5 Practical Alternatives for the iPhone 5’s Terrible Maps

When Apple released the iOS 6 ahead of the iPhone 5 launch, some iPhone users were quick to update their iPhones to the newest software to have a taste of what iPhone 5 buyers would be getting.  At first glance, things looked great, I actually enjoyed using the new Panorama feature on the camera but then, upon using the new Maps app, things started to take a wrong turn – literally.

A lot of users complained about misplaced towns, cities, landmarks and businesses, aside from the many errors that occurred when using the new map.  The Guardian posted some photos regarding the difference between using Google Maps and the new Apple Maps.  The difference is laughable.  Imagine using Apple Maps, you search for the Sears Tower in Chicago, and you’re directed to completely different building.  I’m not sure if the building featured is even in Chicago.

Another complaint that users have is that because Google Maps is no longer the default map, they no longer enjoy the Street View or walking and transit directions, because Apple’s Maps doesn’t have these features.  Many iOS 6 users are now looking for an alternative to Apple’s terrible Maps app, be it an app or mobile website.

Apple iOS 6 Maps alternatives


Google Maps

Of course, you can always just use Google Maps on your iPhone’s browser, be it Safari or Chrome.  But one hacker reportedly hacked the iOS 5.1 Google Maps app to work on the new iOS 6.  The hacker, Ryan Petrich, declined to give information as to how he did the hack and admitted that the app was prone to crashes.  Also, there’s no information as to when the hacked app will be available to the general public.  So if you really love Google Maps, just use it on your iPhone’s browser.

Nokia Maps

Nokia took a jab at Apple when they posted in their blog that the simplest solution to iPhone users’ maps conundrum is their browser-based maps that works well with iOS and Android devices.

“Nokia Maps is award winning,” Nokia said via its official Twitter page. “There is no need to be stuck with another mapping service on your smartphone.”

Nokia started offering maps for iOS and Android last summer and users were given the ability to search for places, share them with friends and get walking, driving and public transit directions.  But that was just the beginning. Nokia added voice-guided, turn-by-turn walking navigation to compete with Apple’s Siri.  A user just needs to go to Nokia Maps, allow it to use your location for accurate directions.  There’s a catch though: the audio directions can only be used when a person gets walking directions.

Navfree GPS Live

The app offers turn-by-turn directions, voice and on-screen instructions, offline map use and address search and live search via Google and Microsoft Bing.  And the best part about the app is there’s no extra charge when using the free-to-download app.  Also, the map data is created by “a community of thousands of users around the world,” which means that as more people use the app, it only gets better.

Waze Social GPS

This is also a crowd-sourced app that gives users community generated real-time traffic and road alerts including accidents, hazards, police traps, and more. It comes with complete voice-guided navigation, and automatic re-routing as conditions on the road change. You can also find the cheapest gas station on your route.   Live maps are constantly updated by Waze community map editors to keep you up to date.  And yes, the app is free for download, so that’s always a perk.

MotionX GPS Drive

If you don’t mind paying $0.99 for a navs app, MotionX GPS Drive is something to try and the voice-navigation only charges you when you use it.  For less than a dollar, you get up-to-date maps, real-time and predictive traffic-based routing and guidance, live local speed limits displayed with the car’s actual speed, pre-load maps for offline use, Facebook and Twitter integration, live compass, parking spot marker and more.