One of the surprise happenings this week was the return of Google Maps to iOS. It had been rumoured for a while, but kinda dropped off the radar for a bit. A pleasant surprise, for sure.
Indeed, for those who rely on smartphone-based maps, the reappearance of Google Maps is pretty much The Best Thing Ever, and one connected chap suggests Apple execs are “seething”.
A brief history lesson for starters. With the introduction of iOS 6 in September, Apple controversially ditched Google Maps. Worse still, it wasn’t available to download through the App Store (Google’s YouTube, also ditched, was downloadable).
But Google Maps is back, baby, and it’s better than ever. I immediately downloaded it and used it to navigate my way around the sprawling city of London. It's great.
Where am I going with this? Ah, yes! Daring Fireball’s John Gruber is regarded as hugely connected where Apple is concerned, with his trademark “yep” or “nope” (in response to Apple-related rumours) more often than not being bang on the money.
Gruber suggests that while things have “worked out” from the consumer point of view, Apple execs must be “seething” as Google Maps is universally welcomed back to the fold. Poor Apple.
It’ll be interesting to see where Apple goes with its own Maps app. The reemergence of Google Maps, and – crucially – an SDK allowing developers to link to it, will surely render Apple Maps little more than an afterthought.
However, Apple has promised its Maps app will get significantly better with time, and we can’t see it reinstating Google Maps as the default option. Now that would be embarrassing.