The release of iOS 6 by Apple saw the end of the Apple/Google partnership that started to break down with Google’s launch of Android, shifting them from development partner to direct competitor in Apple’s eyes.
I updated my iPhone 4S to iOS 6 on the weekend and started to explore the new features.
The kids had a great time with the panorama fetaure on the camera.
I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I saw Bluetooth had been promoted to the first page of the Settings app.
I even liked the new light background on the phone and iPod apps. But…
Google Maps for iPhone iOS 6
Google Maps is no longer part of iOS.
The new iPhone Maps app takes us one step forward with turn by turn directions, but several steps backwards with unreliable data. On Sunday afternoon I plugged in my destination and tapped “Route”, just like the old Google Maps App so far. But within a kilometre of my home in the Eastern suburbs of Brisbane, I was directed to take an exit from a roundabout that I know was removed over three years ago!
This isn’t a big deal, the junction is still there and now it’s traffic lights, but if it’s any indication, the data supplied by TomTom is way out of date, and it is likely to be some time before it is as good as the Google Maps data.
So, can you add a Google Maps App to your iPhone running iOS 6? As I write this, the answer is: no, Google hasn’t released an app yet. But you can access Google Maps through Safari or another browser. Just go to http://maps.google.com. You’ll have to turn on location services for Safari if you want to use the “Current location”, and in my opinion the Safari interface isn’t nearly as good as the Google maps app, but you could use this as a backup option to verify the data in the iPhone Maps app is up to date.
YouTube for iPhone iOS 6
Another casualty of the Apple-Google split is the native YouTube app. This has been removed from iOS6 but there is a YouTube App available from the iTunes Store.