Google releases Maps for iOS – Should Apple or Android users be mad?


After murmurings and whispers that Google was readying a doozy of a release for iOS users, tonight, Google has officially released their world famous Maps application into the Apple App Store. Built from the ground up, the new Maps for iOS features most everything Android users have been enjoying for years now, including voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation, traffic conditions, Street View, over 80 million business listings with store hours, phone numbers, and more. Google really pulled out all the stops, ensuring iOS users got the full Maps experience (the one Apple didn’t want their users to have). What’s more is Google is providing an SDK for developers to implement Maps into their own apps — something Apple cannot be too happy about.

iOS users flocked to the App Store for Maps, crashing it in the process

My question to you guys is, do you think Google releasing Maps for iOS is more of a slap in the face to Apple, or to Android users? I’ve seen a lot of chatter on Twitter and the question many Android users are asking themselves is, “Why would Google release Maps — a shining jewel in the crown of Android — for a rival OS? Sounds like madness, right? No… this is Google.

Remember, the sole reason Google created Android in the first place as open software alternative to iOS was so that so that manufacturers from all around the world could put Android on the device of their choosing. All without the worry of licensing fees or hassle. Heck, OEM’s could even theme Android as they saw fit, themeing and transforming the mobile OS into something that was uniquely “theirs.” Almost like the Trojan Horse of lore, the motivation behind Android has always been about one thing: getting as many Google apps and services into as many consumers’ hands as possible.

Maps is iPhone-only for now. Not optimized for the iPad

Where your average Android fanboy wants nothing to do with Apple, Google isn’t so much concerned with their pride as they are with good business. Google knows Android already controls the market share with no signs of slowing down. Still, Apple’s iPhone has shown itself time, and time again, a hit with consumers and it only makes sense, from a business perspective, to reach that audience as well. Crazy you say? Crazy like a fox.

So, where some of you might get your feelings hurt at Google sharing — not taking away — one more thing with iOS users, this isn’t something that will soon change. Heck, Google would even release their apps for Windows Phone. You know, if they had any users that is.

[Google Blog]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. It’s all good for iPhone people to get this great app. It will make Google money. They still don’t have all the features. I don’t see Latitude in there. And I don’t see 3D maps. I wonder if indoor mapping is available too. Also I’m reading reports that you can’t make it the default mapping app on iOS.

    1. i’m sure these things will come in time, im also sure they are just happy to have google maps back

      1. Except for making it the default mapping application. Apple won’t do that. They lock down their core app’s as default with no way of changing them.

    2. Latitude is a feature??

      1. It is, for people that have friends to meet at different places

    3. Not being able to make it the default mapping app isn’t a Maps feature, it’s an iOS feature.

      1. It is. Very strange omission too. Not that it has to be in your face (Apple likes to keep things very simple) but it should definitely be in the Settings app somewhere.

    4. Latitude can be downloaded as a separate app… it has been available for a few years. Same with Google Voice Search, Google Translate, Youtube. Most of Google’s “Experience” apps are now in the Appstore. If anything, as an iOS user, this is shying me away from Android, because now I have the best of both worlds. Google’s apps AND Apple’s ecosystem, solid build quality in their devices, largest accessory support for 3rd parties, warranty support and customer service at my nearest Apple Store.

      1. You have warranty support? And I’m really asking this. Because last time I heard, warranty on Apple devices was horrible. You’d be lucky if you paid $100 for anything, replacement, screen fix, whatever.

        And I do like your accessory support. The randomness you all can get. And my Epic 4G Touch has Gorilla Glass and I’ve yet to put a screen protector for after a year and the screen still looks new, but you did mention the overall build quality.

        1. Warranty Support. You know malfunctions. Not user damage. Warranty support…. aka Genius Bar is FREE at the Apple Store. If you have AppleCare or any other sort of insurance plan covering damage… then yes… like any other phone, you will need to pay some sort of deductible. But even then… for $200… without insurance, Apple will swap out your phone if you break it. Same day service! Not having to ship it out to some repair facility! No going without a phone for weeks!

