Apple’s smart Maps maneuver

“It might seem as if Apple chose its iOS 6 release last week to practice the biblical directive to love one’s enemy. For, by ejecting Google Maps from updated iPads and iPhones, Apple hath caused glorious comparisons to shine upon its foe,” Brad Hill writes for Engadget. “If most people were unaware of comparative feature sets and quality aspects that distinguish Google Maps from Apple Maps, every tech-loving person on God’s earth is an expert now.”

“I argue that replacing Google Maps with Apple Maps was shrewd, inevitable and an indicator that Apple understands the true battle it wages,” Hill writes. “By grafting its own Maps product into the nervous system of its mobile OS, Apple accomplishes two important things. First, the company’s primary mobile competitor is exorcised from the main body. This outcome might be viewed as the remedy to an ailment that never should have occurred… Second, Apple positions itself to harvest future local ad revenue. Apple Maps, despite its spatial confusions, has 25 percent more business listings (100 million of them) than Google does.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Joe Architect” for the heads up.]

69 Comments

    1. Yes, and this is a GREAT opportunity for all the newbie Apple users and tech journalists to watch how Apple does its work.

      Apple Maps v1.0 has Version 1.0 Syndrome, as expected by anyone professionally working in technology.

      Apple Maps v2.0, oh look, it’s brilliant. Google used to do maps?

      For those with short memories within the Mac community, think about the anti-Apple rants during the PowerBook days about how thick and heavy they were but this POS Wintel laptop is thinner and lighter. Then Apple when MacBook and released the MacBook Air. Who’s playing catch up now? Count the number of ‘Ultrabook™’ species released into the wild this past year. And how many of them made any money or got positive reviews?

      See what I mean? That’s what Apple does.

      1. You’re probably right, and this is just being 1.0 Syndrome that will go away soon.

        Still, with Apple, you can usually just talk about how great their released products are. When you start talking about how the next version is going fix what everyone hates about the current version, then proceed to brag about how awesome the unreleased version is going to be, you start sounding like Microsoft.

        1. There is a classic ‘Version 2.0 Syndrome’ as well where everything but the kitchen sink is thrown in, resulting in BLOAT. But Apple has rarely had trouble with it.

          With Microsoft, the non-a-joke is that one should wait for version 3, or Service Pack 3, etc.

  1. The Map App Apple developed that is based on developer input will actually cause greater disruption to Google than Apple could. Since local developers know the area and needs better than a large geographic challenged Google. At first there is pain, later there will be recovery, and all will be complete- another torn in Google’s soul.

    1. torn-you meant thorn?

      Wired Magazine famously depicted Apple wearing a crown of thorns in 1997.

      And now Apple has turned it into an exciting new reality show, Game of Thorns. This year’s guest: Research in Motion.

      I can hardly wait for the Google episode.

  2. It cuts both ways. I found a spot where Google gets it wrong, Maps gets it right.

    Five Guys in El Segundo CA is pinned at a Ralph’s Market about a half block north of where Maps shows the correct location.

        1. The answer to your question goes back to the days of Herr Wolfgang Bush who upgraded new clear weapons with the “Aim for Bin Hit Saddam” guidance system. Ever since then you have to use a big massive long hard upon launch cause you may not hit the right time zone… Not to mention that they have a tendency to go off prematurely.

        1. Never said it didn’t need improvement. All programs like this do. I just don’t think it’s as awful as it’s being portrayed and it’s much better then Google’s maps when it first came out.

  3. I haven’t commented in a while, but this maps thing has me a little annoyed. I’ve been using apple maps since the first iOS 6 beta and I’ve got say that I haven’t had a single issue with directions or anything.
    The note about the business listings is correct btw, by using yelp, apple has been able to get very current information on local businesses. And that is useful. Also, I have found that the turn by turn directions work flawlessly.
    I don’t know what some of these people are talking about to he honest, maybe in some countries the mapping data isn’t as accurate as others, but that can easily be fixed.
    All I can say is, do I miss street view? Yes, that is useful sometimes. But, overall the apple maps app is better than the one that proceeded it. So I’m a pretty happy customer righ now.

    1. Same here. I think a lot of the griping might be coming from countries other than the US. But I think most of the bitching and moaning is coming from people with Android phones.

      Considering Apple has about half of Google’s market cap in cash, methinks Apple will devote considerable resources to their maps if for no other reason than to save face.

      As for myself, I’m quite pleased with Apple maps. I use maps 2X or more every day, and it’s working great. I think the best thing is I don’t have to hear, “recalculating” every time I take a side street, as other turn-by-turn apps seem to love doing. It gets annoying. The directions adjust very fast, and Siri just carries on with the new route like nothing happened.

      1. Not only does it recalculate well, it’s predicted arrival time is spot on. I always had to play with the Edit button on Google to get an estimated travel time. I’d spend more time with that than actually following the directions.

      2. Not true.
        Most of the griping comes from professional Apple naysayers and the mockery comes from Apple’s competitors who look for any opportunity to draw attention away from their own products’ many serious shortcomings.
        Foreign mapping is a lesser priority to Apple in the sense that it pays to focus on its largest markets first. That is why they made an extra special effort in mapping china, I understand.

      1. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE, RIGHT?

        Because they’re “foreigners” so they don’t count?

        The mapping data might not be as accurate? But could be easily fixed? So why didn’t they fix it already?

        TomTom, a Dutch company, has been providing accurate GPS mapping for more than a decade to Europe and the rest of the world; why’s it not working properly in Apple Maps outside the USA (although I know iOS device owning people in NYC who think Apple Maps sucks too, so it’s not perfect in USA either)?

        The satellite imagery outside USA is truly terrible, half of Europe is missing and the stuff that’s there is old, low resolution, black and white ans cloud covered; even Bing Maps is better, and Microsoft just dropped that in Windows Phone 8 for the Nokia Maps instead.

        1. Apple has a lot of work to cover the known world in accurate up to date mapping data. I’m not convinced that’s even really possible, but Apple will improve its offering over seas.

          The histrionics over this issue is a bit much. It takes time to build maps and Apple has gotten off to a great start. Everyone will benefit from Apples efforts, even Android sufferers. Even they stand to benefit as competition here will motivate all players to up their game.

        2. No, they seem to be getting the directions from Tom Tom and the map and 2D-3D data from elsewhere.

          In my neck of the woods, Manchester UK, the maps are amazing and more upto date than any Google alternative.

          Just look at the ‘new’ BBC building in Apple Maps…. err oh you can’t in Google maps as it’s still undercontruction.

          Bing maps are now irrelavent and so are they’re terrible directions (which they bought from multimap).

    2. Agreed. I frequently had errors in Google Maps, but I used Apple Maps this weekend for a 4 hour back-roads trip for my son’s high school football game and the turn-by-turn worked flawlessly.

      Plus, in searching for a pizza place after the game, I was able to easily eliminate some choices due to lower ratings, and others because they were already closed (thanks Yelp!). I also like the UI, especially with a constantly updated ETA and miles to go to destination, not just overall mileage for the entire route.

      1. Unacceptable, perhaps. But there is only one horse in each race. In iOS, you get Maps (excepting usage of the web interface), in Android, you get Google with no options to use Maps at all. Both platforms will have to improve to support the platform, which is the real goal.

        Once maps have matured, and Google needs maturing too, some percentage of the potential users of a platform will make their choice based on WHICH maps app works better.

        1. Jeez! An honest objective view on this site. What’s the world coming to? I’ve had very few problems with Google maps. And Street View simply can’t be replaced by 3-D. I don’t believe that the new Apple maps are as bad as some people say but it’s definitely a work in progress. Like some, I wonder why Apple didn’t announce the maps as a beta? It certainly isn’t a finished product. Very sub standard and very Apple like. But there’s no rule that says you have to use Apple maps (unless you’re a fanboy). There are third-party products that are quite nice. Besides, I just want the stock price to go up tomorrow. Maps are the least of my worries. And remember, Apple can’t do everything perfectly. We need to leave room so other companies can survive. Especially the little guys.

  4. This user “outrage” is silly on multiply fronts:
    1. Users don’t accept reality that Apple HAD to do this. Google hasn’t been sharing map technology with the iOS platform. Keeping all the bells and whistles for Android. Apple could NOT continue to allow a competing 3rd party, no matter how good they are to control the ultimate functioning of such an important mobile component.
    2. Apple, knowing they were going to be in this fix, began several years ago to play catch up. They are not there, but they couldn’t get from where they are to where they want to be without getting user data from their own app.
    3. Google maps are still easily available via the web. I know it’s not the same, but there is still Street View and other Google exclusive available with only minor inconvenience.

    My recommendation is to be a partner in improving the iOS ecosystem by using Apple’s Map app as much as possible. Every iOS update will probably show improvements.

    1. Sorry, but most users don’t give a crap that Apple “had to do this”. They expect Apple products to just work.

      Apple has been using this as part of their marketing message for a long time. Are the customers at fault for believing it?

      Also, do you really expect the average consumer to closely follow and understand the business strategy and tactical maneuvers of the tech industry?

      Apple chose to focus on Maps as a major new feature when announcing both iOS 6 and the new iPhone. People have the right to be pisses if it doesn’t work, given that once you don’t have the option to keep google maps if that worked better for you

  5. Not that I want to use google maps, but just for shits and giggles, I tried to get street view to work on my iPad with iOS 6. And couldn’t. Seems either the mobile or classic version with safari doesn’t let you drop a pin and wouldn’t accept text in the search bar, so to me as far as on an iOS 6 device, google maps is truly dead dead dead.

  6. Maps is an unmitigated disaster from a consumer standpoint. Withdrawing Google maps from iOS is a move of Microsoftian proportions that only Steve Ballmer could think of. Perhaps Tim Cook should be known as Tim Ballmer from now on.

    And have you seen how they have degraded the music app on the iPhone & iPad. Everything is a uniform shade of dreary grey like Apple has embraced the communist architecture of Eastern Europe. Terrible UI. Terrible design.

    1. That ‘dreary grey’ is what we call good design. I like the changes, easier on the eye.
      And Maps works fine.
      A disaster is the 911 cover-up and murder of 3000 of its own citizens; Maps is hardly that. Works well for me.

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