Best iOS App Of 2012 Winner Is… Google Maps


Google Maps: right here
Google Maps: right here

Our readers have spoken. The best iOS app of 2012 has been selected. And the winner, by a considerable margin, is: Google Maps. Woot!

Google Maps is an excellent replacement for the maps we loved and lost with the introduction of iOS 6, and Apple’s own woefully underprepared mapping data.

It took just a few hours for Google Maps to leap to the top of the App Store charts on the day of its release. So many people were desperate to get their hands on it, desperate to have Google’s better maps on their iPhones. Even non-techie friends of mine were eager to download it.

The UI is sleek and unobtrusive – it gives the maps the room they need, so you can actually see what you’re doing with them. Many controls and features are hidden out of sight completely, or only come into view when context requires them. What initially looks like a very simple app ends up being subtly complex and thoughtfully put together. It’s also fast, in most circumstances – something you really appreciate when you’re standing in the freezing cold on a street corner, unsure whether to turn left or right.

There are some disadvantages. Using Google Maps means you don’t get the tight integration with other essential apps – like Contacts and Calendar – that you get using Apple’s own Maps app.

But as I said back when I first reviewed the newly released app, so much of this is about trust. Apple’s maps might be better than many people say they are, and they might be improving day-by-day, but those initial problems destroyed people’s trust in them. Google’s maps are different: people trusted them before, and they trust them now. No wonder this app stormed up the charts so quickly. People were grateful to get hold of maps they could trust.

Apple still faces a long uphill climb to win back some of that trust.

Google Maps won our final round of voting with 39% of the vote.

Paper, by FiftyThree, came in second place with 14%.

Clear by Realmac, and Angry Birds Star Wars by Rovio and Temple Run by Imangi all came joint third with 12% each.

Atebits’ popular strategy-wordgame Letterpress was in final place with 10%.

Once again, our thanks to everyone who voted, and congratulations to all the finalists.

This is me wishing all Cult of Mac readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  • mindurfuckhole

    I have lost all hope in this site. You guys get more and more annoying every post.

  • Robert X

    I have lost all hope in this site. You guys get more and more annoying every post.

    I agree. Really? Google Maps that just came out is the BEST app of ALL of 2012? Not.

  • Koban4max

    I have lost all hope in this site. You guys get more and more annoying every post.

    If you did then why are you still posting here?

  • TLoke2112

    Wow, google maps the best of the year? SMH. I have used Apple Maps for directions several times including a trip to Amish country in the middle of BFE Pennsylvania with no issue. That said Im not surprised, people have short memories.

  • dcdevito

    Google!! Awwww yeah

  • Whodakat

    I’d like to see how many droid owners answered your little survey. I downloaded Google Maps… whoopie shit, who cares? Seriously whats the draw? Apples design is far better and as its never let me down yet, I’ll just keep on using it.

  • rogifan

    Let me guess…most of those voting for Google maps probably have an Android phone.

  • rogifan

    Let me guess…most of those voting for Google maps probably have an Android phone.

  • Paullloydjohnson

    Well, it’s never going on my iPhone. I just wish that we could change our search engines away from Google and Bing (yahoo is powered by bing too). I would use a duckduckgo for search instead of Google, the only reason I don’t use Bing is because its results aren’t as good as google. Duckduckgo is excellent however.

  • Brandon Dillon

    This is extremely disappointing for the following reasons:

    1) This app is what, days old?

    2) This brings absolutely nothing new to the table

    3) It’s just .. MAPS.

    I understand how Google’s Maps were voted number one (Cult of Android/being new/media hype), but it’s still disappointing. I wouldn’t want it to be a game anyways, unless it just knocked my socks off.

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    No. Google Maps is not the app of the year. Are you flipping kidding me? The app does nothing more than what Google maps already did before Apple kicked it the f**k off our iPhones. Seriously, Apple gave us turn-be-turn, 3D with sky view, and a much cleaner interface. I’d have voted for Kingdom Rush or Pages. I don’t care is Pages is years old: that application is so perfect on the iPad that I find myself finding excuses to use it.

  • baby_Twitty

    Clearly rigged.

    This poll is a joke