With the release of iOS 6, the biggest complaint was the new maps app. And I don’t just mean people were whining a bit; I mean that it was such a big deal that many people refrained from updating to iOS 6 just for the bad maps. It was such a big problem that Apple even created a special section on the featured page of the App Store with alternative map apps. And it’s not just the Apple addicts noticing – a slew of memes have popped up mentioning iOS maps as well.
There’s been quite the uproar, but finally Google has fixed our problems. Introducing the official Google Maps for iPhone!
I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t that what we had before iOS6? Well, kind of. Before iOS 6, Apple had created their own maps app that used the Google Maps API. This new Google Maps app is completely built and maintained by Google, no Apple involvement.
The app is just how you’d expect it to be: A nice, clean google interface with sans-serif fonts and light colors. The zooming is very smooth and font sizes change like water. The “3D” effect is less than that of Apple’s maps, but it is still adequate for getting a general idea of the terrain.
The app also comes with Google’s voice navigation, which is a nice addition for many.
Overall, it’s what you’d expect – a good, solid, full-featured maps app that is a free alternative to the laughable iOS maps.
Click here to download it from iTunes.
Google has announced in a blog post that they are disposing of the free version of Google Apps.
For those of you who don’t know about Google Apps, it is essentially the suite of Google Applications (Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Docs/Drive, etc.) but tailored to fit a custom domain/business. I personally use Google Apps for maxswisher.com, and I must say – it’s great. I love having the spam filtering, organization, and amazing reliability of Gmail under my own custom domain. It’s a wonderful system which I love dearly.
And thankfully, this update to the pricing plans won’t affect any current users – meaning that I won’t have to say goodbye to my beloved account.
For new Google Apps signups, the cost will be that of Google Apps for Business – $50/year per user. This is fairly pricey for an individual, but the services were created for businesses in the first place.
Although I don’t like it, I believe that this is a very sensible decision for Google. Think about it from Google’s point of view: Here are businesses paying $50/year for a full customizable suite of high-quality business applications, and there’s individuals creating accounts just so they can have gmail at their own domain (I am guilty of this). As quoted from Google’s blog post:
With focus we’ll be able to do even more for our business customers. We’re excited about the opportunity to push Google Apps further so our customers can do what matters most to them…