. Much of this was exaggerated, and it is actually a smooth and attractive Map app, but it simply doesn’t have all the data that Google has. The big advantage of Apple Maps was its use of vectors instead of graphical tiles, which meant faster loading and less data usage.

And guess what? The new Google Maps uses vectors too, so it also feels beautifully fast and smooth.

In line with recent Google iOS apps, Google Maps is a fully native app, rather than a glorified web app. Like the new Gmail app it’s got a really clean, minimalist interface. It’s really easy to navigate, although it is new, so to begin with it may feel a bit strange. However, this is greatly outweighed by the pleasure of such a beautifully designed app, which is responsive, accurate, and most of all reliable.

Search results in Google Maps are simply incomparable to either Apple Maps or Nokia Here Maps. Finding addresses, restaurants and so on just works. After months of struggling with Apple Maps, using an app where the suggested results as you type are actually correct is a joy.

Google Maps is the best mobile map app available by a considerable stretch. Download it now!

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