The debut of Apple Maps at the Apple Worldwide Conference in June (image credit Justin Sullivan/Getty)
McLean, VA (written by Edward C. Baig/USA Today) -- When it comes to the new iPhone 5, Google Maps is out and Apple's own newly designed Maps app is in.
And with it comes spoken turn-by-turn navigation, which had been previously been available on the iPhone only through third party apps. Google has been offering the audible navigation for free on Android devices for quite some time. The feature had been AWOL on Google Maps for iPhone.
Apple's new Maps app, which also arrives on older iPhones (and iPads) through the iOS 6 software upgrade being made available for free today, did indeed get me from one destination to another during my drives in New York and San Francisco, and isn't that the point?. Of course, it didn't always get me there via my preferred route, though to be fair that's been true of most every GPS-capable Map I've employed through the years.
Green signposts appear on the iPhone screen to guide you on your way; the spoken instructions on iPhone 5 were generally clear and easy to follow. You can display the distance and ETA of your destination, a feature commonly available on other map systems. And Apple has added a very neat 3D "Flyover" feature for certain cities that lets you zoom in on landmarks and skyscrapers. Alas it's not quite a substitute for the useful Street View on Google Maps.
I also miss the routing that had been supplied on Google Maps that tells you how to get someplace via public transportation. My hope and expectation is that Apple will get around to adding these or similar features--pardon the pun--down the road.