If you're sick of Siri's love affair with Apple Maps, you can tell her to just move on. And she'll listen.
Now that Google Maps is available on iOS 6, one major grumble from iPhone and iPad users is that Siri still gives preferential treatment to Apple's homemade, half-baked maps app. But it turns out there's a way to get your plucky voice assistant to fetch you Google Maps directions at your command -- no hacking required.
Normally, when you ask Siri to "Give me directions to the nearest Apple Store," she will open up Apple Maps and (hopefully) plot a route to the closest one. But if you append the phrase "via transit" to that or any other request, she'll actually bypass Apple Maps and give you the option to open up Google Maps.
The blog Jailbreak Nation found this simple Siri trick and posted a video explaining it. Check it out below:
As you can see, the command prompts the iPhone or iPad to open up a page listing all "routing apps," instead of opening Apple Maps. From there, you can just tap on Google Maps and get its more reliable directions.
We at HuffPost tried it out ourselves and can confirm the trick works. One downside: While Siri can use Apple Maps to plot a highlighted route to your destination, Google Maps accessed via Siri seems to bring you to a turn-by-turn directions page instead of graphing out the route on a map.
Since being unveiled in September with iOS 6 and the new iPhone 5, Apple Maps has been derided for its lack of public transit directions, inadvertently trippy graphics and inconsistent underlying mapping data relative to Google Maps.
Are you surprised Apple would allow such an easy way to circumvent its own Maps app? You shouldn't be. Consider what Tim Cook told customers in September when apologizing for the quality of Apple Maps: "While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app." Eager to satisfy disappointed customers, Cook suggested users seek out competitors' apps to fill their needs, an unprecedented move by the head of a usually territorial company.
The new Google Maps app hit Apple's iTunes App Store on December 12 and, by December 13, had become the most-downloaded free app. Check out our own Captain Gadget's review of the new Google Maps app to see how it compares to Apple Maps (here).