Your wishes have been answered! The “killer app” is back. The wiz-bang cool mapping app Apple promised you is here.
Unfortunately for Apple, it didn’t win the race. Google Maps for iPhone is now available and not a moment too soon! Millions of holiday shoppers and family travelers NEED this. It’s better than before and it works on the 4. News hit the air Dec 12th on most of the majors including NYT, ABC, Fox, BBC and Sydney Morning Herald each with their own local tragic stories of being lost once you committed to the iOS 6 update.
If you have spent the last few months driving in circles and fiddling with half a dozen different apps I’m sure you are as relieved as I am. I can finally have a working map app with street view again! Compass View is fast, even with the 2 fingered with tilt view, satellite view and traffic all on. And “yes” this is on the iPhone 4. Best of all it’s faster overall. My biggest gripe with any map app is speed. I have sat at endless stop lights waiting for the app to “find me” get an update.
If you were one of the lucky “late adopters” who were warned about the update, you can feel more secure in making the move to iOS 6.0.1. Now go get the Google Maps app ASAP.
Hold your finger down on your location. Your current address will slide up from the bottom. Tap it and you can tap to save it and share it. You’ll need that later when you want to let your friends know where you are meeting them for happy hour. Go ahead and save this one for now.
Slide down that location to find the street view. Tap the street view and then tap the Compass in the lower left. Look around and you’ll see the world through your app. (This will, no doubt, soon include 3rd Party apps, such as the Yelp Monocle and other augmented reality apps.) Tap your screen again to reveal the address again at the top and tap the back arrow . Now you are back on the home screen.
Get Going Tap the Route Arrow in the upper right. This will tag your current location and allow you to enter an address to get the route (much faster than before!).
Tap Start and you’ll hear the voice prompt Turn-by-Turn Directions beginning. Slide up the screen for the Step by Step directions in text. Slide back down and “X” out of the directions, upper right. Tap in the same spot and pull up your Google profile . Here is where your saved locations reside. Tap that saved location and it will pop up for you. Tap the car there and you will get the directions ASAP. Not only does it come up quick, you get several options quickly. Tap one and you are on your way. To “unsave” a location just tap it and then tap the star.
Search Around You
Search for your favorite store or restaurant. A wealth of information pops up. On top you can select options for nearby locations. Pick one and you can swipe left and right for the nearby options (Very Fast). Tap the bottom location information once and you’ll have the added “Call” option.
Slide up and it provides Photos, Website, Menu, More info and reviews. “More info” provides details on the hours highlighting the current day of the week. Tap back and Slide all the way down for reviews.
Go to Search and type “mall” pull up your local mall. Enter your favorite store in the mall. It shows you the actual location within the mall. Yes right where it is in the mall, (OMG – THANK YOU GOOGLE!) Yes, the Google “Machine” is connected here so expect to see some great new additions and features over time. One last thing; when you get frustrated with incorrect information, do the natural thing and shake it! You’ll get a Pop-Up to provide Feedback!
RIPPLES and RAMIFICATIONS
Maps are one of the killer apps for phones so any developments here can push the competitive landscape. This will make for good competition on the map apps between Apple and Google. Others such as WAZE hopefully established a foothold. It’s a nice app I will still revert to from time to time. Surely Apple won’t let this battle slide. Lose ground here and you begin to lose the market. Google could have chosen to refrain and pull more users over to Android allowing a slow churn of apple users. Apple can’t let that happen and have been back at the drawing board for the last three months. The key is the other apps you have on your iPhone will continue to use the native Apple maps.
I expect to see the Google pattern to continue and developers will connect the dots to each travel related app, function and jewel we want through your Google profile directing more to the Google Plus world. Who knows, we might even see a surprise or two from Microsoft on Windows 8.
WHAT I WANT TO SEE
HUD: Heads Up Display in my Google Glasses and the windscreen of my car. Place highlights and alerts in the borders. Push the directions to the HUD and my headphones or speakers. See more below.
Integration with 3rd Party Apps: Bi-Directional handles to push and pull data. Not just the location key but multidimensional preferences accessible to/from my 3rd party apps. Each app should act a sub-routine in the holistic experience alerting us to our needs. Give us the option to pause alerts. See more below.
Location Awareness: Know where we are and allow us to turn on / off constant awareness. See below.
Venue Data Consistency: This goes out to the restaurant industry. Please come up with a consistent set of variables to categorize restaurants and bars. There are too many instances when I just can’t find the right place to go. The engine behind Lance Broumand’s Urban Daddy seems to have a grasp of this concept.
Help Us Travel:
As Tourists: Give us a tourist option when traveling. It’s great to have photos of locations but let’s see the top 20 tourist locations within range of our location.
As Part of Our Daily Schedule: Create a map of our typical day and give us options along the way. Easier routes, cheaper gas, closer stops and different restaurants to try at lunch.
As Part of Our Business Travels: Let us build the map route we need with the locations and times for each stop. Let’s include travel to the Airport and let us know how the timing is as we get closer to each new way-point, “The tram from long term parking is leaving for Gate D-32 in five minutes. “ Integrate a 3rd party app to allow automatic payment for parking and directions to the nearest open space.
Dive Deeper Into The Map
They have the location of stores pointed out within malls. Now please add the airport terminal information for every airport, oh my, if they can accomplish this my road warrior life will be a dream. My friend Terry at Microsoft showed a detailed version of the “mall map” feature on Win 8 devices over a year ago. It should not be too long before it shows up here. Let’s add other corporate and academic campuses to the list here.
Know Where My Car is Automatically: Once my car stops and I set out on foot, a pattern should be recognized to show where I left my car and provide directions back for us.
Know How Much Gas I Have: Dennis and Naveen at Foursquare; can you integrate my stops for gas and extrapolate how much I have and how much I need? If so, give us an audible cue and point us toward the cheapest price of gas.
Know What I Want From My Wish List: Imagine a wish list for everything we need. Start with a simple list of products and locations and people. Tag the items barcode when you buy a consumable item. Pop up alerts when we get near anything on our lists. Tie these lists to 3rd party providers and the Google empire of tools to expedite the process. Give a Sonar-like audible cue through the headphones to direct us “hotter” / “cooler” toward the prize.
Download Google Maps now (The life you save may be your own!): https://itunes.apple.com/app/id585027354?mt=8
Other articles on the subject:
The official Google Blog:
Google Maps on Google Plus:
Ben Patterson’s Here’s the thing Blog : “7 things you need to know”
Josh Constine on TechCrunch : “…Millions Will Finally Upgrade To iOS 6”
Benjamin Pimentel at MarketWatch, “Map-Gate”
Drew Olanoff on TechCrunch : “The Deep Dive”
Well rounded spectrum of stories on Mashable: http://mashable.com/search/?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=google+maps&commit=Search