Android Central

Just a week before the Mayan Apocalypse, Google Maps is back on iOS. It actually looks pretty good, and should help keep folks out of dingo territory. Rene and company are looking it over, expect all the comparison you could ever want in the coming days over at iMore.

Me? I'm just glad the lamb and the lion have laid down together. Things work much better when the big boys play nice.

More: iMore


Reader comments

Google Maps lands in Apple's App Store


I wouldn't be surprised if apple charged people 4.99 for the Google Maps, since they got rid of it not to be paying Google anymore.

what? you don't even know what you are saying do you? you're just repeating some talking-point you heard on an anti-apple forum and hoping it sticks.

There was no battle won or lost here. Now iphone users have a great selection of free map offerings: Apple's, Google's and Nokia's maps.

I sure hope so. This design language Google is using is very nice. I think it even looks nicer than WP8 UI. Not only is it modern & fresh but very functional & doesn't waste a lot of space like WP8 does.

I downloaded it on my work 4S... It looks a lot better than Apple Maps but it's no Android Google Maps. It surely doesn't look as good as it does on my Note 2!

Employers often give employee's certain phones to use. If he wanted to use the 4S for things other than work, why would he have a Note 2? Besides, I have a friend who works for Utah's Department of Transportation. They give him one of those palm devices.

What's the big deal?

The Mayan Apocalypse was in May 2011. Since their calendars didn't have leap years, the dates don't line up with ours

The Mayans didn't have days or years as we know them either, doesn't make a difference as the date translation is still the same. Also, the Mayans didn't predict an apocalypse, they were just too lazy to make a calendar that went more than 1000 years into the future and stopped at their equivalent of the end of a millenium(ish). Next time we make a calendar that only goes to the year 3200, then we can forecast another apocalypse when it runs out too.

Do research before trying to discredit things, it really will help in everything!

Why the heck the app looks more beautiful than the android one? I hope Google update the android app with that beautiful interface and revamp the Navigation app.

Do you think they're playing nice or did Apple cave, agreeing to pay Google what they were asking? This information could very easily be covered under an NDA so Google won't say anything and Apple can save face.

This has nothing to do with them playing nice. Google wrote a native iOS app and released it in the app store. Apple can't stop them from doing that. They did the same thing with YouTube.

If anything, this is Google's way of giving Apple the middle finger and showing that they can't be stopped.

This is a blessing. I'm supprised that Google included turn by turn, figured they would have kept it just for android. But I'm happy have to use an iPhone for work so this works out good

Google ultimately could care less whether you use Android or iOS. All they want is for you to use their services so they can have a better profile on you for targeted ads.

I'm beginning to think that the next version of Android is going to clean up GAPPS and make the whole ecosystem look cleaner, like what they're doing on iOS. Holo is wonderful, but the minimalist stuff Google is doing on iOS feels even more current. Google's design philosophy on iOS feels like a trend.

Why does the iOS Google Maps look and function better than the Android Google Maps?

It's cleaner, has better gestures, the info page thing you swipe up is's much nicer to use.

Now iOS has the better Gmail and Maps app? The hell Google? Support your own platform?

I don't know. I'm sitting here playing with the iOS one and I'm liking it more than the Android version. Would prefer that to be the one on Android.

Definitely looks cleaner, I like the swiping to get the info sheet on a map, it looks more modern.

I personally prefer the look of Android's maps better, but I prefer the look of stock Android better than iOS as well. Some people think Android is still a little ugly and iOS is beautiful but I think of it as the other way around.

You just don't get Google's business model do you. First of all iOS is a better platform for apps altogether. As it stands today almost all apps will look and function better on iOS. Google wants to bring their presence to as many mobile phones as possible as well as tablets and PC's. They are an advertising company and their revenue is driven by ads and information from these devices. Now understand that the Google Maps app on Android will probably always (eventually) have more features but it will probably never function as smoothly or look as good. Android users are going to gloat and say that Apple caved to a better app and that's true only because of the data that Google provides on their maps. But they are going to hate that it runs more smoothly on iOS. This is a strength of Apple just like ridiculous amounts of data are Google's strength as shown in the maps app. Apple is a design company more than a tech company and they design their devices and want their apps to be displayed in that way. Both companies make each one better and let's be happy that we have both to make our tech experience a better one.

Nice rant, but what I mentioned are stuff that can easily be ported over to Android, namely the gestures and UI changes. I didn't mention anything about it running 'smoother' on iOS or even hinted at it. I said it looks cleaner and

No idea why you're having a heart attack over something I haven't even said. Even then, saying that the Maps app on iOS will look better on iOS than on Android because of X, Y or Z is absolutely ridiculous seeing as Google are the ones that made the damn app on both platforms.

I'm not having a heart attack. I think I'm okay. Google used a competitive advantage for years with their app on Android and was forced to give that up with Apple's maps app no matter how awful it is. Google needs this to be great on both devices because of the kind of company they are. Kudos to Apple for letting this in their app store. I'm an Apple fan and to be honest with you it would greatly disappoint me to see this app run better on iOS in the long run. It better run and look better on Android for Google's sake. Only time will tell. I hope it does. I want competition to make both companies better. I don't hate Android or Google at all. I use a ton of Google services. I'm glad Google didn't do what Apple has done for years with their iTunes experience on Windows computers which is to purposely make it slower to make OSX look better.

