iPhone 5 Review: If You Hate iOS 6, This is How to Reinstall Google Maps Back


One of the biggest changes seen in the new iPhone 5 and iOS 6 is the absence of Google Maps, the widely-used navigation app by Google. Of course, one can just go to browser safari and access maps.google.com from there every time one needs to navigate one's way to the next meeting but -- let's face it -- it's not the same. 

Still, if you, as many more global users, seem unable (or unwilling) to get used to Apple's new "in-house" map service -- either because you are part of the 65% of the world's population which has been left without transit directions, traffic data and street-level imagery; or because you are part of the 35% who even when is covered by Apple's new map service has to settle for pixelated and outdated displays -- bringing Google Maps back to your life via iPhone's web browser may be the best solution (don't forget to save this as a "web app" by clicking the "Share" button and choosing "Add to Home Screen").

However, according to Macworld, the web app isn’t as "slick" as the sadly defunct dedicated iOS app. Though it offers "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), Google Maps as a web app doesn't support "Street View." And that, for some, is a deal breaker. Still, Macworld says this is better than relying on Apple's new map service, which tech pundit John Gruber says is a crappy downgrade. Ouch! 

Furthermore, there are additional ways of bringing some of the Google Maps magic back into your new iPhone 5 -- that is, until Google decides to launch Google maps as a standalone/native application. Among the alternatives are the OS (Ordnance Survey) Open Maps app, which offers walkers accurate outdoor information. Additionally, the OpenMaps app uses the "Open Street Map" service that is packed with crowd sourced information and even enables offline maps download. Still, these are nothing but poor substitutes for a happier previous era, before the clash of the tech titans substituted good business partnerships with ruthless monopolistic tendencies.