Apple have come under heavy criticism for replacing Google Maps in iOS 6 with their own in-house mapping application. From now on all iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch devices capable of running iOS 6 will ship with Apple’s native mapping service. Google Maps has been stripped out completely.
In an uncharacteristic move, Apple have chosen to replace what is arguably the world’s best mapping system, with an inferior, half-baked alternative. Many people have been shocked by just how poor the experience is compared to Google’s offering and left wondering why there was any need to rush out a competing service that’s nowhere near ready for prime-time.
Much of Apple’s map data is out of date, inaccurate, low resolution and incomplete. Some users have noticed towns and villages displayed up to a mile out of position. Some smaller roads and lanes do not even have road names and numbers here in the UK. It seems Apple’s data is months, if not years out of date and only partially complete.
Google’s maps, on the other hand, provide concise, reliable and more accurate map data. Rich in detail and far more up to date. Not only that, but users can submit corrections and new mapping data simply by using Google’s online Map Maker software.
It’s understandable that Apple would want to replace Google Maps with its own service eventually, after all the two companies are competing for the same mobile marketshare, but exactly why Apple chose to replace Google Maps with such a poor alternative is a mystery. Why the big rush? If anything, customers who rely on Google Maps on iOS are more likely to switch to Android now, rather than put up with such a terrible replacement.
Google have every intention of delivering a stand alone Google Maps app for iOS in the near future, saving users from Apple’s awful replacement. In my opinion, they would be wise to hold off for a while, as frustrated iPhone and iPad customers who rely on Google maps look to Android as an alternative.
Expect Apple to roll out iOS map updates thick and fast as they rush to appease disgruntled users. If you are one of them, you can always bookmark maps.google.com in your browser of choice until something better comes along.