How To Get Back Google Maps Experience on iOS6 (iPhone/iPad)

Apple dug it’s own hole by replacing the much Beautiful Google Maps with its crappy Apple Maps (powered by TomTom) on iOS6 – There I said it.

The sheer disaster is very obvious from the tweets all over the world. Some of the non-techies woke up with a surprise with the features that they lost like public transit details/biking/walking directions etc which were replaced with a less-used Fly over maps (Again just for the US).

Here’s a comparison between how it was (Google Maps), and how Apple Maps (with no data). It’s almost as if the whole area has been demolished over night by Apple destruction crew. Our only hope is that Google comes back to the rescue of the poor (not $ wise) iOS6 users.

Google Maps (Before)

Apple Maps (After)

Photo 20-09-12 12 35 27 PM Photo 20-09-12 12 35 42 PM

Here are two ways to get back Google Maps that we’ve tried out.

Using the Mobile Safari Version of Google Maps (No new app installation required)

  1. Navigate to Google Maps Web (http://maps.google.com) on Safari.
  2. Wait till the maps website has loaded up completely,
  3. Click on the image icon on the bottom of safari
  4. Click "Add to Home Screen".
  5. This creates an application like home screen shortcut along with the other apps on your iPhone/iPad.
    image
  6. From now on, click this to launch the Mobile Safari in full screen (without the address bar displayed).
  7. The downside of this is that you need to toggle ON your "traffic layer" each time as it won’t remember it (Google why aren’t you storing the toggle?)

Using 3rd Party Tools which serve Google Maps – PD Maps Worldwide Edition (FREE)

  1. The PD Maps installable iOS does a decebt job in this chaos. This is available for both iPhone and iPad.
  2. Just install the application and it does exactly what you wish for.
  3. Displays Google Maps with "Traffic data" on.
  4. I can’t seem to get the directions working in this application. The app is of course very buggy. I wouldn’t have even downloaded this if Google Maps would’ve been available.
  5. You can also switch between different mapping providers – Bing/OSM – but they all basically suck too (even more for India).
    Photo 20-09-12 12 41 57 PM
  6. They do have a pro version for 2.99$ but I’d wait for Google to bring out its own Google Maps iOS Application. I hope they don’t listen to this guy.

It’s not just the Google Maps app that got removed, but also other applications say – Google Latitude that use the default OS maps. It now shows me in the middle of nowhere, thanks to bad data availability.

In the case of Google Local app – Google woke up recently and it now shows a static image and then launches the Mobile Safari to show the business POI details (instead of launching the Apple Maps app). It probably makes significant money from this (that’s the urgency).

Know any other application that does a better job? Let us know in the comments.

So what do you like about iOS6 ? I love being able to do FaceTime calls now over 3G.

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