It seems like all of the 15% of iPhone owners who upgraded to iOS 6.0 yesterday took to the internet to complain about Apple’s new map program and the fact that it actually replaces and removes the old–and totally usable–Maps app, which used Google Maps. The biggest complaint about Apple Maps is that it doesn’t include transit directions, and the button to receive transit directions in the app actually takes you to the App Store. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just download a Google Maps app by Google?
Well, it’s looking like you’ll have to wait for an offical version. Alexis Tsotis at TechCrunch has a source at Google that says Google’s actually working very hard on an iOS Google Maps, and hopes to have it in the App Store “before Christmas.” For someone who relies on Google Maps, that’s a long time to wait. What about unofficial apps? There are at least two independent developers who’ve rolled Google’s transit directions into a separate apps, and they’ve been submitted to the App Store. Whether Apple will give either of those apps the green light is still to be determined.
While the most popular workaround to get Google Maps back onto the iPhone is to bookmark Google’s capable Maps mobile website onto the home screen, for transit users it’s not a possible solution. When you’re in an underground tunnel without internet, you need a cached version of your directions, or you’re liable to forget or get lost. In the meantime, the silver lining is that Apple Maps is much funnier than Google Maps. Enjoy the pictures at your single-serving Tumblr of the day, The Amazing iOS 6 Maps.
Picture courtesy of The Amazing iOS 6 Maps.
Update 1: Some sources are claiming that Google has already submitted an app to Apple for approval. While it wouldn’t surprise me–and Apple has left Google apps in limbo before–it seems to be based on a misread tweet.
Update 2: Mapping companies are loving this brouhaha. Navigon just updated its app to include transit directions, and old-school developer Telenav is giving a year’s subscription to its Scout app away for free.