Despite all the noise about Mapsgate, Apple’s ongoing problems with their Google Maps replacement, it became obvious that Google wasn’t going to give the iOS version the same features as they provide to Android OS users, so Apple had to act and did.
Word on the street’s is that Google is readying a version of Google Maps for iPhone and iPad. Let the competition begin. This can only be good for iOS users.
An iPhone and iPad version of Google Maps will be crippled just like Google’s Chrome browser is crippled. Crippled? Yes. Chrome on iPhone and iPad works well enough, and has a few features that Safari does not, but it’s a performance impaired browser that is slower than a herd of turtles in peanut butter.
Pages are downloaded and rendered far slower than in Safari. Scrolling is anemic and sometimes buttons just don’t work. I like the tabs feature, though, but the search keyboard is what you’d expect from a company full of engineers with no design tastes.
What can we expect from Google Maps on iPhone and iPad?
More of the same.
First, Apple’s Maps is integrated into iOS. So, iPhone and iPad apps that use a maps component won’t be able to use Google Maps. They’re stuck with Apple’s Maps.
Google’s iOS Maps App will need to compete both on performance and features. The lack of turn-by-turn directions is one feature Apple wanted, and for that in iOS 6, they got it right. Google’s needs to be better, otherwise, why switch?
It will also be interesting to see how Google plans to make any money with Google Maps. Will it be free? Will it be stuffed with advertisements? Or, will there be a price tag? From 99-cents to $1.99, I’m willing to gamble. For $2.99 to anything higher, I’ll wait for a few reviews to trickle in.
Along with turn-by-turn directions, Google Maps also needs voice, street view, and, of course, some kind of flyover 3D view. Hopefully, Google will recognize the need to add caching to their iOS app. Caching seems to work very well in Apple’s Maps, and maps actually load faster in iOS 6 than they did in Google Maps on iOS 5.x.
This is one Google app I’m actually looking forward to adding to my iPhone. Let’s see if they can compete on the platform where more users use more apps than on Android OS devices.