MacMost Now 771: Putting Google Maps Back On Your iPhone

iOS 6 removes the old Google Maps app and replaces it with the new Apple Maps app. While this new app features flyover and spoken turn-by-turn directions, people miss Google Maps features like Street View and biking directions. You can get those back, plus the familiar Google Maps look by simply going to the Google Maps web site in Safari. You will get a iPhone-specific version of the maps site, and be able to access Street View and more.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 771: Putting Google Maps Back On Your iPhone.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at getting Goggle Maps back onto your iPhone.

Now a lot of fuss has been made about the loss functionality of removing Goggle Maps from the iPhone in iOS 6. Goggle Maps had things like street view that just aren't available in the new Maps app. But you can easily get street view and other features back by using the Goggle Maps website. There is a special mobile version that you can automatically go to on your iPhone. You can even make this available as an icon on you home screen.

So on your iPhone you go into Safari and you simply browse over to You will be taken to the mobile version of the Goggle map site. It will also ask you to use you current location just as you would in the old maps app.

So this is what is called the web app. It's a webpage, being in Safari. But it works like an app because it really understands the iPhone. The screen size. It has icons and things that are easy for touch. You will see the map in the middle looks exactly like the middle part of the maps app that you were used to because it is exactly the same. The same graphics. So you are actually getting the same maps but the controls look a little different.

So at the top here you have got several controls. This one here at the top allows you to zero in to your current location. This one gives you directions so you tap on that and you can go from my location to another destination. You can choose multiple destinations.

Right away you can see some features that are not available in the maps app now that were available in Goggle Maps. Which namely you can have public transportation, walking, and biking directions. That can be very useful. You can plot the route and then you can decide to say let's do biking directions and then go and you can see it will give us the full directions here and you can in addition to that go to map view and see the maps.

Now the last button over here allows you to go in and has various options including turning on and off layers such as traffic so you can get back that Goggle traffic if you liked that better than one of the new maps app.

Another thing that you can do that I like is that you can sign in. So for instance you can go in and sign in there and send it to your Goggle account and that way you can have all sorts of different things saved like different places. If I go into directions here you can see that I can sign in there and create my own maps and star and save places and rate places using my Goggle account. So that can come in handy and it's nice to be able to create your own maps just as you can on web pages on Mac or PC.

Now the one inconvenient thing is that in order to get to this you have to launch Safari and then maybe use a bookmark for and you go to the webpage. But you can actually put this as an icon on your home screen.

So the way to do that would be to tap the share button at the bottom of the browser there and you can share it to your home screen like that. You can give it a name. Now you can see it appears there as this icon right here. I can tap on it and you go right to maps. It almost seems like you are using a regular app.

You can in fact do that with any webpage that you go to. So for instance you can go to and share and add to home screen and you now have a MacMost app. It just takes you to the MacMost website.

Another big missing feature from the new Maps app is street view. Street view is a Goggle thing. Goggle captured all these different images from all over the place and has a street view function. The new Maps app has the fly over function which is different and has some similar use. But if you want street view you can go into Goggle maps here and then you can actually zoom in and tap on any location you want. So I'm going to just tap here and then you can see at the bottom I get various buttons that tells me where I am. I've got that little person button right there on the bottom right hand corner and I can tap on that and I can jump into street view and get that same street view, the same images I was viewing before in the Maps app. This is something that Goggle just added this last week.

So that's how to get the prime functionality and a little bit more back on your iPhone by adding Goggle Maps web app as an icon on your home screen and then you can use that for what it is good for and use the new Apple maps for what it is good for. For instance talk to Siri to give you turn by turn spoken directions.

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

Comments: 9 Responses to “MacMost Now 771: Putting Google Maps Back On Your iPhone”

    7 years ago

    As always, Gary, wonderfully useful information.

    I have yet to upgrade to iOS6 for no other reason than I just haven’t had the time. Hopefully, later this week I will be able to get it done. Any recommendations on preparing iPod Touch for the upgrade in addition to disabling lock screen and making a fresh backup in iTunes? I have been little by little upgrading all the apps.

    Also, when I do have iOS6 on my iPod Touch, I had thought to use the Apple map app to help build it’s database, but I am suspicious that iPod Touches may be of no use in this, as, perhaps, Apple only uses iPhones and iPads with cell tower service, in the crowd sourcing. Your thoughts on this?

    Hope you are enjoying a lovely day.


      7 years ago

      A fresh backup to iTunes is all you really need. Do an “Update All” on the apps to get that out of the way too.
      A wifi-only device would naturally be less useful for updating Maps, as you can’t really take it with you as you drive. But I’d imagine any reports you file would be considered just as useful.

    Jeff Tucker
    7 years ago

    Thanks as always Gary for your very informative tutorials.. I don’t know what I would do without MacMost Now.. Thanks so much for your effort. Jeff

    Carol Preston
    7 years ago

    When’s your best guess for an improved Apple maps to rival Google (if possible)?

    Do you have a video on how to get the best use out of the iOS 6 maps feature?

      7 years ago

      No idea. Apple has never played in this space before, so there is no way to guess how fast they may move. Plus, it depends on what you mean. Rival in what sense? It is better to talk specific features: which feature are you missing that you hope Apple adds?
      Same with “best use” — I did a video on using the new Apple Maps for spoken directions here:
      But the rest of the app is pretty much the same. Have you played with it? It uses the same controls.

    7 years ago

    Great tip. It took me only a few minutes to get the Google Map icon and “app” back on my iPhone. Thanks!

    7 years ago

    Slightly off the subject, but I keep trying to get Maps to talk to me on my iPhone3, which I have updated to ios6. MapQuest speaks, but I can’t figure out how to get Maps to do that. Am I missing something or is it the older phone that is the problem?

      7 years ago

      Which iPhone do you have (there is no such thing as an “iPhone 3” — there is the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5). The only way to get Maps to talk to you is to have Siri. Siri is only for the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.

        7 years ago

        I have one of the 3s–no Siri. Bummer. Well, Maps will have to wait until I upgrade the phone. Thanks for the explanation.

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