Apple Maps, the verdict says, is a disaster. Well, it's nascent. Apple was probably hasty in diving into this field and kicking Google out.
For users who depend a lot on Maps for navigation, finding POIs, alternative routes and turn-by-turn, there are many alternatives to Apple Maps. Of course, you might miss the 3D flyover a bit, but if you're looking for functionality, these free alternatives are worth checking out.
When Apple first announced that it's going alone this time and building a new Maps – effectively removing Google out of the equation – I was kind of saddened. But the euphoria of a new Apple app took over – till the real face of Apple's Maps showed up. This only makes Apple's decision to chuck Google out of the ecosystem look really bad. It is bad.
For most of us, Google Maps stands as the finest. Google took something like thousands of weeks and a very strong workforce to build their Maps data. It's no simple task. Naturally, their Maps is the finest.
GPS by TeleNav
GPS by TeleNav brings you a little more features, a better interface and a stronger support than CoPilot GPS. Otherwise, it's pretty much the same thing with millions of POI, free updates, traffic data and of course, turn-by-turn navigation.
You'll have to upgrade for voice commands and navigation and it's a subscription-based feature.
CoPilot GPS is one of the most basic GPS maps you can run on your iOS device. It's been around for long, has been updated recently and comes with free lifetime updates to the basic maps data. Millions of POI and a lot of navigation features make it a decent enough app.
The in-app purchase upgrades the app to include features like turn-by-turn and 3D maps along with voice-guided navigation support.
Yellow Pages is more of an information app but the free turn-by-turn navigation feature that it presents can very well be worth a try. It's mostly designed towards finding places of interest rather than traveling to a location of your choice. But then again, it's Yellow Pages after all.
MapQuest is one of those old-timers who have built a strong reputation. It comes with some of the simplest features that you'd expect: and one of my favorite things about MapQuest is that it's light-weight. Voice-guided turn-by-turn is free. Data is rich, updated and almost very accurate.
Waze is an amazing little app designed to be driven by the community. Data on the map – real-time traffic, alerts, finding cheap gas stations along the way, etc – is fed into the database through 20 million users using Waze as they travel.
It's a very interesting – and successful – concept that has clicked well in the US. Waze is free and provides a really cool voice-guided navigation feature.
May be I am getting frowned upon for this but the fact is, Bing Maps is far more useful at the moment than the default Apple Maps on your iOS 6. It's not “cool” or “amazing” but it has got some really solid information backing up the data for its Maps. Guided navigation, real-time traffic and transit information make it a really good app to use: till Apple fixes the Maps app.
It seems like Google's Map for iOS will only debut next year. A lot of controversial stuff is being rumored at the moment. Some are of the opinion that Apple won't let Google Maps pass through to the App Store because it would compete with Apple's own (and flopped) Maps app. While we wait for some good news, you can enjoy using the apps above. Tell us your favorite ones too.