Google Maps for iPhone is now available, along with an SDK for iOS and a URL scheme. The map data is top notch, and I don’t understand the reviews stating that Apple’s rendering is better. In my view, Google’s maps are so much easier on the eyes, and with so much more information, that they totally outclass Apple’s offering. It’s like looking at a real map vs. a Fisher-Price one. Plus, of course, there are Street View and transit info.
The iOS 5 Maps app, though using Google’s data, was designed by Apple. I’m not a fan of Google’s Mac app interfaces, so I was a bit worried about what it would come up with for its app. It’s actually fine, though, and in some ways better than either of the Apple’s built-in Maps apps.
There’s one giant flaw, though: it doesn’t integrate with the iPhone’s Contacts database—or even with your Google contacts. Get ready for lots of Copy and Paste. (When traveling, I use a group in Contacts on the Mac to store all the locations that I plan to visit. Since tapping an address in Contacts on the phone will open Apple’s Maps app, I really need to be able to access the contacts list from within Google Maps.)
There’s also no iPad version, though I assume one is in the works.
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