Posted on | September 20, 2012 | 3 Comments
Apple’s newest iteration of its mobile operating system, IOS 6, just released and you’ve rushed to download it. The new performance upgrades, Facebook integration, and the brand spanking new Apple Maps application all entice you to upgrade. Remember what the wise man said about fools rushing in?
The general consensus around the interwebs is that the IOS 6 Maps applications is sorely lacking in comparison to the previous Google Maps powered app. It’s pretty but user experience and functionality have both been downgraded. The new Maps app touts a slick new interface, turn by turn directions, and a 3d view. It all sounds cool but apparently the hype isn’t measuring up in the real world.
The most notable features missing are an equivalent to Google Maps’ Street View and transit information. There are some other issues as well, like identifying locations in the wrong zip code. To be fair, Google has had something like a decade head start aggressively building their Maps infrastructure; even violating your privacy to make it the top-notch tool that it is. They have a very solid map database that benefits users world-wide. The IOS Maps app that we’ve all come to rely on is no more; at the moment. For city dwellers, transit riders this can be a deal breaker. It is for me, I am withholding my upgrade. Maps was and is one of the most used apps on my iPhone. I upgraded to the iPhone 4 specifically for the use of the compass in Maps because coming out of the subway and not knowing which direction to go adds at least an extra 2 blocks to where ever you are going.
Google apparently isn’t in any rush to launch its own IOS app. It’s too early to know if the jailbreak community is going to be able to resurrect the original app. And I’m sure Apple wants to move forward with their lackluster offering. If I were Apple, I’d throw the old Maps app in the app store for free. I don’t know much about the contract deal or the technicalities and lawyer speak so maybe they aren’t allowed to. Although I’d think it would just be calling Google’s API but what do I know? Anyway, the question remains what to do if you have upgraded to IOS 6 and are hating Apple Maps life? I’ve put together a list of 5 free IOS 6 Maps alternatives that may help you avoid an attempted downgrade.
The choices are in no particular order. All were tested for locations in New York and over a WiFi connection. If you know of any others drop it in the comments to help your brethren.
Check out 5 Free Alternatives to Apple IOS 6 Maps