Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Google Maps (turn-by-turn)

Category: Navigation

(Free) As I write this in early January 2013, this app is still in version, having been rushed into existence by Google following the debacle that was the release of Apple's Maps app in iOS 6, and the exclusion of the original Google Maps app for iOS which had debuted with the iPhone in 2007. 

For a v1.0 application, the new Google Maps is polished and slick. However, it's far from perfect, or even good. 

In attempting to make the new app represent the new "look and feel" of Google's Web apps, Google has sacrificed some usability. Considering that this is intended to be an automobile navigation solution, the text could be more legible at dashboard distance. While in motion, critical on-screen buttons should be BIG and easily identified - they're not. Users can't rename or sort saved destinations (actually, I discovered that you can find and edit your saved destinations in your Google Bookmarks, but not without some difficulty). 

When Google adds their voice search functionality to this app, it will become significantly more useful.

It's a good start, but it's still not replacing our dedicated GPS navigation systems.

(Google Maps)

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