Even the most enthusiastic of Apple users have to admit defeat – albeit probably temporarily – when it comes to Apple Maps. In my comparison of Apple Maps and Google Maps prior to the official launch of the former, it was already rather clear that Google Maps still reigns supreme. To be honest, though, I was not totally ready for the fiasco that Apple Maps has turned out to be. Who was?
As was to be expected, users quickly jumped on countless opportunities to point out just horrible Apple Maps is. There’s now even a Tumblr account to showcase some of the most outrageous errors in the app.
For those of us who rely heavily on maps to get around (first world issues or not), the end of the world is not here. Just because Apple Maps needs some work – okay, LOTS of work – it doesn’t mean we have to suffer. There are many other map alternatives which can help us survive till Apple gets it right. If you’re willing to wait and switch again later on, that is.
Google Maps Browser
The first choice for me is still Google Maps, even if there is no app for iOS 6. Fortunately, there is a workaround. Simply open Safari and visit http://maps.google.com/. This will open the Google Maps web interface, and so that you do not have to tap Safari and enter the URL every time you need directions, tap on the share button at the middle bottom of the browser. You will then see the option to “Add to Home Screen”. Voila! You can access Google Maps with a single tap from your home screen.
As I said earlier, it is a workaround, and you will have a different experience from the previous app, but it is a better alternative to Apple Maps.
If you need accurate information on subways and buses, HopStop is a good choice. As you can see above, you even get additional information depending on how much walking you do to get around!
It works in 62 cities – mainly in North America, but also in some European countries. And yes, it is free.
Waze has been making waves in the traffic and navigation app scene, with about 20 million users. This user base is significant because the app relies on the community for information on traffic. It has voice-guided navigation and features automatic re-routing when road conditions change. Oh, and if you’re a fun of gamification, then you will love this app. It is also free.
MapQuest is not a new player in the scene, and I will not be surprised if a lot of people immediately thought of it as the main alternative for Apple Maps. Free. Voice-guided. Turn-by-turn navigation. It’ll get you where you need to be.
Now this may be a surprise to some, but Nokia Maps is actually pretty good. In fact, you might have heard of Nokia’s aggressive move very soon after complaints about Apple Maps hit the Internet. They pointed out just how much better their services are, and whether you agree or not, you cannot ignore Nokia Maps.
To get easy access to the web app, open http://m.maps.nokia.com/ on your mobile browser and share it on your home screen just like with Google Maps.
So there you have it. Five alternatives should be enough to help you find your way. Happy trails!
[Las Vegas Image via The Amazing iOS 6 Maps]