Regarding Google Maps for iPhone

I wasn’t going to write about it, but yes, Google Maps is out for iPhone. In all honesty, I don’t have much to say about it. The app exists, I downloaded it, it’s nice, and the Internet is having orgasms (and rightfully so) over it. This maps drama has been a PR shitshow for Apple.

That said, I’m sticking with Apple Maps. As John Gruber writes:

I don’t use maps frequently. I go weeks at a time without venturing more than a few blocks from home, and when I do travel, it’s generally to places I’m already familiar with. So while I really have personally found iOS 6 Maps to be a nice update over the old Google Maps-backed iOS Maps, I don’t feel it’s a point I should hammer upon because, as someone who seldom uses Maps, I have no sense of whether I’m right that Apple’s Maps is actually pretty good and getting an unfair bad shake in the public’s perception, or, if I simply don’t use it enough to see just how bad it really is. I feel confident critiquing the design of the apps themselves; I feel unqualified to judge the quality of their service.

Gruber’s sentiments pretty much match my own. I’ve used Apple Maps a few times when going to places locally, and my experiences have been fine. I’ve not gotten lost or anything, nor have I noticed any egregious errors with the map data. Purely anecdotal, but that’s my take. In the context of the apps themselves, I’m not afraid to say I prefer Apple’s over Google’s. Apple’s app, in my opinion, is the better designed of the two: better-looking pins, better-looking map tiles, better-looking typeface1, and I love the unabashedly skeuomorophic page curl animation. I even like Flyover. And yes, I realize these preferences are superficial; but while Google’s data is undoubtedly superior, Apple’s is good enough for my (and Gruber’s) spartan mapping needs.

Google Maps is staying on my phone, though, just in case.

Update: Lest you think I'm crazy for not ditching Apple's Maps for Google's, I'm not the only one: Ben Brooks and Jim Dalrymple aren't switching either, for mostly the same reasons. 


  1. I love Avenir. It looks great in Check the Weather and, of course, Day One.  ↩