Apple’s map service pales in comparison to Google Maps

Alex Masters

apple maps final 300x225 Apple’s map service pales in comparison to Google MapsApple have come under heavy criticism today for replacing Google Maps in iOS 6 with their own in-house mapping application. From now on all iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch devices capable of running iOS 6 will ship with Apple’s native mapping service. Google Maps has been stripped out completely.

In an uncharacteristic move, Apple have chosen to replace what is arguably the world’s best mapping system, with an inferior, half-baked alternative. Many people have been shocked by just how poor the experience is compared to Google’s offering and left wondering why there was any need to rush out a competing service that’s nowhere near ready for prime-time.

Much of Apple’s map data is out of date, inaccurate, low resolution and incomplete. Some users have noticed towns and villages displayed up to a mile out of position. Some smaller roads and lanes do not even have road names and numbers here in the UK. It seems Apple’s data is months, if not years out of date and only partially complete.

Google’s maps, on the other hand, provide concise, reliable and more accurate map data. Rich in detail and far more up to date. Not only that, but users can submit corrections and new mapping data simply by using Google’s online Map Maker software.

It’s understandable that Apple would want to replace Google Maps with its own service eventually, after all the two companies are competing for the same mobile marketshare, but exactly why Apple chose to replace Google Maps with such a poor alternative is a mystery. Why the big rush? If anything, customers who rely on Google Maps on iOS are more likely to switch to Android now, rather than put up with such a terrible replacement.

Google have every intention of delivering a stand alone Google Maps app for iOS in the near future, saving users from Apple’s awful replacement. In my opinion, they would be wise to hold off for a while, as frustrated iPhone and iPad customers who rely on Google maps look to Android as an alternative.

Expect Apple to roll out iOS map updates thick and fast as they rush to appease disgruntled users. If you are one of them, you can always bookmark in your browser of choice until something better comes along.

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  • Sunny

    Can I have my iOS 5 back Apple as I have faith in Google map and not in your cr@p .

  • MincePie

    It’s not just that the maps are poor it’s the fact that the public transport interface doesn’t exist and the so called workaround of using google maps on the web is nowhere as seem less as the google maps interface was. I always used my phone when going for a bus to see when the next one was due. Google hurry with an App I would happily pay to get the functionality back and if I had known what IOS was going to do I would never have upgraded.

  • trisul

    Reading the discussion, one would think that the only reason people bought a phone is to use maps. All of a sudden, the iPhone stinks just because Apple mapping is inferior to Googles .. And what exactly is preventing you from using the vastly superior Google software on your iPhone?

    I think that Apple wants to integrate mapping technology at a much deeper level in the long term and was unable to do so with Google, which is understandable, as Google has a competitive offering. So, they decided to bite the bullet and go for it alone, which is going to take years to get perfect. In the meantime, use whatever is better, and if this is better supported on an Android, buy it and be proud of it.But why is it necessary to brand all Apple users as brainwashed idiots? Are all beemer drivers complete idiots, just because you drive a Merc? This is just being silly.
    Having said that, it is true that some approaches taken by Apple are going to present real issues in the future. One of them is internationalization, their software is still designed with California mentality, which is creating many problems for users in other countries. The other problem is this do everything yourself approach, which is bound to crash sooner or later. In fact, it has served them well to now, but this cannot last. They really should take better care of their eco-system. The third is their ineptness at web services, and this is where I thought they would partner well with Google, but Google wanted a piece of the mobile cake, so here we are.

    However, these failings are not due to the absence of Steve Jobs, he is the one who created this. Jobs is a great admirer of Microsoft marketing. Apple is the best technology company, Microsoft is the best marketing machine. Jobs quite openly admired this and wanted Apple to master these skills. Just as Gates admired Apple innovation. People think of Microsoft as a technology innovator, just because Gates said so, but this was just marketing, great marketing. There was not a single piece of software with which Microsoft conquered the world that did not have an established and better competitor at the time. Windows vs OS2 and Unix, Word vs WordPerfect, Excel vs Lotus 1-2-3 … not to mention less know products that were far superior, but not established. Microsoft destroyed all of these with its marketing might and capital strength … and Jobs wanted Apple to do the same.

  • BillS

    I bought an IPad a few months ago for a trip to Taiwan and have been doing a lot of research on restaurants, etc. Now Taipei shows no restaurants and I don’t have Street View which I was relying upon. After all the hype Apple put out about their mapping system this looks like a “bait-and-switch”. I think it’s time for lawyers to get involved.

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