Google is showing a bit more attention on the iOS side of things lately. Last week, it split off Docs and Sheets apps (with Slides incoming) from Google Drive for increased visibility, and now today, the company updated its Google Maps app to a 3.0.0 version with several new and upgraded features. Chief among them is an official offline maps option, which lets you save them for network-free browsing — ideal for international travel or when exploring areas with minimal reception.
Apple has heard all of the complaints about Apple Maps, and it wants to make it better. It's so keen on this, in fact, that 9to5Mac reports that the Cupertino company's allegedly beefing it up in time for iOS 8 to such a point that it should handily rival Google Maps for data supremacy. And thanks to its recent acquisitions of smaller companies like BroadMap, Embark, and HopStop, it might be able to pull it off.
If you've been bothered by the few remaining iOS 7 apps that seem untouched by Jony Ive's new minimalist design, most of your worries are over. With today's update, Find My Friends now features the clean look of, well, almost every other app on iOS 7. Gone is the skeuomorphic leather stitching; in its place are wide fields of white space.
Apple Maps has had a rough time in the publicity department, starting with a less-than-stellar debut least year and culminating in recent stories about passengers following erroneous directions onto Alaskan runways. But according to data from comScore and The Guardian (via 9to5 Mac), Apple Maps is doing just fine for itself. It's doing so well, in fact, that 35 million iPhone owners in the U.S. use it as of last September, compared to the six million iPhone owners who use Google Maps.
If there's one area where Apple has an undeniably poor record compared to chief competitor Google, it's in the implementation of its Maps app for iOS. It's improved a bit over the last few months after several fixes and acquisitions, but as MacRumors reports (via Alaska Dispatch), it's still apparently so buggy that was recommending that iOS users drive onto a airplane taxiway in order to reach Fairbanks International Airport in Alaska.
Well, it was bound to happen eventually--ads have finally come to the iOS version of Google Maps. They're called "relevant ads," and they pop up on the bottom of the screen every time you enter a search.
The first update for HopStop since Apple's acquisition is out, and it proves that Apple's not just lifting the best elements from the popular navigational tool for public transportation and tacking them into its Apple Maps app. In addition to the features that attracted Apple in the first place, HopStop now lets you send information about delays and incidents in real time.
Christmas came early late last year as Santa’s elves restored Google Maps to iOS as a third-party app. Seven months later, the mobile Maps has already hit version 2.0 with another stocking full of enhancements, including native support for the iPad. At first glance, Google Maps 2.0 looks identical to the previous version – iOS users were the first to receive this all-new user interface, which finally started arriving on Android devices over the summer. The moment you begin searching, however, changes abound.