Google Maps comes to iOS: here’s why you should get it

13 December, 2012 - Killian Bell
Google Maps iOS app

In case you hadn’t already heard, Google finally brought an official Google Maps app to the iPhone on Wednesday night — much to the delight of those who haven’t been getting on with Apple’s new Maps service. It boasts some terrific features, including some that make their debut on iOS, and it’s well worth a download. Here’s why we recommend it.

When Apple launched its own Maps service with iOS 6, it booted Google Maps out of its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The Cupertino company’s new solution offers a number of features Google’s didn’t, but for many users — especially those outside of the United States — it just has too many problems.

We’ve all been eagerly anticipating an official Google Maps app, then, and this week it finally arrived. What’s more, it does not disappoint. In fact, it’s so good, even Google admits it’s better than its Google Maps Android app. So what’s so special about it? Here are a few things:

Street View: Ah, the beloved Street View. It’s one of the features I used most on my iPhone before iOS 6, and I’m glad it’s back. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but for those who haven’t, Street View lets you walk around inside the map, viewing roads, streets, buildings, and landmarks as if you were stood right in front of them.

Google Maps iOS app

Transit Directions: Another feature that was part of Maps before iOS 6, transit directions allow you to find your way around using public transport — as opposed to just walking or taking the car.

Live Traffic Information: This is a first for Google Maps on iOS. As its name suggests, it allows you to see live traffic information overlaid on your maps, so you can dodge the jams on the way home from work. It works in “cities around the world,” Google says.

Voice-Guided Turn-By-Turn Navigation: Like Apple’s own app, Google Maps now offers voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation for the first time on iOS. Anyone who’s already used it on Android will know it’s terrific, so this is a welcome improvement to the app.

Accurate Data: This isn’t necessarily a feature, but it’s worth noting — particularly for those who have had trouble with Apple’s app. No mapping service is going to be completely perfect, of course, but Google Maps is widely regarded as one of the best. This alone is a good enough reason to have Google Maps installed on your iPhone.

Google Maps iOS app

Like all of Google’s iOS apps, Google Maps is completely free. It’s only available on iPhone and iPod touch right now, but Google has promised that like its YouTube app, it’ll be available on the iPad, too, a little later on.

What do you think of Google Maps for iPhone?

Google Maps - Google, Inc.

About the author

Killian Bell is a freelance journalist based in Worcestershire UK. In addition to writing about all things Apple, he's one of the co-founders of the football site TitleTalk. You can follow him on and Twitter.