October 25, 2012

iOS 6 Maps: Free Navigation for Car, A Delight to Use

iOS 6 Maps Navigation for the car – it is free and a delight to use.

Google HQ to Apple HQ using iOS 6 Maps

All devices – iPhone, iPad’s – running Apple’s iOS 6 get the Maps app for free. Navigation with the Maps app is an absolute delight to use.

The Maps-app speaks turn-by-turn directions in real-time (as you are driving) to guide you to your destination. It is fast, accurate, uncluttered and has one of the best ui’s for a navigation app.

And, it is free.

Check a few screenshots included here of Maps-app navigation from 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California to 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California (driving directions from Google HQ to Apple HQ).

Expect Apple to improve the navigation UI and maps-data further to make the Maps-app one of the best navigation devices for the car.

Do I Need to Buy In-Car GPS Navigation Option?
When you buy your next car, refuse the expensive in-car GPS navigation which becomes outdated *  the day you buy the car. Instead, use the free Maps-app in your iOS 6 device - iPhone, iPad or iPad Mini.

You may want to get an iPhone Mount for Car or a similar iPad Mount.

* The car manufacturers, of course, are busy trying to sell you a $200 upgrade every year for newer maps-data. But, even that data gets refreshed only once a year.

iOS 6 Maps Improvement Needed
1) If you use Maps on your iPhone, the screen is small - not a good idea to watch the screen as you are driving (unless you have mounted the iPhone in the right location). But, the excellent spoken directions in the Maps-app more than make up for it.

iPad or iPad Mini have larger screens and Maps there has no such limitations.

2) The Maps synthetic-voice although good could be improved further. Navigation devices have used recorded human voice with great success. Similarly, Apple should consider adding recorded-voice to Maps (and to Siri … but that is another topic).

3) Maps-data – There have been many complaints about wrong or missing data in the current version of Maps-app.

This is the first version of the app and Apple will surely keep improving the maps-data (the same steps that Google went through with their maps app). For many locales, the data in Maps-app is already quite good - you can immediately make full use of the Maps-app.

The free iOS 6 Maps app is a great replacement for your in-car GPS navigation. If you have an iPhone or iPad with iOS 6, make full use of the excellent Maps app.

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