While Apple's new iPhone 5, and many of the features in the new iOS 6, are getting raves, one key app is not. Apple's Maps, which replaced Google Maps in the new smartphone, is getting some thumbs-down.
Apple said it replaced the popular Google app because Google had been updating the Android version of Maps, but not the iOS one. For instance, the iPhone version didn't have turn-by-turn directions or vector-based images, both of which are present on Android.
Siri, Public Transit
The new Apple Maps also benefits from Siri, the intelligent voice agent on the iPhone. With iOS 6, for instance, a user can voice-command Siri, the intelligent voice agent, to provide directions somewhere, and Siri will boot up the app and show the desired navigational information. There has also been favorable feedback about the typically Apple simple screen design and interactivity, its integration with Yelp, and its local search.
But many complaints are being voiced around the Web about Apple's replacement mapping app. As a complex service, involving GPS, live traffic data, continually updated databases of roads and addresses, visual information, and user interaction, a new mapping app could take some time for all the wrinkles to shake out.
The Maps app requires some of its aspects to be filled in by third party developers, such as public transit directions, as there simply is no public transportation component currently for car, bus or pedestrian routes. Clicking on the public transit icon leads the user to the App Store to pay for an app covering public transportation. Google Maps offers public transportation information built-in.
There are complaints that directions cannot be edited, so that, for instance, someone might get directions to a destination and, on the way there, decide to change transportation types midway by getting out of a car to walk. Apple Maps doesn't let users modify the directions mid-way; you have to start over.
Missing or outdated information about this big world is another issue. One blogger calculated that, compared with Google Maps, street view in Apple's Maps has been removed from 41 countries, traffic information from 24 countries, and transit information from 51 countries.
Some users have also noted that, side by side with Google Maps, there's less of such kinds of details as small towns on map images or a complete listing of, say, all nearby Target stores. One blogger in the U.K. found that, for The Birmingham Bullring, one of that county's largest shopping centers, only the Apple Store was shown on Apple Maps. A graphic depiction of freeways in Oakland, Calif., shows some parts of the roads going vertically, and the location of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., is misidentified.
Search functions in the app are also being criticized, in that even large search targets -- say, Canada -- are ending up with "no results found" until Wi-Fi was turned off, for some unknown reason.
Apple's flyover imaging 3D views is getting praise for its visual quality, but not for its practicality. Users are comparing it to Google's Street View, which they say was more useful for actually figuring out which building is which when you're moving along a street, trying to locate a particular address.
Posted: 2012-09-24 @ 9:32pm PT
Apple Maps will be the reason for making the switch to android. Any change should be an upgrade not a downgrade.
Posted: 2012-09-22 @ 3:57am PT
My 87 year old father bought the ipad because the maps and street view were so easy for him to use and he loved it. The new system is no use to him and he has only had the ipad for 3days!
Posted: 2012-09-20 @ 11:34pm PT
Definitely missing google maps. I use streetview a lot and now cannot get it in iOS 6.
Posted: 2012-09-20 @ 7:34pm PT
I have already told everyone I know not to upgrade to ios6 until Apple allow Google Maps back on to their devices. I miss the other transport methods and most of all Street View which is not available on the website either due to no Flash support. Apple's alternative offering is simply not fit for purpose yet and I am angry that they have not even given us the choice by allowing both Map apps to run side by side and let the customers decide which one they prefer. I just really wish I had not upgraded now. Hurry up Google and make us a new app please.
Posted: 2012-09-20 @ 5:53pm PT
The worst thing about Apple Maps is the absence of Street View. I am one who goes to a lot of unfamiliar places, and I find Street View very helpful in seeing what a place looks like before I get there, so that way, I know what to look out for on the road. Only ground-level Street View does that, not any aerial views.
I am purposely not updating to iOS 6 until Apple allows Google Maps the be available the way it was before. A perfect compromise would be to enable Apple devices to carry both so users can have the best of both worlds.
Posted: 2012-09-20 @ 5:17pm PT
I am trying to see if I can download google maps. I like having the street view.
Posted: 2012-09-20 @ 5:16pm PT
I usually download new iOS versions on first day available but will be holding off on iOS 6 until I am happy with the new Apple Maps functionality.