MacMost Now 852: Google Maps App

Today's Google Maps app provides the basic functionality of the old Google Maps app. But you have to add this free app yourself as it no longer comes pre-installed on iOS. You can use both Apple Maps and Google Maps on your device, and it is worth having it as an alternative.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 852: Google Maps App.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's take a look at the Goggle Maps App on the iPhone.

So I'm still surprised that a lot of people don't know that several months ago Goggle came out with an independent Goggle Maps App.

Basically the history is that when the iPhone launched and for years afterwards there was an app on there provided in a partnership between Apple and Goggle that had Goggle Maps on it. Then with the last version of iOS, when that was released, the Goggle Maps App was replaced by an Apple Maps App. They are different and there is some slightly different functionality and some people prefer Goggle Maps. Then after a few months Goggle came out with a Goggle Maps App.

So you can download this very easily by going to the App Store on your iPhone or other iOS device looking for Goggle Maps and add that to your apps on your iPhone.

Here I've got it here on my iPhone and I've actually put it right next to the Apple Maps App. I like to use both and sometimes I like to use Goggle Maps so it is right there for me. You can see that it looks a lot like what you might be used to if you used the old Goggle Maps App except that the menus are in a slightly different place.

For instance, some of the most useful features at the bottom right you might not notice the little kind of button-like thing there. If I tap it you can see that it expands and now I can quickly go into traffic. One of the things I like about Goggle Maps over Apple Maps is for me it is much clearer and easier to see where there are traffic jams.

You can also go down here and turn on other things like Public transit, if it is available in the Goggle Maps in your area, you can switch to Satellite view and you can turn those off as well.

To use Goggle Maps here you can zoom in by pinching and separating your fingers back and forth. You can also have two fingers and rotate the map as well. The button at the bottom left will zoom in on your current GPS location to make that easy.

Now to search for something just tap at the top there and just type what you want to search for and this is another thing that Goggle Maps does pretty well so for instance you go to my local Apple Store and you can tap on that icon there. It is a little different than how it looked before. It comes up at the bottom of the screen with all sorts of information. You can make a call. You can see, tap that car icon there for driving directions right away. There is photo, web sites, reviews, all sorts of things that Goggle provides. You can see the same kind of information if you look in the web and then you just sort of swipe down to put the search results there at the bottom.

If you want to get out of Search you hit the X at the upper right there.

Now you can also tap the directions button which looks like the little arrows there at the top of the screen. Now you can choose a destination you know from your current location to somewhere else and then you can also choose at the top, you can do car, public transportation, or walking directions.

Now after I choose directions there from one place to another it shows me the route. It also sometimes shows you alternate routes, you can zoom in on the route there. It gives you information. You can preview, which is useful here since I am not actually driving, to go to each thing. I can just swipe back and forth and see each turn at the top.

A few other things. You can also tap the little person icon at the upper right and that takes you to things pertaining to your gmail account. If you've done map searches online before you might find some of your history there. Or you can sign in using your gmail account and it will preserve the history as you search for things here on your iPhone.

In case you are wondering, yes you can turn your iPhone horizontally and in the horizontal mode with Goggle Maps.

So the question is which one is better. The answer is, it doesn't matter. Goggle Maps is free so there is no reason you shouldn't add it as an alternate to your iPhone. You may like somethings on one and somethings on the other.

For instance I like that Apple Maps it hooks up with Siri so I can use it for directions without having to actually look at my phone while driving. I look Goggle Maps traffic view. It seems a little more clear and easy to get a good picture.

I hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 12 Responses to “MacMost Now 852: Google Maps App”

    6 years ago

    One other good thing about the Google maps app; if you double tap, but keep your finger on the screen after the second tap, you can zoom in and out just by sliding your finger up and down the screen. It’s so much easier than pinching and zooming, especially on the iPhone screen.

    6 years ago

    Great video about Google apps. Once you have searched and found your location can you drop a pin and save and rename that location using the app?
    This was/is the most useful function, for me, on the iphone map.

    6 years ago

    The app works okay, but just looks ugly on an iPad compared to the original Google maps that’s built in. I haven’t upgraded to IOS6 because I don’t want to go to Apple Maps. And I like how maps are integrated into addresses when I click on them- don’t want to lose that. This app is no replacement- very disappointing as when I saw this I thought it might be a new, improved app.

    John F.
    6 years ago

    I like them both…

    One funny thing: Has anybody who uses either on an iPod noticed that, if you load up the maps while still in a WiFi space… you can then go outside and travel around, beyond the reach of WiFi… and again, on an iPod (no cellular connection)… yet the blue dot will follow you? We load up before getting in a taxi and can watch the route as we go. Is there some kind of hidden iPod GPS or is this just us picking up open WiFi signals along the way?

    6 years ago

    Hey Gary,

    You mention Google Maps is available on all iOS6 devices now but I don’t see it in the App Store for iPad. Is it perhaps only in the US store?
    I’m in Australia and I can get it for iPhone but can’t see it anywhere for iPad.


      6 years ago

      It is an iPhone app. But iPhone apps work on the iPad.

    Warren Low Kum
    6 years ago

    You never made mention of accuracy of one vs the other. I thought apple maps were inaccurate hence the need for google maps?

      6 years ago

      Both have inaccuracies. Any database of maps does. Both are constantly improving via user feedback and more data. I’ve never had a problem with Apple Maps in terms of accuracy. I have with Google Maps, but that is because I have been using that for 10 years, so it isn’t fair to compare.
      I’m sure Google Maps is probably a little better — but that is because it is older and has had more time to get user feedback and new data.

    6 years ago

    I use Verizon and a big problem is that both Google & Apple maps stop data transmissions. And shortly during a phone call (in the car) the maps stop working. Any idea if either program plans to add a buffer so that you can be on a phone call but still maintain working directions? I am keeping the TomTom software on my phone for now since it locally stores maps, though it is not nearly as useful or pretty.

      6 years ago

      Right. This isn’t just about maps — it is any data. On Verizon you can’t talk and use data at the same time. Not a problem for AT&T and other carriers’ users.

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