Google Maps

How to Make Google Maps the Default iOS Maps App

Many Apple Maps users breathed a sigh of relief when Google finally launched their own stand-alone Google Maps app for iOS. The problem is that even with Google Maps installed, iOS 6 will always default to the stock maps application when a link is clicked or other navigational features are needed. It's no surprise that developer HASHBANG Productions has released a solution for jailbroken devices.

MapsOpener tweak Cydia

The Cydia tweak is called MapsOpener, and once installed the tweak will open all maps links accessed within a browser in Google Maps instead of the Apple version. iOS currently has no built-in settings that allow the user to choose which apps they prefer to use as a default. This leaves iPhone owners using stock apps for several functions where other alternatives are available.

Google Launches New Maps App for the iPhone

Google has finally released a new Maps app for the iPhone after the Apple Maps fiasco.

iPhone users have been clamoring for the return of Google Maps since the release of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, when Apple replaced the app with its own mapping software. Apple Maps has been widely ridiculed for giving inaccurate information, and has even become the butt of many jokes after Australian police claimed it was dangerous.

iOS Mapping Software

The new Google Maps features turn-by-turn navigation and the popular Street View and transit direction options missing from Apple Maps. David Pogue of The New York Times writes: "The brand-new, completely rethought design is slick, simple and coherent. Google admits that it’s even better than Google Maps for Android phones, which has accommodated its evolving feature set mainly by piling on menus."

Apple Not Happy with Maps Debacle, Fires Maps Manager Richard Williamson

Apple's Maps manager Richard Williamson was fired after flaws in the mapping software "hurt" the iPhone 5, according to Bloomberg. Senior Vice President Eddy Cue fired Williamson, who oversaw the Apple Maps development, on Tuesday. Unnamed sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg Cue is planning to “install a new leadership team” to oversee the Maps application, and is seeking advice from outside mapping-technology experts TomTom NV.

Apple Maps

Apple has been criticized for ditching Google Maps for its own inferior mapping software. The Maps debacle didn't hurt iPhone 5 sales, but it did force Apple CEO Tim Cook to issue a rare apology for an Apple product. The Apple Maps mess also prompted Nokia and Google to create rival mapping apps to be used with iOS devices. Nokia's HERE app is already available for download, while Google is expected to unveil its map application in the near future.

Will Apple Approve Google's Maps App for iOS Devices?

Inside Google sources told the Guardian they are "not optimistic" Apple will approve a new Google Maps app that is purportedly in the works for iOS devices. According to the Guardian source, Google is worried Apple will decide to save face by "moving forward in an effort to make its obviously inferior product better". However, CNET's Casey Newton believes the Guardian's sources "are almost certainly wrong," and I agree.

iOS 6 Maps

Apple's own CEO Tim Cook told iOS users to use Google or Nokia maps while Apple worked on "improving" its own Maps product.

"While we're improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app."

Unlock Full iOS 6 Maps and Navigation on iPhone 4 / 3GS

As owners of older iPhone hardware are painfully aware, the iOS 6 update is limited on A4 devices including the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. Some of the features that iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 users enjoy include turn-by-turn navigation and 3D Flyover maps in major cities. Well now thanks to a new jailbreak tweak you can unlock full iOS 6 maps capability on a jailbroken iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS.

iPhone 5 iOS 6 maps navigation

Apple made iOS 6 available on these older devices, however the company intentionally limits some features to keep performance optimized. That being said, iPhone 3GS users who are interested in turn-by-turn directions are turning this feature on at their own risk. Sluggish performance could occur because the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 hardware is significantly more powerful than the iPhone 4 and 3GS. Even though you can run iOS 6 maps on your device with this tweak, it could be slow or use up too much memory to function.

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