Google Maps returns to iPhones

December 13, 2012

It has been more than two months since Google Maps was pulled from iPhones, forcing directionless travelers to use the infamously unreliable Apple Maps. 

But now the maps are back. Google has released its own Maps app for the iPhone, announcing in a blog post late Wednesday that the app would include voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, information on public transit and more. 

After Apple’s iOS 6 software update pushed Google Maps aside in favor of Apple Maps, many users were unhappy. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, apologized for Apple Maps, and the company guided users to other mapping apps that were available. (As of Thursday afternoon, the “Find maps for your iPhone” button is still on the main page of the App Store, with Google Maps at the top of the list that crops up.) 

Dr. Gridlock, taking up the “Apple Maps vs. Google Maps” debate in September, was not pleased with the newcomer:

Maybe this is mostly a matter of getting used to a new thing, or awaiting some updates in the mapping software. But I’m not ready to be happy about this. 

Shortly after that item ran, Dr. Gridlock also followed up with a note about how someone trying to get from Rockville to Nationals Park would receive bizarre directions. He added:

Apple Maps had its defenders among the online commenters, but one summed up the sentiments of many: “This is Apple’s New Coke moment.”

The newest version of Google Maps also makes it easier for people to report bugs or incorrect information. All you have to do is shake your phone, and you can report something right to Google.

So what do you think? Have you gotten used to Apple Maps? Will you stick with a workable substitute you found in the interim? Or are you relieved to have Google Maps available again? Share your thoughts below.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.
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Mark Berman · December 13, 2012