Yes, Google Maps is no longer a native iOS app. This shouldn't be news to anyone as it was announced back in June at the 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference. But in case you haven't heard: Apple has replaced the Google Maps app that it has rocked with since the iPhone's inception with its own, elegant in-house map app. How big of a deal is this? Well, it depends on how you used the Google Maps app.
If you live in a major city with a substantial public transportation system, the switch-up is a pretty big deal as the Apple Maps app does not have public transportation directions. What's more, unlike Google Maps, the new app doesn't even show you what public transportation is near you. So, if you're here in NYC and are trying to figure out which Subway station is closest to your current location, you're out of luck. The new app will tell that there is a train station near you, but it won't tell which trains you can catch there. When you attempt to get public transportation directions by clicking the "Train" icon, you're shown a list of apps that could do that for you instead. Google said it plans to release an iOS Maps app in the future, but in the meantime, you'll need to download a third-party app.
However, if you don't really rock with public transportation, Apple Maps is pretty damn good. First off, Apple has thrown a stiff arm to a number of app developers by incorporating free turn-by-turn directions. The best part? It actually works. There are some shortcomings, such as the inability to look ahead of your current point on the map, but for a free service, it's great. Using the service for prolonged period of time will drain your battery, but that's to be expected from an app that's constantly tracking your movements and speaking to you.
Apple Maps also handles business listings much better than Google Maps. When looking for a business, you're treated to a plethora of beautifully organized information that includes Yelp ratings and reviews, and photos. The app doesn't have as many businesses in its system as Google does at the moment, but that will surely change with time.
So, yes, Google Maps is gone and we miss it. We miss the public transportation directions and the Street View feature that helped us identify places we’ve never been. Apple’s 3D Satellite view is very cool and impressive, but doesn’t serve the same purpose. However, Apple’s Maps is a strong replacement that will undoubtedly get better.
But, if you really miss Google Maps, click here to learn how to get it back.