This morning that has been much rejoicing on the internet because Google Maps has returned to the iPhone. I have never really been a fan of GPS devices or GPS programs. I find people’s reliance on these devices to be somewhat disconcerting. During a conversation with a sales clerk several years ago, she mentioned that she had recently moved to the Syracuse area from Arizona. Curious, I asked which way she came across the country. Even more curious was her response, “I’m not sure, I just followed the GPS all the way, but I’m pretty sure I went through Idaho or maybe Oregon.”
Even though I’m not a fan of the GPS devices (because I think that one should have the skills of map reading), we still use them from time to time to navigate where we need to go, especially when we are in an unfamiliar place. During our vacation last week we tried to use Apple Maps on Earl’s iPhone 4S to navigate from the rental car lot to Interstate 45. Siri announced that we should turn right, which would have taken us up an “Authorized Vehicles Only” road, through a chain link fence, across an active runway (as indicated by the Airbus that was landing), through another chain link fence and eventually onto Interstate 45.
I’m happy that I didn’t blindly follow the GPS directions.
All of that being said, I have to admit that Google Maps does a pretty spiffy job of providing navigational aid. I have never tried their public transit directions because we don’t really have public transit in Upstate New York, but I do like the clear, concise directions given when behind the wheel. I don’t find Ms. Google to be annoying and I’m happy that she is able to live within the confines of my ancient iPhone 4, a phone that Apple has deemed not worthy to house Siri.
I hear that the Google Maps experience on the iPhone now surpasses the experience on Google’s own Android OS devices. I find this interesting. I have found the experience on both platforms to be quite nice for GPS applications, so I have to say that I recommend anyone with an iPhone to download the app as soon as you can. Until Apple gets their crap together (and out of the airfield), we’ll just have to find our way courtesy of Google Maps.