SOURCE: Engadget & The Tech Block
So.. late Wednesday evening the news hit the tech blogs that Google was going to finally release another long-awaited — and arguably their longest-awaited iOS app since the release of iOS 6, Maps. While I was busy trying to figure out when startup, Grokr’s new, “better-than-Google Now” app was going to hit the App Store servers tonight, it became apparent that I was only a few hours away from getting possibly the best mapping solution for iOS in my very own hands.
The big question here seems to be whether or not it was worth the wait. Even though it’s almost 2 a.m. here, after skimming Engadget’s hands-on post about the app, as well as nosing around the app a bit myself, it looks great and it may be the next best thing to an Apple Maps app that actually navigates you to the destination you were hoping to make it to.
I’m as frustrated with Apple as the next iOS user over the whole Maps fiasco, but I must give credit where credit is due. Apple has created a stellar Maps app for iOS 6, notwithstanding its functionality shortcomings, the presentation in navigation and points-of-interest info (think Yelp data) is in my opinion the best out there. I haven’t had much time with Google Maps and navigation on Android, but it’s accuracy and decent presentation seem to get the job done.
Neither Google’s Maps, nor any other third-party mapping solution will have the OS integration that the native iOS Maps has, like drop down directions and voiceovers outside of the app, or even lock-screen viewing. Nonetheless, it should be a worthwhile alternative as long as we wait for Apple to get their act together. Other than that, it’s apparent that Google is really shaking things up with where they’re at right now. They’ve released a slew of different apps borrowed from the Android platform. Eric Schmidt is declaring victory over Apple’s iOS. Now tech blogs are calling this Google takeover of our iPhones and iPads as, ‘iDroidification‘. More on that later.