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google maps for iphoneMost of you know about Google Maps. It’s Google’s Rocky Balboa, the comeback after that new kid on the block showed up – Apple Maps. It’s a great app, and it’s so great that it made our Best iPhone Apps list.

With that said, I’ll assume that you are already aware of the basic features of Google Maps – after all, it’s pretty simple. By merging the best elements of the browser-based version of the app with standard GPS functionality, Google has concocted a highly reliable piece of mobile navigation software – Google maps for iPhone.

You can search for an address, a location name, or even a general type of destination (e.g. “restaurant”), and the app will present several time-based route options via car, public transit, or foot. Directions are displayed on an aesthetically-pleasing 3D map, but for those of you who struggle with multi-tasking, a non-Siri voice can lead the way.

google maps for iphone

google maps iphone

Other features that the mobile version offers include the ability to view current traffic conditions, public transit lines, and satellite images. You can even open a location up from Google Maps into Google Earth 5 More Cool Things You Can Do With Google Earth 5 More Cool Things You Can Do With Google Earth In this article, I'm going to share five really cool features I found in Google Earth. These features are perfect if you're looking to build a new house or trying to find a place to... Read More , and step-by-step directions are viewable before you even go out the door.


google maps iphone

More practically, you can save certain locations as favorites. Personally, I find this feature to be one of the best ones, and I actually have my daily commute starred away. Why is that? While I already know how to get where I’m going, I’m able to get current updates on the time that it will take me to arrive each morning. This helps me decide if I ever need to make travel adjustments, and as someone who loves sleeping in, this happens more often than not.

google maps iphone

The Overall Design

Google Maps appears to be designed very much like its browser-based version. The same colors, icons, and fonts all pop up in this app, and the user experience is actually quite similar. However, since it’s a mobile app, it puts a unique spin on things. Everything is touch intuitive, and feedback is rather organic.

google maps tips iphone

Admittedly, the results of your accidental swipes can be rather annoying. If your finger just happens to touch the screen, the app will register the touch as if you are wanting to explore the map. This ultimately stops the navigation process, and you will have to tap the Resume button on-screen to get back on track. For users who make use of the voice instructions, this could be very problematic since it could ultimately cause a missed turn.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Google Maps is very well-designed, and there’s really no valid reason to question it. Despite the touch nuisance (which could possibly fixed), it’s a top-notch product.

The Practicality

Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room: Google Maps was created as an answer to Apple Maps. Another word for answer is solution, and a solution typically associated with a problem – a word that is commonly associated with Apple Maps. With that said, Google has been a longtime contender in the realm of global mapping, and its seniority shows with its mobile Maps app.

With reliable API and veteran experience in the navigation industry, there should really be no question as to whether or not Google Maps is practical. It is.

google maps for iphone

Google Maps for iPhone provides a fantastic experience for anyone who is out on the road, but as expected, it can fall victim to wireless connectivity issues. Even though it is a very solid app, it must rely on your mobile connection. As a warning, if the service is bad, then the app will likely be bad as well. Speaking from experience, I know of a few times where it appeared as though my car was in the middle of a field when I was obviously on the interstate.

Pro-tip: before you leave on your big trip, take screenshots of the step-by-step directions before you leave, and as always, keep a physical map for reference on standby.


I can only tell you so much, but I will say that Google Maps is the premier navigation app for the iPhone. If you need more convincing, check out our iOS Map Showdown iOS Maps Showdown: Apple Maps, Google Maps, And Nokia HERE Compared iOS Maps Showdown: Apple Maps, Google Maps, And Nokia HERE Compared Within a week of release Google Maps for iOS shot to the top of the App Store charts as iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners rushed to get Google’s free mapping solution back on their... Read More that compares Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Nokia HERE. Coming from just a reviewer’s perspective, Google Maps is a stand-up piece of work, and it will definitely get you where you want to go.

What do you think of Google Maps? Do you think it should have made our Best iPhone Apps List? Is it a well-designed app? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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  1. David A
    April 27, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Coming from small town Alaska and navigating the myriad of on and off ramps in Dallas Texas was a bit daunting...even so, Google Maps for IOS was amazing to use. It was fast and responsive...even when I was not. It rerouted us nearly instantly, and brought us back on course, very well. Compared to the Apple version, I noticed Google never brought us to our destination using odd back roads, something I was grateful for. The only thing I wished they'd incorporate would be the ability to personally name destinations. It's one thing to map your way to work, but when your traveling, and want to visit a number of unfamiliar destinations (the next day), it would be nice to give them a name versus having to references street addresses. Other than that, it's the best out there.

  2. Sonesh Lakhani
    April 10, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Really very helpful

  3. Rob H
    April 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    One interesting problem has cropped up. Many places have outlawed "using a mobile phone while driving". A judge in California has recently taken the view that using the phone as a satnav falls foul of that law.

    It's probably OK if you're using it sensibly - i.e. it's safely mounted and you're not pressing buttons as you drive.

    • dragonmouth
      April 10, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      "Many places have outlawed “using a mobile phone while driving”."

      Many jurisdictions have made the use of HAND-HELD phones illegal but they do allow HANDS-FREE phones. But this hasn't stopped the id10ts from holding their phones to their ears.

  4. Scott M
    April 10, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Google has become a large monolithic evil in many ways but damn they produce some good applications!!

  5. techguyknows
    April 10, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Beginner guide for those who just started out to use Google Maps on iPhone.

  6. Nevzat A
    April 10, 2013 at 6:19 am

    I remember I had many laughs at Apple Maps when they introduced with IOS 6 with so many bugs. The best is always Google Maps :)

    • John
      April 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      Apple maps is more accurate than Google maps for me. Google maps still try's to send me the wrong way up a one way street (and yes this is by using the driving option not the walking option im in a car at the time ;-) ). google maps will still turn a 1.5 mile trip from my home to my frends house into a 5 mile long way round trip (good job i dont trust google on that trip lol).

      After all these years Google still fails on navigating routes reliably 4 years ago a road was permanently block off and turned into a cul de sac and Google maps still thinks its a route to drive through lol. However i tried Apple maps and found they are much more reliable (the cul de sac is correctly navigated around et all) so its goodbye google.

      • Nevzat A
        April 10, 2013 at 5:13 pm

        I'm surprised to hear this. It seems that maps software's success rate changes region by region.

      • Zeeshan Masood
        April 11, 2013 at 7:15 am

        I have very very bad experience with Apple Maps although i love it in the beginning because of faster loading and crisp map quality but i am not gonna use it until Apple develop it little more. In my opinion, Google Maps is the best gps app in the app store.

        • John
          April 11, 2013 at 10:46 am

          Well my experience of using Google maps clearly shows its not the best in the store infact Google maps has been so consistently out done by Apple maps that i deleted Google maps.

  7. Chris Marcoe
    April 10, 2013 at 4:19 am

    As a person who has never had an iPhone and who messes with his daughter about her inability to navigate with anything Apple, I'll be sending this on to her. Maybe she can use it tom come see me more often.

    • Joshua Lockhart
      April 10, 2013 at 4:23 am

      Thanks, Chris.