Google’s Maps app for Apple’s iOS 6 garnered more than 10 million downloads by users in the first 48 hours after it became available in Apple’s App Store Dec. 13, satiating many iOS users who have been scrambling for help since Apple’s maps fiasco in September.
The status report on the new Google Maps release was announced by Jeff Huber, senior vice president of Google’s Commerce & Local business, in a Dec. 17 post on Google+.
“We’re excited for the positive reception of Google Maps for iPhone around the world,” wrote Huber. “Congratulations to the Maps Team on the recognition for the passion and hard work they poured into it, for this release and over the last 7+ years.”
Apple had dropped the built-in Google Maps app from iOS 6 when the new operating system launched in September, and the move turned out to be a huge embarrassment for Apple when the replacement Apple Maps app left legions of users disappointed with the app’s performance and accuracy.
But that changed Dec. 13 after Google finished its native Google Maps app and Apple allowed it to be listed in the App Store. Many iOS 5 users never even upgraded to iOS 6 when it was released because they’d lose access to the native built-in Google Maps app that was missing until now.
Google Maps for iOS 6 users are being encouraged by the company to send back any feedback they have about the app by posting their comments in Google+ on Huber’s page or by simply “shaking” their iPhone to report feedback.
The Google Maps app for the iPhone was gone for only three months, but its return is a major boon for frustrated iPhone users who can again use it easily on their devices without having to use the Google maps Website or another Web-based alternative.
Dozens of Apple iPhone users rushed to comment on Huber’s announcement on his Google+ page.
“I’d love to see numbers on how many people upgraded to iOS 6 once this was released,” wrote John Doherty. “It was the only thing keeping me from updating my Apple products.”
Toby Watkins agreed. “Hooray I can finally upgrade my iPhone OS!” wrote Watkins.
Another user, Wei Wu, wrote “what a win for ‘focus on the users and all else will follow!'”
Jeremy Meiss sarcastically wrote about the arrival of the Google Maps app. “People don’t want to get lost …,” he wrote, referring to the many stories shared by users about accuracy problems with Apple Maps after its initial release.
“Great App,” wrote Clemens Mezriczky, with one caveat. “Access to my Maps in the App would be helpful … “
Stephen Reeves had a related concern, though. “Where’s the iPad version??” he wrote.
Bill Fairchild had his own concern about the new app. “Bring voice search to the maps app,” he wrote.
User Bryan Matias was happy about the release of the app. “SALVATIONNNN,” he wrote.
Alessio Sangalli had a small peeve with the new app. “I wonder, can I disable the annoying ‘3D view’ and keep it normal 2D while using the turn-by-turn directions?”
Francesco Uggetti was philosophical about the new app. “Apple without Google, you lose the way.”
Robert Mark wasn’t so sure about all the Google Maps fuss. “I downloaded it and it looks nice, but I’m not sure it’s got any compelling feature to make me stop using Apple Maps,” he wrote.
Google Maps App for iOS Hits 10 Million Downloads in First 48 Hours
Available through Apple’s App Store portal online, Google Maps offers local search, voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit information, Street View and live traffic information. The application also features a sign-in option that allows users to call up previous searches and directions made from the user’s computer.
Apple had replaced the application with its own in-house maps app that was met with derision upon its release, eventually forcing a public apology from company CEO Tim Cook and a restructuring of company management. In a recent interview with NBC News, Cook admitted the app failed to meet customer expectations and their own, but Apple was throwing the “weight of the company” behind correcting it.
One feature the Google application does not have is Flyover, an Apple invention that was designed to provide a 3D, photorealistic view of city landscapes. However, even that impressive-sounding feature was criticized by Web reviews after screenshots of a collapsed-looking Brooklyn Bridge and other less-than-realistic renderings surfaced.
Google is riding to Apple’s rescue just as the iPhone maker’s maps app hit headlines again, when Australian police cautioned users not to employ the app while in certain parts of the country. Police in Mildura, a city in northwestern Victoria, were called to assist distressed motorists who became stranded within Murray-Sunset National Park after following directions provided by the application, leading the department to ask drivers to refrain from using the app.