Should You Keep Your Old iPhone On iOS 5 For Google Maps?

We've seen the differences between Apple Maps and Google Maps before. We know that Apple Maps, as pretty as they may be, is not as data intensive nor does it have the public transit directions of Google Maps. So if you're not getting the iPhone 5, should you not upgrade to iOS 6 also? Because if you stay on iOS 5, you can keep Google Maps on your iPhone.

It's obviously a case-by-case decision but I don't think iOS 6 is the automatic upgrade other iOS versions have been. If you're a driver and want turn-by-turn directions, Apple Maps will probably be good for you, so update ahead! But if you're an iPhone 4 owner who's Siri-less and lives in a big city and relies on public transportation directions, there's nothing too appealing on iOS 6 that warrants losing Google Maps. Seriously.

Check out the feature list of iOS 6, no feature is as compelling as iCloud or Notification Center or iMessage or the App Store from previous iOS versions. Sure, there are improvements overall, but I'm pretty sure I won't be losing any sleep about the lack of Facebook integration or Mail VIPs or iCloud tabs in Safari on iOS 5. So yeah, if you're getting an iPhone 5, you have no choice, your phone will be on iOS 6. But if you're not upgrading, I think the smart move is to wait and see what happens with iOS Google Maps from Google before you get excited for iOS 6. What do you guys think?



    Why not have the best of both worlds: iOS6 and Google Maps as a stand alone app?

      I don't think I could use a map that isn't colour coded.
      With Google Maps, Melways, or any other map that is colour coded it is dead simple to see at a glance if it is a main road, freeway or a small street.

        Wtf? what has that got to do with what Greg said? he said to use Google Maps.

          I just wanted my post to be at the top.


          This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    Google maps isn't perfect either. It has wrong street numbers in my street. Some areas idiots have added fake streets and roads. Don't really see what all the fuss is about.

      My understanding is that fake streets are not accidental – they are more of a watermark that mapping companies use to detect if other people are stealing their data. They have been doing this for a very long time in printed maps as well. These streets are generally dead ends that you would not route down. I have no doubt that Apple’s data providers would do this as well.

        Ever since its first edition, Melways has had one wrong road on every page for this reason.

        But now there's the Google mapmaker. There's a massive freeway running across QLD that doesn't exist at the moment.

        This part of the East West Arterial road west of Sandgate doesn’t exist,153.056266&spn=0.014458,0.020986&ctz=-600&t=m&z=16&iwloc=A
        Here’s Nearmaps photo of that spot this month without that road[email protected],153.058530&ll=-27.411205,153.05853&z=17&t=h&nmd=20120902

          I don't see it. It's just a park or reserve west of Sandgate road.

            Didn't this road just open recently?

    Can't you just download google maps from the app store while on iOS6?

      Nope. You can add the web app to your home screen, but it's painfully slow. Also worth noting that quite a lot of satellite images are in black and white outside the major cities.

      That would be a great idea, except that is doesn't exist.

        In the mean time though, I believe the web version does the job just fine.

    Google maps seems to work pretty good on iPhone through Safari, that might be an option for people who want both.

    Just go to and add to home screen - it's a web app

      Just go to and add to home screen :) Then you get voice guided turn-by-turn walking navigation AND you get a portion of offline maps.

        This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

          Why? Because they have better maps with more features?

          dont feed the troll

    the original google map app is crap, update and go to google maps via safari or chrome

    Alternatively, install iOS6 for Apple Maps and download the Google Earth app

    Apple maps looks alright so far, on another note however, the YouTube app by google is NOT recognised by siri. It recognises you want to open YouTube, but says that there is no app by that name... when there clearly is :P

    Can't find a compelling reason to upgrade to iOS6 with my iPhone4.

    What a short sighted article. Like many have said. Upgrade to IOS6 it is a no brainer. If you want the old maps just download the standalone app for free, or use the web version.

      There is no standalone app and the web app often suffers performance issues.

    Put iOS6 on my phone already. It's struggling to find long haul directions. I.e. can't get from Broome in WA to Perth. Not sure how long it'll take for them to fix this without any obvious way to tell them about the issue.

    Unfortunately I need public transport directions (living in another city without much familiarity). It's also useful if you go to Sydney for a holiday or something similar.

    FYI, apple maps (in Australia at least) is powered by Tomtom and a few other sources. See this link for full details:

    I use walking instructions quite regularly in Brisbane, more so than driving (not so much public transport, the Translink site handles that pretty well when it's working). That, along with the unproven Maps in general and the 1.0 syndrome that will inevitably bite iOS 6.0, is enough to keep my 3GS on 5.1.1. The only thing I'll miss is Facebook integration.

      This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    And dare I say that the Whereis App seems to have introduced voice directions with their latest update. You can even have Dame Edna tell you where to go! Garmin GPS's use Whereis data. I too think this article is silly. Update to iOS 6. There's some great stuff there and I'm sure Apple maps will be good and getting better.

      What great stuff? reading over the list I can't find anything that merits an update?

        Do Not Disturb. Although it should have been in there from day one.

    i imagine those people who havent had a good experience with Google Maps in the past must be on slower networks. Google Maps + Telstra was an awesome combination. I have had friends travel through Europe with local sims, and nothing more than the app to navigate around all the roads.

    The web version appears to be somewhat slower when interacting with it. Maps still loads fast, but when working your way around it, it appears to be a bit clunky. However, its still miles ahead of Apple Maps. Tried using it the other day, on a route that i have used many times before, and it was trying to send me down one way streets in the other direction, dead ends, and some interestingly longer versions of the route. I imagine, TomTom must be supplying a some parts such as the actual maps but apple must be doing the intelligence behind it. My TomTom has no issues at all with the same route.

    When you zoom right in it seems to have a crap load of info on the map in iOS6, for instance park road in milton brisbane has every restaurant and bar? Correct on the bus stop info though, as a cyclist doesnt really matter to me but I'm sure they'll get there. Original google maps was sparse to.

    Just to note. Drive navigation isn't available in Australia for another month or so.

    Google Maps in Safari doesn't support Street View. As a motorcyclist, I use Street View several times a week (prior to departing so I know what to look for when I get there). Unfortunately Apple Maps in iOS6 without a Google Maps alternative is a deal breaker for me.

      Same here. Street view is something I use in my business and without it, I wouldn't be as happy. No iOS 6 for me until an untethered jailbreak comes out, and a stand alone google maps with street view

    Just used the new maps for the first time. Actually very surprised by how speedy it is. Thought level of detail was acceptable overall but could be slightly better. The satellite imagery didn't seem as good. Overall it feels much better to use, is super fast and needs more detail in some aspects.
    Like it way better than google in some areas, still prefer google in others.

    Updated this morning and using Apple Maps, its terribly slow and I'm on Telstra... bit disappointing I loved Google Maps.

    Do the Apple maps have integrated public transport timetables & routes? Google maps works great in this aspect here in Perth, finding what bus to take, where the closest stop is, what time the next bus leaves, etc. If this isn't supported by Apple Maps I'll definitely not upgrade until a Google Maps iOS app is available.

      If you go to use public transport now it takes you to the app store with a search for public transport apps.

    Well where do I start. Missing roads, all the poi from yelp are on the wrong location, I have major rivers and bridges missing in my town and some main roads including parts of the Bruce highway are simply missing

    That's exactly what I'm doing. Screw iOS 6 until (if ever) Google Maps is available.

    Anyone know if Whereis app is impacted by the change? I use it for navigation.

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