Official Google Maps App for iPad Released

Google Maps had last year, much to the delight of iPhone users, released an official app for the phone. Apple had chucked Google Maps for their own Maps service which was less than satisfactory and ended up getting criticized. The criticism even had Apple’s CEO Tim Cook apologize for it. That is old news. Google has moved ahead with a new user-interface for its Maps on Android and has now rolled out the same of iOS users. The big news here is finally it has also released an official iPad version.

I checked out the app on my iPad and came away impressed. The android version on my phone is great for navigation and reviewing places but the iPad version pretty much matches feature to feature. The bigger screen also is much better for navigation purposes.

Features of Google Maps app on iPad

The search option to find locations and routes displayed are clean and without any information overload. While on the phone version it requires moving down to check alternate routes, because of the bigger screen on iPad, the several options can be viewed at the same time.

Search Routes on Google Maps - iPad
Several alternate routes displayed on Google Maps for iPad

The turn-by turn navigation UI is also a lot better with options to view toggle to satellite view. About a year ago, I was not very happy with the navigation mode for Google Maps and found it was not as accurate in India. But it has become extremely accurate over the past few months, especially in cities.

Navigation UI for Google Maps on iPad
Navigation UI for Google Maps on iPad

Finally one of my favorite features on Google Maps in the new UI, is the ease with which users can review places they visit. Simply click on any of the places you find on Google Maps and it allows users to review the place. I think this is Google’s way of leveraging its Google+ layer on Google Maps.

Review places easily - iPad Google Maps
Review places on Google Maps by simply tapping on it

I think it was about time for Google to release its Maps app officially for iPad. The browser version would work fine but it was tedious. Overall, I think in the maps business, with the acquisition of Waze, Google has more or less taken a unbeatable lead atleast for the foreseeable future.

Try out the new Google Maps app for iPad and drop in your comments.

Link: Google Maps for iPad