What difference does it make? Is anything I just said wrong? Please have more insight than this. I think Android and Apple fans deserve more than an eye roll.

Your severe lack of objectivity and insight isn't worth more than an eye roll. You know absolutely nothing, and act as if you do. It's foolish and typical of Apple fanboys.

Gmail for iOS may look prettier, but it's still way behind Gmail for Android. It's slower because it's in part still a web app, whereas Gmail for Android is fully native. And it doesn't have some of our best features like swipe to delete. It does have swipe to archive, but it's janky and requires an extra click.

It's not that the Android UI is horrible, it's just that this new iOS one is better.

The Android version should always be the better version. I'd like Gmail to look more like the iOS one too. The updated Gmail on iOS makes it look super clean and closer to the desktop experience with similar colours and feel.

I suspect Google will update the Android versions of Gmail/Maps in the future to have this clean/card type look.

Gmail for iOS looks good in screenshots, but have you actually used it? It's slow and glitchy compared to the Android app because it's not fully native (still part web app).

Also, Maps for iOS is still missing some things like Latitude and Local. There is a separate Latitude app in the App Store, but it's awful compared to what's built in to Maps on Android.

wow imagine my surprise

They had to build a new app for the platform and the UI is different? Kinda makes sense that it would be doesnt it?

I haven't played with it yet to know which is better, but will tomorrow when I borrow a friends

I used my wifes iphone after installing gmaps and its pretty smooth. Finally a good maps program. I still haven't updated hers to ios6 or is it 5. I don't even know. Either way google did a great job. I just can't wait till google adds other new features to the android version. I love using gmaps on my note 2. To put it in one word, AMAZING!

I'm not the biggest Google fan, but after using Apple Maps I've started to appreciate how awesome Google's mapping service is. Most of the time Apple Maps just takes ages to load anything, making it useless unless you don't have 30 minutes. A lot of Apple's service are really slow, just look at Siri! Whenever I boot up my Mac or iPad they start out lagging for a minute or two and it usually takes forever to do anything.

Okay so I've been comparing the android and apple versions of Google maps function for function UI for UI and I found a few interesting things. Some of you may agree some may not but here goes. At first I thought hands down the apple version looks better and is more intuitive. After about an hour of comparison though I changed my mind. The main thing that stood out to me is on Android you have the semi transparent top and bottom bars which I think serve two main functions. One obviously so you can see more info. And possible more importantly Android has to support a wide array of screen sizes I think the semi transparent approach leaves more viewing real estate for the user. Google is at its core engineers and Apple at its core are designers it's clear when developing this app Google had the Apple user in mind who tend to put design and polish over functionality. This is exactly what this app does but in the best way possible. The swipe gestures are pretty intuitive and I think they'll come to the android version but I don't think it'll look exactly the same. Although Google maps on iOS has a very Google Now feel to it. Which I must admit is one of the best looking aspects of android from a UI standpoint. It's hard to say but the Android app is definitely more functional not by a great deal but more non the less.

All i know is that now my wife is happy that her iphone has turn by turn voice navigation other than scout. Now we may use her phone once in a while when we go out of town. To put it simple, my android gets more use than her iphone on vacation and trips. She would probably switch to gs3 if it didn't cost her more than $200 to switch.

Google maps on Android looks great to me. I don't see where this huge disparity of a "better looking" maps app on iOS is coming from? It's designed to fit in more with iOS so of course it's going to look different then the Android version. The Android version has all the features that you could ever want.

I'm not surprised they included turn by turn - they had to to make it competitive w/Apple Maps. Also, while initially Google needed Maps as an inducement to get people over to Android, they don't want to go to far. If Android were to get over 80% or so level of market share, it would be vulnerable to anti-trust concerns (which Google is dealing with already on search). Which would mean that Google Maps, Chrome, perhaps the Play store would no longer be the default on Android (akin to how Microsoft can't make IE the default browser on Windows). Having 2 or 3 viable mobile OSs, with google's data gathering tools as the dominant provider is clearly the best situation for Google's business model.

I don't understand all of this babble about Apple and Google finally deciding to "play nice". Nothing of the sort has happened. Google, just like thousands of other developers, created an app and put it in the Apple store for free. There was no collaboration between the companies, no cooperation, and no playing nice. Google doesn't need Apple's cooperation, permission, or blessing to put an app in the Apple store. If the app follows all of Apple's guidelines and requirements, there's nothing Apple can do about it without triggering a gigantic lawsuit.

2 features that is still missing on iOS Google Maps
1. While navigating, you cannot search for POIs that are long your route. Or least I don't see that option anywhere.
2. There isn't a designated place to see your starred locations. When you perform a search, that's where they appear.

I agree with Jerry, the Android version is easier to use functionally.

I guess the usual rule about not being allowed to reimplement core functionality doesn't apply here, as that core functionality isn't fully functional ;-)