Apple Maps - They're Working On It

I've been pretty outspoken about my disappointment in Apple Maps. Over the course of about 2 weeks, I went from excitement about the new app, to grudging acceptance, to crestfallen confusion. How could Apple release such a clearly inferior product - and kick the better option, Google, off the iPhone?

And then Google released a vastly-improved Google Maps for iOS, and everyone was happy and forgot all about ol' Apple Maps.

There was immediately some speculation that this was Apple's plan all along - just create SOME competition for Google Maps, and the team at Mountain View will finally be motivated to get their iOS Maps app on par with their Android product.

Well, if that was the plan, it worked. The new Google Maps app has turn-by-turn navigation, a radically upgraded interface - it's close to perfect.

In fact, Google has taken one cue from Apple Maps - drag down with 2 fingers and the map changes to a 3D perspective.

So, that's it, then! We can all put Apple Maps in our "stock" or "utilities" folder, with Compass and Voice Memos, and we'll all agree never to speak of it again! 

Well, maybe not. Apple isn't walking away so quickly.

They're adding Flyover to more cities (ever wanted to fly around Albany, NY or Indianapolis, IN? No? Well, if you DID want to, you could!), and generally updating map data and points of interest.

It's slow going, obviously - it's a big world. But for a case in point, a funny thing happened to me with Apple Maps a few weeks ago.

TUAW had an article discussing Maps. I left a comment talking about how Maps had sent me to the wrong location during the Ryder Cup, and I checked that route again - noting that they still hadn't fixed the error.

Literally one hour later, the error was fixed.

So clearly, Apple has dedicated some resources to fixing Maps - or at least trying to close the gap with Google.

In the meantime, we get the best of all worlds.

For the most part, anyway. Apple, if you're still listening - you need to let us set Google Maps as the default maps app! I know that Google is developing workarounds for other apps to go directly to their map data... but why make us all go to such lengths?

There's no shame in admitting that this is a competition, and that right now, you're behind. Leave Maps as the initial default map, but allow users to select Google Maps if they so choose.

I guarantee you that you'd engender more goodwill toward your app if you stopped forcing us to use it.


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