With the launch of iPhone 5, Apple also introduced the sequel of its mobile operating system, the iOS 6. In iOS 6, Apple has basically stripped the OS of any Google elements, including the iconic Google Maps that has been on the home screen since the launch of first iPhone. The update brings plethora of other new features which are great, but Apple has replaced the default mapping app from Google Maps to its own mapping service, Apple Maps.
Technically, Apple users are forced to switch the app they use for maps. It’s the first version of Apple Maps, and there are a lot of imperfections. The service has been criticized a lot and several users have reported that it doesn’t deliver the information they are looking for, and is not reliable to sum it up. Several companies and organizations including Nokia, Motorola and Nasa have taken advantage of the situation to make fun of Apple Maps and market their own products in some cases. Apple made a surprising move few days back when it came out and admitted that its mapping product isn’t reliable as it was thought to be, and suggested various alternatives while they work on a fix.
This is what Tim Cook had to say
“While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.”
Things are currently challenging for Apple because the reliable Google Maps is no longer available to download for iOS users. According to the Cupertino based technology giant, it wanted to provide customers with turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps, so developing a new version of maps from ground up was necessary, but that clearly isn’t working as expected. For the new maps, Apple has teamed up with TomTom for their data set, which is a bit weak when compared to what Google is equipped with. After all these criticism, TomTom has responded saying that it just responsible for “foundation” of Apple Maps and has no hands in deciding the final user experience. It’s worth noting that TomTom’s own iOS application works totally fine. Also, the word has it that Apple still had a year long contract left with
Google to use Google Maps on their iOS, but Apple chose not to use it, which has of course converted into a lot of frustration for the users.
After Cook’s statement the other day, Apple has made another surprising move. Previously, Apple described its maps application as “the most powerful mapping service ever” on its website, but after all the controversy surrounding the app, it has erased those words and replaced it with the statement, “All in a beautiful vector-based interface that scales and zooms with ease.”
Apple has been hiring Google Maps veterans in a bid to fix its own mapping app and is looking forward to fix it in the next update. What are your thoughts on this?