Choosing your default apps in iOS has long been a serious shortcoming of Apple devices. In fact, while previous versions of Apple’s operating system made it a little bit easier to look up directions in Google Maps rather than in Apple Maps, that is no longer the case.
Previous workarounds (like using Siri or the ability to open other apps from within Apple Maps) no longer work. So if you are like many who still prefer Google Maps over Apple Maps, how do you ensure that your directions always open in Google Maps?
Use Google Products
One of the easiest ways to ensure that your directions will always open in Google Maps is to try to stick to as many Google apps or products as you can. Any address links you tap on in these Google apps will open by default in Google Maps.
So Google Search, Chrome, Drive, Sheets, Calendar, and Gmail are your best friends. Even if you prefer to use Safari, just make sure that you continue to use the Google search engine, which is the Safari default, and your directions should open up in Google Maps. (Tapping an address in Google Calendar will actually give you the choice to open it in Google Maps, Waze, or Apple Maps.)
But there are some serious caveats here. While it’s actually remarkably easy to use non-Gmail addresses with Google services, unfortunately the Gmail iOS app won’t let you add non-Gmail or Google Apps accounts, so you won’t be able to open addresses emailed to you in Google Maps by default. And there’s no real Google alternative to iMessage or Apple Contacts that are easily accessible on your phone.
Check Your App Options
It’s also worthwhile checking your favorite apps to see how they handle map links. While addresses sent in iMessage will default to Apple Maps, if someone sends you an address in WhatsApp, you can select which map app to open it in. Tap on the address and tap the share button. If you have Google Maps installed on your phone, you should see it as an option for opening the directions to that destination.
Copy the Address
This is by no means an automated process, but if all else fails, just long press the address and select Copy Address. You can then open up Google Maps and paste the address in. This is by no means an elegant solution to a problem that Apple simply doesn’t care to fix.
The fact remains that Apple is going to do everything it can to make sure that iPhone users are sticking to their default apps so we don’t expect this to change anytime soon. In the meantime, you can at least use these basic workarounds to look up directions in Google Maps instead.
Do you have any tips or tricks you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments.