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How to Make Google Maps Default on iPhone

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We all know that Apple is really about a closed software ecosystem and the company practices are to stick to first-party services whenever possible. However, with iOS 14 (and iOS 14.5) they allowed users to change the default Browser, Mail client, and even Music app. But what about other important services people use on a daily basis? Can you make Google Maps the default iPhone maps service? Nope, at least not fully. Learn what you can do below.

  1. Is it possible to set Google Maps as the default app?
  2. A workaround for Google services on iOS

Steps to Make Google Maps Default on iPhone

1. Is it possible to set Google Maps as the default app?

In general, it’s not possible to make Google Maps default on iOS 14 or prior versions. With the introduction of iOS 14, users are able to change the default mail client, browser, and music provider (after iOS 14.5). And that’s it. You can go for jailbreaking but that’s something we don’t recommend unless you are fully familiar with the procedure and its risks.

We can only hope this trend continues with iOS 15 which is on its way and more default iOS apps can be replaced with Google apps or any other third-party services users deem better or more useful.

It is what it is and all we can do at the moment is improvise. And improvise we will.

2. A workaround for Google services on iOS

So,  there is a workaround that applies if you use Google apps that can replace their iOS counterparts like Gmail and Chrome. It seems confusing but it’s rather simple.

This workaround basically allows for interlinking between Google’s apps on iOS. Google’s way, in spite of limitations, unites its services on Apple’s closed platform.

Basically, if you open an address from Gmail, there’s an option to choose whether it’ll navigate to Apple Maps or Google Maps. The same goes for web links and Safari or Chrome.

If you’re using Safari or Apple Mail and try combining them with Google Maps, we are afraid that won’t work for you. Google Maps can be used as the default app from Google apps, not Apple’s.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Download Gmail and Google Maps (other Google apps if you use them) to your iPhone/iPad. If you already have them, make sure that they are updated and that you are running the latest iteration of iOS.
  2. Log in to your Gmail and open the app.
  3. Tap on the hamburger menu and select Settings.
  4. Tap Default apps.
  5. Select Google Maps for Navigate from your location and Navigate between locations.Make Google Maps Default on iPhone

To ensure that you are going through Google’s services all the time, navigate to Settings > Chrome > Default Browser App and Settings > Gmail > Default Mail App and set those two apps as the Default.

That’s it. Sadly, as we already noted, there’s no definitive way to make Google Maps default on your iPhone. For now. Thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts, questions, or suggestions with us. You can do so in the comments section below.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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