Thursday, December 13, 2012

iPhone owner rejoice at the return of Google Maps, then discover the lack of contacts integration

It's always something, isn't it? First we get the new Apple Maps and discover bridges melting, cities moved into the outback, and one's favorite retails stores now missing in action. We cry out for a return of Google Maps. Google complies, but then gives us a crippled version of the app missing a key ingredient – contacts integration.

There is no reason to do a detailed report on the app as I've already found a site that did a good job of that (go here).
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Suffice to say that Google Maps are superior in every one but one: integration with iOS, and contacts in particular.

I'm not really sure why Google Maps lacks contacts integration, is it Apple's fault, or Google? But it means that a good portion of the time you will remain inside Apple Maps, where you like it or not.

But if you want turn-by-turn directions to a new destination you will probably turn to Google Maps, both because of the superior mapping solution and data, and because you don't want to use Apple's solution for fear of driving off into the desert.

Just to show you how much iPhone users have been clamoring for the return of Google Maps, there are already over 10,000 reviews of the new app in the App Store. Most of the reviews are five-star reviews, with one a smaller portion complaining about the features Google added to the app. In addition to a lack of contacts integration, there is also no iPad version (though you can install the iPhone app onto your iPad, if you want) and there is no drop pin.

But I think this one-star review makes a very good point:

"Only one star... because you only wait till Apple to kick you off the iPhone and now you bring out the turn by turn integration." He makes a good point.

Google has also opened up its SDK so that developers for iOS can use the Google data for their apps. This may prove to be even more important than the return of a Google Maps app, as it is the geolocation data which is so valuable (as Apple learned).

1 Comment:

Jignesh said...

Okay I'm not supporting Google here because it's clear they stalled turn-by-turn for iOS due to a variety of reasons but let's understand that what's important is Map “data” - so by kicking out Google, Apple really didn't achieve a thing. The fact that it made to the top in 7 hours is proof enough.