Many users love Google Maps, mainly because it works well with other Google products. However, iPhone users don’t get the app by default and are initially stuck with Apple Maps. While you can get Google Maps, it shouldn’t be possible to set it as the default.
However, that is not to say that there are no workarounds or alternative methods. Read on to find out how to use Google Maps as the “default” option.
Why can’t I make Google Maps the default map app on iPhone?
You may be intrigued as to why this is the case, and the short answer is that Apple has made iOS a closed software ecosystem. In other words, you are always advised to stick with Apple’s products rather than third-party alternatives if you can help with that.
While iOS 14 allowed users to switch default browsers, email clients, and music apps, the map service is unaffected. However, these changes are key to making Google Maps the so-called default map app on your iPhone.
If you want to set Google Maps as your default mapping app, the only option is to jailbreak your iPhone. However, doing so is against Apple’s Terms of Service and will void any existing warranties. Only proceed with the jailbreak process if you know the risks.
To proceed with any of the methods below, your iPhone must be running iOS 14 or later. Older versions do not allow you to set new default apps.
Make Google Maps the default map app on an iPhone for Chrome and Gmail
To set Google Maps as the default, you need to download and install Google Chrome and Gmail. The reason is that both apps will work with each other and you can even set Google Maps as their default map app. With the right settings, you can avoid using Apple Maps as much as possible.
Switch from email to Gmail
Apple’s Mail app is quite simple and the Gmail app allows you to log into your Google account for better connectivity. Also, if you tap addresses in Gmail, you’ll get to Google Maps after some tweaks instead of being forced to open Apple Maps.
- Go to iPhone Settings app.
- Find the gmail app and select it.
- Tap on Default email app.
- Choose Gmail from the list of options.
Now that Gmail is the default mail app on your iPhone, it’s time to change some settings in the app.
- launch gmail for iOS.
- Press menu icon with three horizontal lines in the top left corner.
- Scroll down and find Settings.
- Select Default apps.
- below Navigate from your locationselect Google Maps.
- Do the same for Navigate between locations.
Whenever you tap an address in an email with the Gmail app, you can choose between Google Maps or Apple Maps.
iOS 14 issues and switching default apps
If you are still using iOS 14 and have not updated to later patches, you may encounter several issues after doing the steps above. Some bugs reset your default apps to Apple’s factory settings after the new preferred app receives updates. This would mean repeating the above instructions every time after updating Chrome.
Although Apple has implemented fixes, users who have not switched to newer iOS versions may experience bugs. Therefore, updating to the latest iOS version is usually a good idea. The only exception is if the most recent patch contains serious errors and bugs.
Jailbreak your iPhone
If you don’t mind jailbreaking your phone, this is the best way to set Google Maps as your default map app. By forcing your iPhone to accept Google Maps as the actual preferred app, you’ll never have to choose between options again.
Before jailbreaking, we strongly recommend that you backup your important data. That way you save it for later.
While jailbreaking an iPhone may sound challenging, there are several tutorials available on YouTube and how-to websites. Search for instructions by iOS version and your iPhone model for best results.
The app that you need to install after jailbreaking your iPhone is MapsOpener, which is completely free to use.
Apple Maps remains the only default map app on iPhones, even in iOS 15.2. It’s up to Apple whether the company gives in and allows users to change their default option without jailbreaking.
Google Maps is also superior to Apple Maps in many ways, especially in these areas:
- Street scene
- Public transport
- Discover new places
Can I use Google Maps on Apple CarPlay?
Yes, you can. Before you can connect it to your car, you must first have Google Maps on your iPhone. After that, you should be able to launch Google Maps on your CarPlay screen and navigate to a location.
Is Apple Maps or Google Maps more accurate?
Google Maps has provided accurate directions for many years and is available almost everywhere in the world. It’s also more accurate than Apple Maps at interpreting how traffic affects your travel time. Overall, Google Maps is superior in these respects.
Compete for the apps
Unfortunately, until Apple decides to let users completely replace Apple Maps with Google Maps, we’re stuck with the methods described above. It is not the most useful and has even led to bugs, especially on iOS 14. Even when the bugs are fixed, the workarounds are not the best.
Do you think Apple should give users more control over their default apps? Which map app do you use more? Let us know in the comments below.