Well that didn’t take long: just hours after being released, the latest version of Google Maps for iPhones became the most downloaded item in the App Store library. That should come as no surprise, considering how awful Apple Maps are combined with how great this version of Google Maps apparently is.
Writes David Pogue of the NY Times:
So the first great thing about Google’s new Maps is the underlying data. Hundreds of Google employees have spent years hand-editing the maps, fixing the thousands of errors that people report every day. (In the new app, you report a mistake just by shaking the phone.) And since 2006, Google’s Street View vehicles have trawled 3,000 cities, photographing and confirming the cartographical accuracy of five million miles of roads.
And then there’s the navigation. Lots of iPhone owners report that they’ve had no problem with Apple’s driving instructions, and that’s great. But I’ve been idiotically misdirected a few times — and the trouble is, you never know in advance. You wind up with a deep mistrust of the app that’s hard to shake. Google’s directions weren’t great in the app’s early days either, and they’re still not always perfect. But after years of polishing and corrections, they’re right a lot more often.
The must-have features are all here: spoken driving directions, color-coded real-time traffic conditions, vector-based maps (smooth at any size). But the new app also offers some incredibly powerful, useful features that Apple’s app lacks.