Score one for Google and Apple iPhone users. The full Google Maps app is available again in the iTunes store as of December 13.
It is averaging 4.5 out 5 stars with 10,000 ratings at the time of writing. One user wrote:
"Better than Apple maps ... I almost died in Australia, thank god this is out."
It shows that on some things, Apple is not yet competitive with Google. It is part of a larger, worrying trend for Apple, that Google is increasingly taking its market share.
To recap, new Apple phones came with the Google Maps app until the iPhone 5 was released. It carried Apple's own maps, which it built, apparently in haste, mostly by acquiring companies. And although it was beautiful, it was not nearly as accurate as Google's version and customers began to revolt over lack of access to the latest Google Maps app in the iTunes store.
I was walking with a friend in New York City and he used his iPhone 5 to look up a restaurant that we knew was down the street. It told us to head towards New Jersey and gave us a location in the middle of the Hudson River. We were not looking for a seafood restaurant. I used my Android phone and its built-in Google Maps gave us the right location.
It is a worrying sign for Apple, especially post-Steve Jobs.
Google has been increasingly stepping into Apples domain and the signs are that it is outperforming them. By partnering with hardware makers, Google has been flooding the market with Android devices that are used by far more people than the iPhone. It is doing the same with laptops. And while Google has had a "TV set" for several years, now Apple is moving closer to entering the TV arena. It will be the next front in the war between these two.
Apple very much needs to bite back. Since former Apple CEO Steve Jobs resigned, his fomer company’s stock has been falling while Google’s has been rising.
Put another way … Google is winning this war.