Apple’s in a bit of hot water. The company recently replaced Google Maps with Apple Maps in the newly release iOS 6. Apple wanted to get rid of Google, and that feat was accomplished. Only, the new Apple Maps is a mess. Entire cities and towns have vanished. The 3D imaging is wonky at times. It’s difficult to find certain locations, and major landmarks and airports are mislabeled. As bad as these problems are, though, there’s a bigger problem. Apple has done away with public transportation directions.
Google’s Maps made it easy to take a bus or metro anywhere. Now that iOS 6 is here, taking public transport is not so simple. Instead of displaying the next available bus or showcasing the right train to take, Apple Maps prompts users to download a separate app. Needless to say, downloading a city’s metro app is not user-friendly. Now, iOS 6 users are demanding that Apple fix the problem. But Apple has bigger fish to fry. The company must now find a way to draw buyers to the iPhone 5.
No More Pull
Apple has been working on Apple Maps for five years. During this time, hype surrounding the new Apple Maps has been huge. Consumers expected a great Maps product. What they go, instead, was a poorly planned alternative to Google Maps. Sadly, Google is not currently offering updated Maps for iOS users. Google has updated Maps for Android, but might not be offering iOS users a Google Maps option. This may drive some former iPhone users directly into Android’s open and waiting arms. In other words, Apple has made a huge corporate mistake.
Why Apple Ditched Google Maps
Much in the way that Walmart is ditching Amazon products, Apple wanted to get rid of its number one competitor: Google. Offer iPhone users a beloved Google product wasn’t going to help Apple detach from Google’s grip. So, Apple created its own Maps app. Foolishly, Apple put competition before users – something that Steve Jobs may not have condoned. Apple was somewhat greedy to assume that the company could compare to Google Maps – a product that took many years to perfect. Clearly, Apple was wrong. Now, though, what can the company do about Apple Maps?
It will be quite awhile before Apple Maps is corrected. Apple’s development team can only work so fast. This means that users in those countries (like certain parts of Canada and the UK) without Apple Maps access will just have to sit tight. Or, switch to Android. The other option here is to wait and see whether or not Google will create an iOS version of Maps.
There are a few positive things about Apple Maps, though. For one, turn-by-turn walking and driving directions is a nice addition. But even those nicely laid out directions are not enough to compensate for the vanishing public transport information. Maybe Apple wants the world to walk more. Or, maybe this was an unfinished and poorly designed product. Either way, Apple has a lot to answer for.