Fix Broken Google Map Links for iOS6

When Apple removed Google Maps from iOS6, they broke many websites that relied on Google Maps for route directions and map. This article describes a fix for this problem.

Let me explain the problem first. Many websites have a link that basically says, “click here for directions”. This link very often points to a route on Google Maps. In a pre-iOS6 device, it would go to the native Google map app, and everything worked fine. But, since that is gone, any links that point to a route in Google Maps will point to the Google Map website (not the native app).  The website has a few bugs that prevents the map from showing up.  A map of a single point will work, but a route between two points won’t.   Try this link in an iOS6 device to see what happens:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&saddr=LAX&daddr=santa+monica

The link will take you to the Google Maps mobile web app and display the correct directions. There is no way (that I have found) to make it go to a map instead of the directions page. Furthermore, if you click on the “Map View”, link, there seems to be a bug where your current location will show up on the map instead of the route. Finally, since this is a website and not a native app, it won’t follow your location nearly as precisely as the native app will, making it almost useless for real-time navigation.

The Fix

The solution for iOS devices is easy! Simply replace “google.com” with “apple.com”! It’s that easy. You can also eliminate the other parameters, but it won’t hurt if you keep them. If you try this link in an iOS6 device, it will work beautifully:

http://maps.apple.com/maps?saddr=LAX&daddr=santa+monica

The surprising thing is that this link will redirect you to Google Maps if you use it on a non-iOS6 device! I tested this in iOS5 as well as Windows desktop browsers and confirmed that it goes to Google Maps!

So, just replace your Google links with Apple links, and the links to your maps will be fixed for all devices! It’s a pretty sneaky way for Apple to get everyone to replace all of their Google map links with Apple map links!

Hope this helps! – Brian


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