          Apple products do use Gorilla Glass also, they just don’t advertise it.

      2. Hmmmm, not exactly. Almost every Google App I’ve played with on the iPhone have been watered down. The Maps on IOS is missing some useful features after checking out a friend’s iPhone today:
        -bicycle paths
        -transit support
        -walking directions
        -street view
        -offline caching

        Also I see nothing in the UI that’s better in any way – it’s very similar except Android has more useful options.

        Sorry but the experience isn’t quite the same and Google isn’t about to make the playground equal. Then there’s Jellybean which IMO is till head and shoulders above IOS in almost every way. It’s fluid so IOS’s advantage in that regard is non existent. The revamped notification with improved access to quick settings is a welcome. And on and on……

        1. Really? Looks like it’s all there except offline caching and bicycle paths… which I am sure will be added in future updates. The Verge has stated that this is THE BEST maps app on ANY PLATFORM (even Android), and I believe it.

          1. It’s not even in the same ballbark after looking at my friend’s iPhone again.

            -Recommendations is missing. With the Android version you can search what’s nearby and find info on restaurants, gas stations etc.
            -Offline caching
            -Wikipedia option
            -transit lines
            -bicycle directions
            -compass mode in street view (very nice feature)

            That’s just some I’ve noticed right away. Also because the iPhone’s UI lack the same menu driven focus, there are actually more steps to get to a lot of the options.

            The Verge? LOL, that’s like asking Apple if they think their maps is the best.
            You need to pick up an Android phone and really check out the maps and other Google services and you’ll notice that the ones on the iPhone have less features and aren’t exactly the same.
            Sure, Google may eventually upgrade the IOS apps, but you can be sure the Android versions will still be ahead.

  2. not sure why android users should be mad, i don’t think any android feature should be “exclusive” … tbh thats what I hate about apple and i hope google/android never turns into that. maps is a GREAT service and everyone deserves to be able to get directions accurately and easily regardless of the device they own.

    1. I would like to echo that sentiment. The more people that get to experience the awesomeness that is Google Maps Navigation the better.

    2. Android users are annoyed because google just gave ios users this shiny new version of google maps while the android version hasn’t had a real update in forever. It’s great that apple users are getting google maps, but why are they getting a nicer version is basically the complaint.

      1. What is better in the iOS version than the Android? Sure Maps on Android doesn’t have new releases all the time on Android, but we get the updates as Google makes them. It seems like iOS is just finally getting a version that’s more like what we have on Android, rather than one that’s better (it’s just “newer” as far as release date goes).

        I’m glad that iOS users can get back a useful version of Maps rather than the clearly-unfinished one that Apple pushed out (when Apple makes very calculated decisions). Maybe eventually Apple Maps will be a really good product, but for now it’s good that Google was able to kick into gear and get an iOS app together to get the people what they want.

      2. I’ve just made the move over to iPhone 5 from the Galaxy Nexus, having waiting too long for the Nexus 4, and I’m glad its just come out. Still have my Nexus for now, but comparing both the apps, I’m surprised that the Apple counterpart seems to edge it for me, in terms of speed, design and a few nice transition touches.

        I know if I was on Android I would be a little annoyed right now.

        But I tell you what, have a look at the Apple App store reviews for Google Maps, they will make you chuckle!

        1. From my quick look, it seemed the iPhone version only had a few layers, no My Maps, no bicycle directions…Is that correct? And I didn’t have the chance to check, but does it have offline caching?

        2. Really? Wow. I’m not a blind fanboy, but…I’m not blind to see that iOS has nothing on Android Jellybean. Interesting? choice.

      3. Google Maps for Android has had about 3 great updates this year alone, what are you talking about???

    3. If anything, Google is tea-bagging Apple with their map app.

      1. Apart from that, more users means more people working on map data and fixing errors, better traffic information and that is good even for android users.

  3. Man that is some bul$#1t.

  4. Haha!! why would anyone get mad over something like this?
    because for one software is software doesn’t matter who makes it as long as it works then who should give a rats double ass.

