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Google Maps returns for iPhone as app - this time with voice directions

Dec 15: Google  Maps is a certified hit. The new app has hit the top of Apple's iTunes AppStore download charts in NZ, Australia and the US (pictured), among other countries.


Dec 14: Google Maps is once again availabe for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch - this time as an app, which was added to the iTunes AppStore last night (find it here).

And it's better than before with turn-by-turn voice instructions (previously only available in the Android version of Google Maps) and slick vector graphics.

From just a few minutes play, the interface seems slick and smooth, and it featues the NZ locations like Dunden Airport that Apple Maps so curiously misplaced (and continues to misplace. Apple has moved Dunedin Airport from the West Coast to insdide the Octagon. One can only guess its crowd-source fix programme has gone horribly wrong).

Apple Maps has a slick interface (and includes voice) but Google is just as slick, quick and easy, and has a very simple, useful interface. It's very fast to search.

The only negative I've found so far is that in my first couple of searches, real-time Traffic updates (available for the web version) are listed as "not available for this region." Hopefully that will change as more people install the app and crowd-sourced info starts rolling in (Google pulls data from people who have opted-in to anonymous locatin tracking).

You do have to sign in to a Google account to access all features, such as bookmarking locatins - which has already irked some.

In this round of the Apple vs Google fight, it's a knocked win to Google (though good on Apple for allowing Google Maps back in as an app, I guess, after kicking it out of iOS 6).

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Comments and questions

Wow, my iPhone is almost a smartphone again...

Curious that traffic info wasn't working for you, Chris. I thought you were in Akl. The Android version of maps has working live traffic info...

I wonder why it's not live for IOS...

Not really, I think it's probably just that Google needs a critical mass of iPhone users to install the Google Maps app and opt-in to sharing their location.

Hi Chris, I'd have thought that Google would just provision the data to all supported clients...

They've gathered the data from their Android customers, doesn't seem fair that they'd restrict the data like that.

Perhaps Google is expressing a little frustration at the expense of their IOS users?