Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Apple's map woes continue as media, users pile on

updated 06:31 pm EDT, Thu September 20, 2012

Google replacement said to be ready, awaiting approval

Apple's decision to go with its own mapping solution for iOS 6 has turned into something of an embarrassment, even as the company's iPhone 5 racks up phenomenal sales. What began with some scattered reports of shortcomings in iOS 6's maps has turned into a veritable deluge of criticism and complaints, with major media outlets, some vocal users, and others calling the Cupertino company to task for its flawed and at times incomplete maps. Meanwhile sources tell Electronista that Google's iOS 6 Maps app has already been submitted, and that its approval is entirely in Apple's hands.

With the debut of iOS 6, Apple removed Google Maps as the default mapping option on its mobile platform. This is said to have happened due in no small part to the ongoing mobile OS struggle between the two companies.

In removing Google Maps, though, Apple excised one of the more complete and possibly the best known mapping solution on the market. Apple's replacement lacks many of the features some users have come to expect, including an equivalent to Street View and public transit directions.

Apple's mapping shortcomings have led to a spate of bad press, a rare occurrence the Cupertino-based company, which is typically renowned for its control of its image and handling of the media. A number of blogs and Tumblr accounts have also popped up that compare the quality and specificity of the two mapping apps. The BBC dedicated an article and video segment to the controversy, one wherein mapping company TomTom "said it provided only data and was not responsible for how [the maps app] worked."

Electronista contacted Google for comment on the situation, finding that Google has apparently already submitted a Google Maps app. Our source, who asked not to be identified, informed us that "Google has submitted an iOS 6-specific Maps application to Apple," and that "as far as we know, it's still being evaluated for approval."

The maps situation is reminiscent of Apple's decision to remove YouTube as an app built into iOS 6. Google released a new version of its app, and that version is now the number one free app in Apple's App Store.



By Electronista Staff
toggle

Comments

  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-01-09

    Meh. The complaints I've seen so far are no worse than the issues I've had with Google Maps in years past. If Apple doesn't chicken out and withdraw its maps, and aggressively corrects reported errors (which is the hard part) then within a year we'll be looking back at this as a tempest in a teapot.

  1. keithhat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-12-08

    Not sure what all the complaining is about. Apple's Maps seems to have the exact same errors as Google Maps. My house address shows up in the wrong spot and has the incorrect street name where my home is, same as Google Maps. If anything the map source company they both use should be beat up, not Apple in particular.

  1. mr100percent

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 12-06-99

    It's interesting to see so many in the tech community reacting to this. Apple has switched over to a free Open Source map system (OpenStreetMaps) and people are demanding they go back to the proprietary maps. Meanwhile, you can add your own buildings and roads over at OpenStreetMap and Apple will likely copy them in, as they did with my drawn maps a few months ago.

  1. daqman

    Junior Member

    Joined: 09-15-00

    Interesting to see the comments here saying, essentially "no problem grow up". The problem is that the iPhone is a MATURE platform that people rely on. The Maps App is something people rely on, me included. If I want to go somewhere I am used to putting in the info and getting correct directions. To swap to something that plainly doesn't work as well as what was there before is NOT acceptable. Sure this is how Google was years ago but this is not years ago, this is NOW!

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-23-02

    I'll let you know tomorrow when my iPhone 5 arrives.

    WOOOOOO!

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I agree with daqman to some extent, but using his logic NO new mapping apps could EVER emerge unless they'd spent a decade in testing. That's not really fair.

    Best to treat Apple Maps like what it is: a 1.0 release. It'll get better, probably quite quickly. Not particularly worried about it, though the loss of transit directions is, for me, more inconvenient than any slight map inaccuracies.

    The story's mention that Google Maps has been improved and is waiting approval is good news for those people who miss it. If Apple made a mistake here at all, it was announcing they'd drop the old maps app without specifically mentioning that Google was going to provide a new one that would complement their own. The intro of a new maps apps needed a little more humility, I think.

