As you’ve probably heard, one of the biggest changes to the new version of iOS that came out today is the replacement of Google Maps with Apple’s own new mapping software. Apple Maps has a lot going for it— it’s more beautifully designed and faster performing than Google Maps was and offers turn-by-turn directions, which Google Maps never did on iOS.
But there are also a couple major downsides to the switch that some heavy maps users may consider a dealbreaker. For one, Apple Maps, being new to the game, doesn’t yet have nearly as many points of interest baked in as Google Maps does. That means that municipal building or coffee shop in your town that used to be explicitly identified in Google Maps, may just be a blank square in Apple Maps. Secondly, Apple Maps doesn’t offer public transportation data/directions, which could present a real nightmare for city users.
Google has promised to come to the rescue of Google Maps devotees who own iPhones by releasing a stand-alone Maps app in the App Store at some point down the road (it has already done so for YouTube, which was similarly booted out of iOS 6). But until that day comes, upgrading to iOS 6 or buying an iPhone 5 means saying goodbye to the mapping app you know and love.
But don’t despair: There’s a workaround you can use to have your cake and eat it, too.
Although there is currently no iOS 6 version of Google Maps available either natively or in the App Store, the full service and all of its glorious data are still accessible via HTML 5 Web app.
Let’s see how to get it:
1. Load Safari and browse to maps.google.com
2. Tap on the ‘share button’
3. Select ‘Add to Home Screen’
4. Tap on ‘Add’
5. That’s it. Now you will have Google Maps on your home screen…