    And for two with apples maps crashing the way it did. And firing there lead map writer there. Apple should be on the floor kissing androids feet for the fact they released a maps that actually work

    Personal note apple products are over rated .

  5. But apple was doing such a good job killing their customers buy standing them in the Australian outback.

  6. Very nice move, Google get more $$$$ and iOS users get used to a good product, this way if ever Apple wants to put a stop to it again or even if they don’t it can make some of those iOS users think again and maybe make the switch to THE great OS by now ANDROID.

    1. if Apple decides to throw away Gmaps again, they’re twisting its users arms even more down the road.

  7. Still trying to figure out why anyone would/should care one way or the other . It’s not as if anyone w/something other than an iPhone is losing anything as a result of their gain.

    Going back to check out the latest update to GOOGLE SEARCH that I just d/l, y’all have a great evening……..

  8. Finally those Aussies won’t be headed down a treacherous path no longer!

  9. iPhone is getting the best of both platforms. iPhone has a large selection of stable iOS apps, and now they even get all the Google goodies including turn-by-turn Google navigation and Google Search. Makes the iPhone even more tempting.

    1. You have got to be fucking kidding me.

    2. Troll

      1. I don’t agree with him, but do you really think he’s expressing his opinion to make you all mad?

    3. They just gave Google Search. Wii have Google Now with Google Search.
      I don’t think voice searching is something to be happy to have. I don’t even use Google Search. I open all my results in different tabs so I can scroll and open other results at once. I use Google Now to give me the information I need. No need to search Forecast.

    4. All watered down versions on IOS. Yawn.

  10. This is going to be interesting to watch. If Siri is only tied into Apple’s Map App and they are not able to improve it enough to compete with Google’s Map App, this move may actually result in REDUCING Siri use for any direction type queries. Also making the iOS UX less than ‘perfect’. Heck, some users may eventually consider the Apple Maps App ‘bloatware’ if there is a large enough feature gap.

    1. I fully expect the next release of googles search app on iOS to open their Google maps when someone searches for directions or an address.

      1. Good point.. Maybe that would make the iOS Search also ‘bloatware’ eventually.

    2. Because of its sheer shittyness, it’s already considered by many to be bloatware.

  11. If I was google I’d charge a small fee out of spite for iOS users to use maps. Maybe $2 one time fee nothing too large considering you want people to buy the app and at $2 that would be a small price to pay to not get lost thanks to apple quacks map

    1. No. Don’t charge the users. It’s not about fighting the users, it’s about taking Apple on with innovative apps and competition.

  12. The way I see it, it just is more proof that Google is trying to innovate, not litigate…. despite Apple doing it’s damnedest to make Google, Samsung and other manufacturers “the enemy”.

    1. Agreed, Apple vs, the worm (Google) except it is Apple that is doing all the biting.

  13. No reason to be upset at Google for this.

    But, if you *are* looking for something to raise your phandroid hackles — The Verge has just declared Google Maps on iOS the BEST implementation of Google Maps *anywhere*.

    Yes, better, faster, smoother, and prettier than even on native Android!

    Cue the choir music and rejoice!!!

    1. But can they cache for offline usage? I should go check that. =.3

      1. The review said offline mode wasn’t working. Only some primitive “caching” at the moment.

  14. This is a slap in the face of Apple and ammunition for Android users to say: see what you have been missing, sheepfriends?

  15. Android sites talk about iPhones more than iPhone sites talk about Android

    1. Maybe not the sites themselves, but the commentators certainly seem to do so.

  16. Apple users should be mad at Android users laughing themselves silly at them. 8)

  17. It’s not that they released Google Maps for iOS. It’s that they released a cleaner, better designed, more fluid application for iOS than Android. It’s the trend this year: Gmail on iOS. Catalogues for iPad. Voice search on iOS. YouTube. New local search for iPad. The teams responsible for iOS development at Google are kicking ass. Meanwhile, the Navigation UI on Android hasn’t been updated since 2010.

