OK, so iOS 6 has a load of decent new features, but Apple Maps isn’t one of them. It looks nice and is quite fast, but it’s not a patch on Google Maps in the UK. While we wait for Google to launch a standalone Google Maps app for iOS 6, here are some alternatives to tide you over.
First up, the only way to get a true Google Maps experience on iOS 6 at the moment is probably the simplest. Just bookmark maps.google.com on your iPhone or iPad; you can even add it to your homescreen and pretend its an app.
It’s just a webpage in Safari, which makes it slow, but it is Google Maps, including all the business, places and transport links you were used to.
To replace the lack of StreetView, download the free iFindView. It’s a bit clunky, ok, very clunky, but it’s StreetView and it’s free. It uses Apple’s Maps to plunk your man down, but then brings up a StreetView feed direct from Google. It’s better than nothing, until Big G comes up with something decent.
There are quite a few turn-by-turn apps for the iPhone, but most of them are paid. Here’s a free one that’ll do the job in a pinch. Check out Waze — it’s based on TIGER maps, which may or may not be accurate, but it’s free so worth checking out.
One of the other solid alternatives to Google’s mapping data is OpenStreetMaps. It’s not quite as comprehensive, but it’s miles better for finding places than Apple’s current effort. There are quite a few OSM-based apps, but most of them are paid. Here’s a complete list of apps that use OSM, but give this free app a try — OpenMaps.
It’s got a very minimalist UI, which I can’t say I found all that helpful when just starting off, but you get used to it. It’s free, but probably isn’t the best, so if you’ve got a fave, let us know in the comments.