Apple has a bad reputation with maps. Seven years ago, Apple replaced Google Maps with its own Apple Maps service in iOS 6, and the rollout was nothing short of disastrous. Apple Maps was inferior to Google Maps in every way: features, stability, accuracy, performance—you name it. It took two years to really clear out the bugs, and Apple has spent the last several years languishing behind Google with a dated, less-detailed data set and a dearth of features. About the only thing Apple Maps has going for it is that it respects your privacy.
With iOS 13, Apple Maps may finally turn the corner. Whether it will be a superior mapping solution to Google Maps remains to be seen, but the beleaguered service may finally close the gap enough that you won’t need to bother with installing the Google Maps app anymore. Here’s what you can expect from Apple Maps with the rollout of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 this fall.
MacDailyNews Take: Massively-improved, homegrown mapping data is the key here. Apple realized that if they wanted it done right, they had to do it themselves. (It’s always better to roll your own, as Cheech and Chong said more than once.) Hence, Apple has been driving and flying around the world gathering mapping data for years now. iOS 13 begins to widelydeliver to users the fruits of Apple’s labor.
It’s too bad about Maps reputation, but that’s the power of the first impression:
No matter what Apple does, no matter how much better they make Apple Maps, it will now always “suck” in the minds of a large segment of the population… Apple seems to have learned nothing from the Newton: First impressions mean everything. Apple’s Maps have been Newtonized. All that’s missing is the Doonesbury strip… Here’s a little hint for the future: Everything that requires widespread customer use to develop a rich database before the product becomes fully usable should be clearly labeled “beta” upon release. Apple did it with Siri, but they forgot to do it with Maps. Had Apple been smart enough to simply place a “beta” tag on Maps, all of this rigamarole would never have occurred. — MacDailyNews Take, September 28, 2012
One thing Apple will have a difficult time buying: Respect for their Maps app, no matter how superior it gets over all others (and many parts of it already are – and even were at launch). It’s unfortunate, but first impressions were so badly botched by Apple (a simple “beta” tag would have sufficed) that it will take a sustained herculean effort to reverse the public misperception of Maps as inferior to Google Maps. — MacDailyNews, September 16, 2015