    1. Yep. No one is mad about having to share. That’s ridiculous.

    2. What would you like to see different in the Navigation UI? I mean, what could they really do with it? Move some settings around? Can’t really be disappointed with it. Unless it’s like crashing for you all the time or something. I’m pretty content with it. Although I feel I haven’t used every feature Navigation has to offer, but I’m not too sure…

    3. Have you needed much else from maps. For a completely free app I would say I’ve been 90% satisfied.

    4. Yea, iOS essentially getting Google Now in the Search app, and Android 4.1 can’t even support it is a slap in the face. Not to mention the iPhone works on CDMA/LTE when the Nexus doesn’t.

  18. The thing most people that are complaining fail to realize is that Google has basically given the finger to iOS design standards and is trying to port the Google now / holo theme to iOS. Guess what happens if anyone of these people pick up a newer android phone and play with it. Oh they will already be familiar with it. Also the whole URL stuff between Google apps is trying to get more and more people to stay within their design look. IE the new android. Its a win win for Google.

    Also I expect we are seeing a preview of whats coming next for androids Google maps.

  19. “Remember, the sole reason Google created Android in the first place as
    open software alternative to iOS was so that so that manufacturers from
    all around the world could put Android on the device of their choosing.”


    Google created android to make money. Same reason any company creates anything. Never forget it.

    1. Your extended logic is pointless… Extending the logic of the original statement brings you to the same end result. More manufacturers able to use a standard OS for smartphones means by default more smartphones. Which by extension means more Internet access.. Which by further extension means more Google services usage… Which, you guessed it, means more money for Google…….. The initial statement holds true… Yours is a redundancy.

    2. Google didn’t create Android, they bought it. At that time, there was no business model for Android, it was designed to an open alternative to Symbian and Blackberry–years before iOS was unveiled. Instead of emulating Nokia, Google honored that when they bought Android and created the Open Handset Alliance. Presently, Android advances Google’s services and generates revenue for them, but that’s not what was envisioned back in 2003.

  20. Makes the transition of iphone users to android easier next year.
    Its all good for google because it entrenches the iphone users away from apple products to google services which is their primary line of business. Google just has to make sure that android users always always get the better version of google services. Anything less is not awesome.

  21. “…features most everything Android users have been enjoying for years now, including voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation…”
    Well, this is still available only in a bunch of countries, the most of us are still waiting for this exclusiveness.

  22. They can make a killer app for IOS for all I care. As long as people realize and choose Google over crApple, I’m good.

  23. Google crowd sources is data for things like traffic data. More users.. That can only be a good thing.

    1. Exactly. the more the merrier!

  24. I’m not angry at all. Why should I be? I have friends and family that own apple devices, and I’d like for the to be just as safe as I am when navigating. Not getting stranded or maybe even dying because of crappy maps.

  25. I’m all for Google spreading the love with their Maps app on iOS. Android users shouldn’t be offended, it’s Apple that should be embarrassed for making such a terrible app. I can’t stand iOS, but it’s users should also have the great Google apps that us Android users have come to know and love.

  26. The more people with Google in their hands the better in my eyes. Apple hurt their customer base by having Google taken out. This just lets the Apple fans know where to get the good stuff. The more people who see the good and the bad the better.

  27. Google doesn’t play at Apple’s low level and it’s a good thing for everyone.

  28. Why should either be mad? LOL

  29. This is a good thing for Google… it makes people realize how good Google products are and in the future they may consider Android! I love Google maps. It blows Apple maps out of the water with SHAME! 10x better! WOW!

  30. “the one Apple didn’t want their users to have”

    you mean the one google wouldn’t give us! they purposely blocked turn by turn directions on ios. so far apple maps apears to be much more accurate then google maps on my iphone 5. google maps shows me down the street!

    1. purposely blocked? I guess you didn’t read the article.

  31. Wow, for not a second the thought of “why did Google do this?!” crossed my mind, before or after this article. If it does cross the minds of some people, then they surely need to find something better to do in their life than getting angry at such things.

