Xiaomi Redmi 1S
HTC One E8
Idea 3G Smartfone Ultra +
WickedLeak Wammy Neo
Asus Zenfone 6
Asus Zenfone 5
HTC One (M8)
HTC Desire 616 Dual SIM
First Impression: Intel powered Digiflip Pro Android tablets from Flipkart
First Impressions: Xiaomi Redmi 1S, redefining the low-end segment
MyUniverse App: A smarter way to manage finances
First impression: Using the Mozilla Firefox OS on the Intex Cloud FX phone
Xiaomi Redmi 1S: 6 things you should know about the budget Android phone
How tech is taking football to the next level
Classic FPS games are a dying breed
Slowly gathering steam...
The obsession within
Carmick Shift: Can John Carmack and Oculus Rift change the world?
Lenovo teases Vibe X2 smartphone with Android L
Govt plans Wi-Fi Hotspots in major cities under Digital India initiative
Lava Iris X5 selfie smartphone launched at Rs. 8,799
Whatsapp to be soon updated with voice-calling facility: Reports
Google Maps v8.3 update brings Hindi voice navigation support
Moto 'G2' specs revealed in benchmarks
OnePlus One India launch confirmed
Xiaomi lists Mi3 cases and power-banks on Flipkart, offers 10,400 mAh powerbank for Rs. 999
Moto G2 expected to be announced on 10 September
Xiaomi goes for the kill, prices Redmi 1S at Rs. 5,999 in India
Oppo Neo 3 R831K
Xolo Play 8X-1100
Xolo Q1000s Plus
Xolo Q700s Plus
Videocon V-Style Smart
How to use Intel Cilk Plus to speed up your Android application
How to get started with OpenCL on Android OS
How to implement Gesture Sequences in Unity 3D game engine via TouchScript framework
How to use Intel Perceptual Computing to develop engaging apps
How to choose the right engine for your x86-based Android game
How to Develop an Intelligent Autonomous Drone using an Android Smartphone
How to use Intel WiDi technology to project your App onto a bigger screen
How to Optimize Your Android Apps (NDK) in Two Minutes on Intel Architecture
How to Set Up an NDK Project to Compile for Multiple Target Platforms
Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review - Build & Design
Xiaomi Redmi 1S - First Impressions
HTC One E8 - First Impressions
Asus Zenfone 6 Review - User Interface
Asus Zenfone 6 Review - Build & Design
Best 2 player games on Android
Top 5 smartphone accessories under Rs. 1,000
7 Phones with best displays under Rs. 10,000
Top 10 gaming laptops you can buy under 50K
Best gaming ultrabooks weighing around 2 kg
Google Maps has finally landed in the App Store, causing not only a surge in the number of people who will now be updating to iOS 6, but also probably proving the fact that there really is a God. If you don’t believe us, you just have to ask those poor chaps down in Australia who got stranded in the middle of nowhere thanks to Apple Maps.
Well, at least the Australians received some results when doing a search! Here in New Delhi, the capital of India, Apple Maps refuses to pick up any popular places and landmarks, so much so that a search for “Delhi,” it would continually bring us to some obscure location in California with the same name. With a major cross country road-trip coming up, the very first thing we did was downgrade back to iOS 5.1 (perks of being jailbroken) to get our precious Google Maps back, which has successfully even navigated us out of jungles. Apple Maps are bad has been substantiated by the fact that Tim Cook has issued a public apology, people have been fired from Apple and websites with screenshots of clearly messed up directions have popped up all over the place.
There were rumours that Google was working on pushing out a dedicated Maps app for iOS 6, just like it had with the YouTube app, but there was no definitive timeline. The jailbreak community started working on what seemed to be a promising method of porting the iOS 5 version of Google Maps to iOS 6, but before any significant progress could be made, Google’s Map app made its way to the App Store. We downloaded the app the minute it was out and ran it through a bunch of tests, comparing it with the Apple Maps on iOS 6 and the iOS 5 version of Google Maps and here are our thoughts.
