Epic Win: Google Maps Returns to iPhone After Short Hiatus (Update)

As the war for leadership within the tech world wages on between Apple and Google, the former appears to have called for a temporary cease-fire by allowing iPhone users to re-download Google Maps after it being forcibly removed after the update to iOS 6.0.1 and the launch of the iPhone 5.

Following the epic failure of Apple Maps and even a rare public apology from Apple CEO Tim Cook and his recommendation for iPhone users to use Google Maps through web browsers, iPhone users can rejoice again as Google Maps has been redesigned and relaunched on the Apple App Store.

Update: It looks like Apple is looking for redemption after the debacle that ensued its initial launch of its own version of Maps, as it has announced the addition features from two innovative start-ups: HopStop and Locationary. Both of these specialize in the creation of apps for itineraries and geo-location and Apple is apparently hoping their expertise will help upgrade its Maps App.

With iOS 7 set to launch in Fall, the timing is perfect for an overhaul. It was to expect that, despite a flaky start, the Cupertino giant would not quit the navigation service game without putting up a good fight. Now, will this be enough to dethrone Google Maps? That is of course an overstatement, but expect Apple to keep trying to close the gap bit by bit.

Google Maps Features At A Glance

Highly user-friendly interface: very easy to use.
Public transit (incl.walking) directions and traffic/satellite tools enabled*.
Access to Street View, just like on the web version.
Signing in to a Google account allows for places to be bookmarked (i.e. home or work) for quicker access.
Availability of a tutorial and a help guide.

*To easily access the public transit, traffic and satellite options, simply tap the view tab or swipe the screen from right to left with 2 fingers.

After testing the turn-by-turn navigation on my way to work, it appeared to work smoothly and flawlessly – this feature alone is worth the download since it essentially acts as a car GPS, which can be quite costly. Did you know that before Apple Maps failed launch, this neat feature was only available for Android users?

I also noticed that by swiping down with 2 fingers, the map is rendered into a 2D perspective, while swiping up with 2 fingers as well, reverts it back to a one-dimensional look. The design’s versatility is definitely a nice touch.

For those of you who have yet to upgrade to iOS 6.0.1, now is quite possibly the optimum time to do so considering the availability of the re-designed Google Maps app. If you have an iPhone, we definitely recommend downloading the Google Maps app as you won’t find yourself driving in the opposite direction for miles and miles on end, like you would have with Apple Maps.

For a quick laugh, be sure to check out Gizmodo’s 9 things that will be missed about Apple Maps, as well as the following Apple Maps Dark Knight parody:

Let us know below what you think of the re-launch of Google Maps for iPhone?

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