Get Google Maps back in iOS 6

Many of Macworld’s readers have noted dissatisfaction with Apple’s new Maps service, complaining of inaccuracies, low-resolution pixellated imagery, and a general lack of detailed information.

Twitter user Vianaly said “Americans may like the new maps but the UK mapping is more than 10 years ago”, Elizas_787 said “it doesn’t render the picture when I use my current location, very pixilated”, and Sammydoodle5 said “Maps is terrible. I know that apple tend to beta test things using us as free labour, but seriously”. 

See also: Mapgate: iPhone Maps hyperbole and a potted history of gates

A lot of readers, like einsteinradio said “I prefer Google maps” and would like to have it back. So what can be done?

Well the first thing to note is that you can still view Google Maps on your iOS 6 device using the web browser. Point it maps.google.com to view the mobile site. You can save this as a web app by clicking the Share button and choosing Add to Home Screen.

While the Web app isn’t as slick as the dedicated iOS app, it has location awareness, Google-powered search, and all the data from the Google map web service. You can pinch to zoom, get directions, click on map details for further information. In many ways it’s better than the Apple implementation of Google Maps it replaces.

What it doesn't support, unfortunately, is Street View.

Other options include the OS (Ordanance Survey) Open Maps app, which specialises in accurate outdoor information (for walkers). You can also choose to download maps to the device as in app purchases. This is a GB specific map though, so accurate but only good for Great Britain.

Another option is the OpenMaps app, which uses the Open Street Map service. This is also packed with information, all of which is crowd sourced. Plus this enables you to download maps and store them offline. It lacks the slickness of either Google or Apple maps, but it’s free to download.