When Apple showed off iOS 6′s new mapping solution, the audience oohed and aahed. Yes it’s beautiful visually, but there’s one teensy weensy problem with it– it doesn’t work. The beta version gave everyone who dared try it a massive headache and the “improvements” that have been made since then are less than adequate.
Google has worked on perfecting the user experience of Google Maps for years. Their resources are huge and they’ve expanded what you can do with the app. Essentially, they’ve made life a lot easier for the directionally challenged. Apple’s mapping solution just doesn’t have the infrastructure of Google Maps. Initial criticisms have been harsh and they’re justified.
If iOS 6 Maps can’t even find a restaurant when you’re 200 meters away from it, that’s a serious problem. Apple’s new mapping system has even directed people to locations in different states when it’s obvious to the app that you’re currently standing in New York, not say Montana. Exact addresses have been reported malfunctioning as well. How is this possible? And more importantly, if you just upgraded to iOS 6 this morning and didn’t know, what can you do?
You could obviously try out another map app or hand write all your directions before you leave the house (I know you won’t). You could fork over $44.99 for Garmin StreetPilot Onboard USA or $39.99 for Navigon both of which work well on iOS and will get you where you need to go, but who on earth will pay that much for an app?
Or you could try out this nifty trick PhoneArena came up with to get Google Maps back (sort of) via the mobile web version of Maps. All you need is an internet connection.
Personally, I think this battle between Google and Apple, and well, Apple and Every-Other-Company-Who-Is-Competitive, is really annoying and infantile. In the end, only the consumers are being hurt. Exhibit A: Google Maps vs. iOS 6 Maps.