Apple Maps one year later: The good, the bad, and the future

“Some love it, some tolerate it, some ridicule it, and some have all but abandoned it,” Richard Devine writes for iMore. “When Apple made the decision to cut their Google-ties and go it alone with their own mapping service, it was a gutsy move. Google Maps makes people feel safe; it’s been around for so long and offered so freely it’s become the de-facto map service for many, many people.”

“Apple Maps launched to something of a fiasco. The issues were well documented, to the point CEO Tim Cook issued a public apology, acknowledging that Maps wasn’t up to scratch, and that they would keep working at it until it was the same quality product you come to expect from Apple,” Devine writes. “That said, all navigation services have problems. It’s incredibly hard to ingest, aggregate, cleanse, and sanitize that much information, and keep it updated. Anyone who uses GPS/sat-nav routinely will come across occasional problems, be it with TomTom, Nokia HERE, Google Maps, Garmin/Navigon, Co-Pilot, Waze, etc. It’s the overall quantity of errors, the egregiousness of them, and the time it takes to fix them that matters.”

Devine writes, “Personally, I’m a Google Maps user, and for very specific reasons. But, I do appreciate that Apple is working hard to refine a product that is still only 12 months old, and is competing against much older, more refined products. Whether or not Apple can overcome initial bad impressions and get people to try them again… is the question.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. Raw, organic sweeteners are “refined” into pure sugar. That does not mean that the “refined” pure sugar is good for you.

      The “refined” way to eat is to eat as if you were wearing white, cotton gloves and not get any stains on them through the course of the meal. That does not mean that the “refined” way to eat is the best. (Personally, I like to eat ribs by using my fingers!)

      Just because something is “refined” does not mean it is what you should use or that it is the best for you.

  1. As with everything else Google, Google maps are cluttered and messy. I have uninstalled Google maps from my iPhone & iPad. There are serious interface problems with Google maps – the biggest of which is the huge search bar obscuring 25% of screen real estate and the less than intuitive sub-menus.

    The biggest gripe I have with Apple maps is the lack of detailing. I don’t know whether that was done on purpose in the name of simplicity but the lack of detailing occasionally makes it difficult to distinguish landmarks or waypoints.

  2. Apple Maps has been an incredible experience for me. I drove from NJ to Florida… using crazy back roads and “trucker” routes and not one mistake the entire travel.

    I’ve been delivering pizza down here in Florida for 4 months now and use it exclusively for my deliveries. 2… maybe 3 hiccups and that’s it.

    I also tried Google Maps but it doesn’t seem to work as well in this area. That said Google has a few features that I think are pretty great too.

    I have reported it a couple of times.
    The whole route has been moved to the SOUTH.
    The new road has been open six months to a year.
    Directions involving downtown I-40 in OKC are totally screwed.

    1. Well, if you lived near Hoover Dam and used Google maps, you’d be complaining to them that the highway over the river goes straight down the sides of a cliff, across the water, then straight up the other side. It’s been that way for over a year and they still haven’t fixed it. Where’s the outrage over THAT?

  4. Remember, Apple replaced google maps which had no verbal turn by turn directions with their own maps with verbal turn by turn directions. google would not supply this change, so Apple had to. I never could safely use Google maps, but Siri made Apple maps usable while keeping my eyes on the road.

  5. Our summer cabin in 84647 is still 8 miles wrong. I have submitted several times. Maps is good in Silicon Valley but not so good in rural areas. Google and Bing both have the cabin address correct. Much work needed. Apple didnot need to get into maps, leave it to the pros.

    1. Excuse me, but Google refused to bring features like spoken turn-by-turn directions (which should be STANDARD on ALL GPS navigation devices) to the iOS Maps. Apple ditching them was a necessary move, and even if the overall quality of the maps took a step back at the time of the change, Apple has continued and will continue to improve the service.

  6. I’m hoping Apple has a major update to Maps with iOS 7, but honestly I don’t see that happening beyond the interface changes because the map data is being updated on the servers constantly.

    Apple Maps desperately needs more Points of Interest and landmarks, but I have noticed more are appearing. Google just has such a lead in this area and such an easy way to update data with all of its advertising, etc.

    1. “easy way to update data with all of its advertising”

      Uh, and this is something you like? I don’t want ads on my maps. Points of interest yes but no ads.

      When google came out with their maps product in beta (for years) it had no points of interest. That data came over many years of users adding it (not advertisers). Apple will catch up in time no doubt and until then, Apple’s maps is a great, easy to use product that works fine for me (in a rural area).

    1. Evidently, you didn’t need to find Timaru Airport. Apple Maps still places it 150 km away, in the middle of the Christchurch suburb of Merivale, a year or so after this error was ridiculed in the local newspaper.

  7. I’ve been using Apple Maps since it was released, and never encountered a problem of any sort. It’s been completely reliable. Ditto for friends and family as well.

    All mapping software has errors, due to their complexity. The problems with Maps were exaggerated, like most Apple issues are.

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