Having lost visibility in Apple’s iOS 6, Google Maps is using a big, new ad that touts Google Maps mobile capabilities and invites existing users to “take your map anywhere.”
Here’s what it looks like on a desktop Google Maps search that I did late this afternoon:
The ad only seems to appear when there’s adequate whitespace. My search query was for a specific, one-of-a-kind location — a small airport in Kennewick, Wash. If I search for “dentists kennewick,” though, the ad is nowhere to be found and that left pane is filled with search results.
The ad leads to Google’s “Hello World” visual tour of Google Maps — content that’s been around for a while now and basically sells all aspects of Google Maps on mobile, including Street View imagery, turn-by-turn directions, offline maps and more. It’ll serve as a reminder to some users that the Apple Maps app doesn’t have all of the features that Google Maps has (including some features that Google didn’t allow Apple to use in the previous iOS Maps app).
Google sidestepped our questions today about possibly releasing its own Maps app for iOS. While we wait to see if that happens, Google obviously isn’t waiting to educate its existing users about why it thinks they should still use Google Maps on the go, even if it’s not powering the default iOS 6 Apple Maps app.