    Ultimately this will go the way of the YouTube app removal -- ie not a big deal. And Maps is to my eyes a visual improvement on Google Maps anyway. Any new Maps app from Google is very likely to have ads at some point.

    Let's also take a breath and remember that Google Maps is inaccurate as well. I have plenty of first-hand tales about THAT. I'm sure that five years ago the original version of Maps wasn't as good as it is now either. So, a little perspective please.

  1. darkelf

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-21-03

    i hate to be all, "back in my day..." but some perspective is probably in order. you can hold, in your hand, a device which not only has detailed maps of pretty much everyplace in America, but can figure out how to get you from where you are to where you want to go pretty reliably. that's completely bonkers, you realize.

  1. Yokohama3021

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-22-12

    Yes the maps have changed. Some are right this is version 1 but, the iPhone is not. I live in Japan and rely on the map function often in my daily life as well as my travels. The combination of street view and the map usually got me to the right place. Now search is almost non existent in this version. This is not like adding a feature such as Siri. It is replacing a mostly functional app with an app that is mostly non functional. By the way I am a strong supporter of my iPhone and it is great. Apple though really made a bad decision this time in my opinion. We should have the choice until this is fixed. It should really be called alpha at this point. Hopefully some one will wise up that they made a mistake and give us a choice as it matures. That has been the way with a lot of apps I have on my iPhone. When the apple app becomes strong enough for me I quit using the paid for app. The Japan maps are really close to useless. Directions are poor at best. Plus we all have to wait and hope a company steps in and charges us for an app that will give us directions? Sorry for the rant but this is the biggest blunder I think apple has made yet. Remember this is just my opinion.

  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-01-09

    Originally Posted by Yokohama3021View Post

    We should have the choice until this is fixed.



    Funny, I was unaware that iOS's version of Safari can't load maps.google.com. Must be a change in newer versions, because my first-gen iPod Touch loads it just fine.

    What's that? You're griping because the built-in app has changed, not because you can't go back to using Google? Oh.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by darkelfView Post

    i hate to be all, "back in my day..." but some perspective is probably in order. you can hold, in your hand, a device which not only has detailed maps of pretty much everyplace in America, but can figure out how to get you from where you are to where you want to go pretty reliably. that's completely bonkers, you realize.



    Just for perspective:

    What the hell do I care about maps of pretty much everyplace in America?

    I've found directions to work really well, though, and as long as I can access Google Maps via the browser, I'm okay.

    Mostly.

  1. mojkarma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-13-11

    Originally Posted by The VicarView Post


    Funny, I was unaware that iOS's version of Safari can't load maps.google.com. Must be a change in newer versions, because my first-gen iPod Touch loads it just fine.
    What's that? You're griping because the built-in app has changed, not because you can't go back to using Google? Oh.



    Excuse me, is there a special reason why you have to behave like a total jerk? We had something that worked for the most part of the world. Now we have something that doesn't work at all for the most part of the world. With your fantastic approach we maybe don't need a mail app because we can open gmail, yahoo and most other mail services from Safari.

  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-01-09

    Originally Posted by mojkarmaView Post


    Excuse me, is there a special reason why you have to behave like a total jerk? We had something that worked for the most part of the world. Now we have something that doesn't work at all for the most part of the world. With your fantastic approach we maybe don't need a mail app because we can open gmail, yahoo and most other mail services from Safari.



    You lied by claiming that Apple wasn't giving you a choice. Why would that entitle you to a sympathetic reply instead of having your lie exposed?

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

IDrive cloud backup and sync service

There are a lot of cloud services out there, and nearly all of them can be used for backing up key files and folders. A few dedicated ...

Asus Chromebook C300

When Chromebooks hit the market back in 2011, consumers didn't know what to do with them. The low-cost laptops, powered by Google's Ch ...

Plantronics BackBeat Pro Bluetooth headphones

Looking for a pair of headphones that can do everything a user requires is a task that can take some study. Trying to decide on in-ear ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News