    However, Google does need to focus on making the interface of its Android apps a facelift, as I heard that while the new Maps app for iOS is great looking, the Android version is still using some Gingerbread elements. I personally don’t give a damn if the iOS version looks slightly better as long as functionality remains, but when the sign-in box in Google+ app shows a Gingerbread-esque loading circle, it’s shameful to say the least that Google isn’t forcing the “design guidelines” on their own apps teams
    (Google+ loading circle: )

  32. angry?…why?….for what?

  33. Let them use it, they have used it in the past.
    Just as long as the new features arrive on Android first, and maybe some extra goodies that don’t go to cryOS.
    There has to be some perks to owning a google phone

  34. I’m OK about this. It infuriates me when I see how many iAccessories Sony makes with nearly nothing for Android. But in this case I feel just fine. One more reason to shove the facts (“I’ve had that for years”) in face of iOS funboys, when they come spilling boiling piss about how great are the Maps they’ve just got.

  35. As an Android user I’m not mad, Google or any software company for that matter should develop software and/or services for the main platforms in the market. It’s just good business.

  36. Don’t you think Apple will just dump Google maps as soon as they think they have fixed their map problems? Of course they will. This is just a stop gap for Apple. So I disagree with Google here. Many Apple users may have switched over to Android for better maps.

    1. Perhaps, but keep in mind that one of the weak links in Apple Maps is user’s use and input to help improve the map data. With less people using Apple Maps the longer it will take for Apple Maps to gain accurate crowdsourced map data and fully compete with Google Maps. Also as long as Google Maps is perceived to be better Apple Maps will be a huge money sink with little return on investment.

    2. But there are other Map applications in iOS, like Waze. So if they specifically target Google Maps, they would have to get rid of all the other Map applications. Or they should do that or prove themselves that they truly are unfair. Hmm…

  37. Everyone saying they are getting the best of both worlds what are you talking? About Apple devices are inferior to the latest Android devices…you couldnt pay me or give me an suckIphone to use over my S3..their software sucks and hardware they are blown out of the water…Viva La Android…this will make it a bit harder to convert those people now though..I sell phones

  38. More users equals more money. More money equals a better Google experience in the future :). Maps isn’t the only thing we have over iOS. Apple has made them suffer long enough.

  39. I’ve just made the move over to iPhone 5 from the Galaxy Nexus, having waiting too long for the Nexus 4, and I’m glad its just come out. Still have my Nexus for now, but comparing both the apps, I’m surprised that the Apple counterpart seems to edge it for me, in terms of speed, design and a few nice transition touches.

    I know if I was on Android I would be a little annoyed right now.

    But I tell you what, have a look at the Apple App store reviews for Google Maps, they will make you chuckle!

    1. Sorely missing Google Now, well, like it was on Android, not the cut down version currently on iPhone. Can we have that next Google?

    2. Speedier app on iOS is expected, no virtual machine or Java slowing things down. :P

    3. Really? Those touches are just there because iPhones don’t have a menu button. LoL!! Although I like that little swiping feature.

      But on Android we have a menu bar on the bottom that has everything you swipe to. So we don’t even have to go anywhere. And he didn’t scroll down, so I don’t know if you have all the options we have.

      I can’t compare speed or anything. I utilize offline, so that would be a turn-off for me. And also, the Turn-by-Turn still works even though you’re not in the app in Android. There is a constant notification and the person still talks.

      One thing you can check is if your music quiets when the person is talking. It’s suppose to quiet or pause your music while giving directions.

  40. I have no idea what people are complaining about. Maps isn’t “better” on iOS. For starters they say you can hear the person talking without actually being in the app. Just tried it and I can do that too.

    Also, the iOS version has that 2 finger swipe to bring up the menu. Remember people, iPhones don’t have a “MENU” button on their phone. So how else do you expect them to reach their menu? And on Android we have a menu bar on the bottom. We also have the bar at the top to bring up a menu to other “Map” features like “My Places” and stuff.

    The only thing I saw better was the fact that they can get multiple directions instead of one set path.

    Also, I don’t recall reading anything about transit routes, walking or riding a bike. The options may be there but I don’t recall seeing them.

    I don’t see Maps as “better” on iOS. I see it as iOS receiving a laid back version of Google Maps. I don’t see why The Verge say it’s better. I’m sorry.

