Remember those awful few months after Apple dropped Google Maps from iOS 6, replacing it with the dreaded Apple Maps, and before Google debuted its own standalone app for iOS? What a terrible time in our lives that was! I honestly don't know how anyone found their way around! (Yeah, yeah, I know. First world problems and all that, but Apple Maps was seriously awful).
Google Maps for iOS (which, full disclosure, I think is fantastic and is one of my most used apps) got its first big update Monday, adding new features that make it easier to search in-app.
Version 1.1 of Google Maps for iOS, which was released Monday, now allows users to integrate the app with their contacts list and to search for nearby establishments.
With the update, ssers can sign in and have their saved addressed show up with they search for contacts in their phone, even if the addresses are not stored locally on the phone itself.
A new option has also been added to the search menu that will allow the user to browse locale businesses, such as restaurants, bars, cafes, and gas stations.
In addition, users are now able to choose between Kilometers or Miles as their preferred distance units.
Speaking personally, the first and third updates are not going to be much use to me, seeing as though I already know how to get to the addresses of people that I have in my phone that want to see, but the second app might really come in handy.
There are plenty of times when I am in a new neighborhood, or even a new city, and I have no idea what is around to eat. You can zoom into the map and it will show you some of the places nearby, but being able to simply search for "restaurants" will probably make it easier, and less time consuming.
Google Maps to the rescue
Google Maps was the default mapping application on iOS until it was dropped from iOS 6 in September. Apple instead replaced it with its own maps app called Apple Maps, which must have seemed like a good idea at the time
Unfortunately for Apple, and even more for iOS users, Apple Maps, well... it sucked. It sucked so bad that Apple CEO Tim Cook not only apologized for it, but he actually offered suggestions to iOS users about what other maps services they could use!
The reaction toward Apple Maps was so harsh that by the end of September, less a month after debuting, only 4% of iOS users were opening the app at all. And, at the time, Google Chairman, and former CEO, Eric Schmidt told reporters that Google has not submitted its own Maps app to the App Store for consideration.
All looked lost until Google surprised everyone by debuting its iOS app in December. And it turns out that people missed it to so much that the app was downloaded 10 million times in the first 48 hours it was available (you can count me as one of the 10 million).
(Image source: http://mashable.com)