It's awfully nice that Google's CEO is on the board of Apple. It means that these two tech giants can collaborate in cool new ways—and Google Maps on the iPhone is one of them. It's wicked useful.
Google Maps on the Web is awesome enough. It lets you type in any address or point of interest in the U.S. or many other countries—and see it plotted on a map. You have a choice of a street-map diagram or an actual aerial photo, taken by satellite. Google Maps is an incredible resource for planning a drive, scoping out a new city before you travel there, investigating the proximity of a new house to schools and stores, seeing how far a hotel is from the beach, or just generally blowing your mind with a new view of the world.
And now you've got Google Maps on the iPhone, with even more features—like turn-by-turn driving directions, live national Yellow Pages business directory, and real-time traffic-jam alerts, represented by color coding on the roads of the map.
Your happiness with Maps depends a lot on how you're connected to the Internet. A Wi-Fi connection is fairly snappy. A cellular EDGE connection may mean waiting a few seconds every time you scroll or zoom the map.
The very first time you open Maps, you see a miniature U.S. map. Double-tap to zoom in on a region of the country; double-tap again to zoom in on a state; and so on, until you're seeing actual city blocks. You can also pinch or spread two fingers (Pinch and Spread) to magnify or shrink the view. ...