    1. Exactly! I have yet to see what’s better.

  41. They shoulda charged $2 for it. That woulda been awesome.

    1. No they shouldn’t!

  42. Good for Google. I don’t begrudge them any attempts to grow their userbase for their great services. That’s what keeps them going. Besides, growing the user base of Maps directly benefits Android users. Google’s crowd-sourced traffic information will get better with automatic contributions from iPhone users.

    I played with the the new maps briefly this morning. It’s still way behind the Android experience. Anyway, the smartphone war is pretty much over, and Android won. Those people who stubbornly hold on to their iPhones at this point aren’t going to switch just because Apple’s mapping sucks. I notice they’ve moved on to whinging for an iPad Google Maps app already. Well, tablets is the new front line in the mobile war, so maybe Google will wait a while on that.

  43. It is all about search! When you search on gmaps it does Google searches not safari searches… think about it!

  44. Grrrrrrr Google that ain’t right to do.

  45. i got a retired gnexus and current i5 user… why should i angry?

  46. HA HA HA they should have made it a $20 dollar app….

  47. This is great news! The more users that use Google Maps, the better the product will become. The more updates and features we will receive. Keep up the good work!

  48. crApple iFool’s getting Google Maps? ew! (how the tables turn eh?)

  49. Google is not in the Android business so much as it is in the information business. Android is becoming a part of their revenue, but its nothing compared to their ability to collect information about you. I am not mad at either company business as usual.

  50. I am happy for my iOS dad. he doesn’t have to hut a $200 GPS now. poor guy been lost ever since he had his iPhone.

  51. They are releasing it to IOS so they Apple Fanbois can see how great Android is over IOS.

  52. The more people that use Google maps the better it will get and be able to stay on top

  53. Not upset they are giving ios the apps, just wish they would at least spend some time giving the same quality to the android folks. They gave ios google now, but none to android below jb. Now they give them a better looking and working maps app. Seems the only way to get a good android experience is to get an iphone.

  54. Now I can finally upgrade to iOS 6.

  55. Apple got what it wanted: turn-by-turn nav. Google gets what it wanted: user data. Everybody’s happy.

    1. Except the team that worked on Apple Maps. All that work pretty much made redundant.

  56. Why be mad? I find it very amusing that Apple was humiliated by their arrogance and had to go crawling back to Google after eating some humble pie. Google wants their services in as many places as possible this is SOP for them.

  57. Now the ifanboys will see what they are missing and flock to android !

  58. Vindication

  59. Why should Android users be mad? We pity iOS users–they should have nice stuff, too.

  60. Well if the iPhone version was actually as feature-rich as Android’s then maybe we’d have something to discuss but it is in fact pretty watered down. It’s missing some very useful features like recommendations / Offline caching / transit info and host of others after a closer look.
    Google was clearly going after the ad revenue and not really giving them the whole package.

    Also the UI really isn’t any ‘cleaner’ or intuitive on the iPhone version. like most IOS apps, its design is overly simplistic as if aimed at 6-year olds. So what if the navigation button is on the top as opposed to the bottom like on Android? Does that somehow make it better?

    For iPhone users I guess it’s a step in the right direction after Apple’s feeble attempt, but at the end of the day, they’re still stuck with IOS – Android’s app tray.

    So….nothing to see here, move along.

  61. For me, taking sides in that kind of war is not far from stupid.

    In a free world I like every body to choose the best fit for their needs. For me that’s Android, but I don’t feel the need to convince or disprove anybody about it.

    At the same time, I like my socially fed apps to be as wide as possible. So the fact that Google Maps is now on Apple products is good news for me. More people placing opinions, photos, etc.

    And that’s my opinion, but I don’t need you to share it.

  62. Small businesses depend on Google Maps for people to find them. They were probably ticked off the most by Apple Maps.

  63. To answer your question; no it’s more of a kick to Apple than to Android. Google can now data mine more people (get feedback) to improve the ever growing Google Maps

  64. They should sell it for $0.99 on the app market.

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