Apple Maps alternatives – which iPhone map software is best?

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The new iOS 6 update has stripped out Google Maps and left many Apple users angry with the supplied maps app. But what alternatives are available?

What is Apple Maps?

Apple Maps is the new mapping software included in the latest version of the iPhone and iPad operating system – iOS 6. The software update to iOS 6 has removed Google Maps and replaced it with Apple’s version of the software leaving many customers complaining that the maps are inaccurate and not as good as the previous Google version.

Apple has since publicly apologised for the Maps software. Let us know what you think of Apple’s Maps apology.

Should I upgrade to iOS 6 if I haven’t yet?

If you’re a big fan of Google Maps on your iPhone or iPad it may be worth holding off on the iOS 6 update – at least until Apple has made some improvements to its Maps software – but if you’ve already upgraded, or if you can’t resist the other changes to the operating system, check out our map alternatives below.

You can also find out our first impressions of the iPhone 5.

Best Apple Maps alternatives

Google Maps

While the maps software built into the phone might have been removed you can still access Google Maps through your web browser. It doesn’t offer the same set of features as you used to get and will take a little longer to update, but you do get access to some of the best maps available and good directions.

How do I get it?  Simply point your iPhone browser to maps.google.com

Bing Maps

Tim Cook, Apple CEO, took the surprising decision to recommend a Microsoft app when apologising for Apple Maps’ less than stellar debut. This was Bing, Microsoft’s ‘decision’ search engine. The app not only can be used for finding directions but it can also display search results on a local – and hopefully accurate – map.

How do I get it? Download it free from the Apple App Store.

Nokia Maps

As a web app you can access Nokia Maps through your browser and it offers a surprisingly good set of features. It provides information on traffic, public transport and directions, as well as flagging up local coffee shops and restaurants. It is also very responsive for a browser-based app – although the maps aren’t perhaps as detailed as Google’s.

How do I get it? Aim your browser at m.maps.nokia.com

Waze

Waze is a social navigation app that uses information gathered by users to improve the service and get you where you want to go faster. It provides turn-by-turn navigation in 9 different languages and the more you use the app the better it gets as you feed traffic and route information into the system.

How do I get it? Download it free from the Apple App Store.

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11 replies

  1. One of the most useful features of Google maps is streetview, which isn’t available through the web on a mobile device. Losing that is significant – you could helpfully point that out on your reviews. I won’t upgrade to iOs 6 until a google map app wirh streetview is available.

    1. Re Streetview, GoogleMaps and iPAD 3 upgraded to iOS6
      The recent iOS6 upgrade for IPAD is very,very disappointing especially with the removal of previous applications such as Google maps with Streetview, YouTubes and a slower overall operation.
      However, both YouTubes and GoogleMaps with Streetview can be accessed through Safari. Getting a link from your iPAD home screen to YouTubes is quite straight forward;
      Open Safari, google search for YouTubes, open link, then form the bookmark icon on the safari browser and select “add icon to home page”
      To get Streetview operating in Safari on iPAD try the following;
      With Safari open,search for GoogleMaps.co.uk, open link, go to a map, to get Streetview you need to tap on a tagged business, hotel, or historic building, when you do this a group of icons will appear at the bottom of the map, phone, directions and a little blue man which is the Streetview link. Unfortunately the response of the Streetview to navigation along a street is very slow but at least iPAD users,who have unfortunately upgraded to iOS6, can use Streetview. though much inferior to how things were in iOS 5.1.1

  2. Recently purchased my iPad one of the features that determined the sale was the fact that Google maps were installed. After having the machine a couple of days I was advised that updates were available for download following the download I found that Google maps had been removed and Apple maps had been installed. Tweeted Apple expressing disappointment no response. I remain one disappointed customer.

  3. I’ve updated to iOS 6 and the Maps aren’t as bad as I expected they might be. There is, however, a shop where my parents’ house should be. Fortunately I know this is wrong, however if an out-of-towner was looking for a shop in the area then they (and my parents) may be quite disappointed.

  4. Having updated srtraight away to ios6, i noticed some changes to my phone, but you exspect there to be some changes. At first i was a little disappointed by apple maps and followed examples of looking for alternatives. Until i accidently pressed start while using maps only to go from overview to something that resembled a Tom Tom device with turn by turn directions and voice instructions. So far it has got me everywhere i want to go, it even switches to powersave inbetween long distances. I did not find google maps any better by downloading from safari and wasted my money on the skobble app. Stick with the apple it will get better.

  5. Everyone knows that Apple and Google are enemies now and hence Google maps are completely restricted in iOS 6 update that has been released recently by Apple. This was a very big advantage of this update as the Maps are completely disappointing…

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