Google Maps for iOS 6 has undergone a somewhat noticeable change in user interface. This is obviously a given seeing as how Apple’s Map app resembles the previous mapping app so closely. The Google Maps app takes on a different user interface, with the first noticeable change being that it requires you to sign in with your Google ID. We’re assuming this is so Google can manage the locations we chose to save as our “favorites.” What it also allowed us to do was save a location for work and home, a huge convenience.
Searching for a location is the same, with the tap in the search bar, but the results page is now quite different. When we searched for a specific location, it showed us statistics like distance, time of travel along with reviews that frequent visitors had written about the place. This is especially useful if you’re planning on dining out. What’s also changed is that instead of just marking the various routes on the map upon search, the app now pops up two alternate route labels and choosing one of the two will then plot the course.
There’s a whole host of new features in the new Google Maps app. While we’re pretty sure we wouldn’t have complained to have the same old boring version on iOS6, the new features make this app just that much sweeter. For starters, we’ve got the Traffic View, which shows live traffic information for the busy streets of Delhi (where we tested the app). Google has also added the Public Transport mode, which taps into the public bus system to show the bus numbers and the total time of the journey from Point A to Point B.
The best addition to Google Maps has to be the turn-by-turn voice guided navigation. We took a trip to a mall that’s somewhat nearby, and it was nice to not have to keep looking at the phone in the middle of traffic all the time. The voice guided navigation is pretty spot on, since Google’s maps are incredibly accurate, however, the accent of the robot voice tends to horrible mispronounce the street names, so just keep an ear out for where to turn and in how much distance. We were quite surprised to in fact learn that certain streets had names, which we were quite frankly unaware of.
Once the destination was set, and the navigation started, the app gives you the option to either just choose turn by turn navigation or instead switch to a list view. We stuck to the voice navigation simply because we don’t like looking at the screen while driving since it’s not safe, obviously. However, if you do need to access the turn-list while in voice navigation mode, all you have to do is swipe right-to-left on top of the screen to see what’s coming up next.
Searching for places was never an issue on Google Maps. Even the iOS 5 version was spot on with directions that went from one end of the country to the other (remember that roadtrip we mentioned? Yea! All Google Maps). The search results show up pretty quick, mapping is pretty fast too. However, we did notice that the app as a whole runs slightly slower that both the iOS5 version of Google Maps and Apple Maps. Even navigating the map itself using just the fingers tends to be a little jittery, but then again, it could just be because we’re using an iPhone 4. Pretty sure it would be smooth on the new iPhone 5.
So there is a little jitter in animations, but nothing too problematic. The way we see it, we’re at least getting a very functional and accurate mapping app. The turn by turn navigation is spot on, with the voice being quite clear (except for the weird pronunciation of Indian streets). We’ve looked for several places just by name, like we’re used to, and Google Maps did not fail us even a single time. Apple Maps, on the other hand, continues in the tradition of being “the lost map app,” with returning absolutely no results.
Google Maps for iOS 6 is quite a sigh of relief. It’s everything we had wanted from a mapping app, accuracy and functionality, all packed into a neat, simple user interface. Our only beef is that it runs a little slow on our iPhone 4, but it would run just fine on the new iPhone 5 (which the app is compatible with). However, we can’t help but feel that Google dropped the ball on one thing. They made it free. At this point, with the kind of anticipation that had been building up for Google Maps on iOS6, Google could have easily charged anything between $5-15 and people would have still bought it. But instead, Google made it free.
If you’ve been holding out on upgrading to iOS 6 due to the lack of a decent navigation tool, well, feel free to hit that upgrade button with complete ease of mind. Google Maps for iOS is everything it was in the past, and a whole lot more. Only one word of caution though and that is to watch out for the battery levels. We did 20 minutes of navigation and went from 100% battery to just 84%, with the phone becoming quite hot. Plugging the phone into a charging station in the car is highly recommended while using the app.
Download Google Maps for iOS 6 here.