Google Maps Is Back On The iPhone

And yes, it’s better than Apple Maps.

Everything you missed about Google Maps — street view, public transit, and accurate listings — is back on the iPhone with Google’s new Maps app, which you can download here. (It curiously is for the iPhone only, not the iPad.)

There’s a reason that Google’s maps are better than basically anybody else’s, as Alexis Madrigal extensively documented here, and why it’ll take a long time for Apple’s own mapping solution to catch up. The funny thing is that while catching up for Apple will require tons of money and data and work — things that take time! — Google’s managed to rather quickly create a maps app that “matches (or beats, depending on your taste) Apple Maps in its speed, design, and overall aesthetics,” by The Verge’s judgment. Google had already won at data, and now it’s matching or beating Apple on what is very much supposed to be its turf: design. And on Apple’s own platform, no less.

The notion that “Google is getting better at design faster than Apple is getting better at web services” has huge implications, and we may well be about to cross the threshold where we really get to see exactly what that means.

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