Previously when I was initially hearing about apple’s new Map they will be releasing with iOS 6 I made a post about how hard it would be to compete with existing maps such as Google/Bing maps. The post is mostly comparing Microsoft’s Bing map with Google, however now that the iOs 6 map app is released I just wanted to make a short post highlighting some of initial problems many Apple users are pointing out.
Problems with Imagery
One of the most noticeable problems is actually the one I forgive the most, the imagery for the Apple Maps. Good satellite imagery as well as generation of basemaps is both difficult in the aspect of logistics as it is problematically. It took Microsoft/Bing a little while to get its game together, and back in June they acquired 165 TB of new imagery, the largest acquisition of satellite imagery to date, pushed the map service to a new level of quality. Just check out some of the initial problems users are uncovering while trying to view various locations with the iOS6 map app:
A Denver Blogger commented on the iOS 6 map app’s way of searching for something and compares it with Google map. Here is a short quote:
“Previously, you could type the word “burrito” into the search bar and any local burrito business would show up on the map. RMMR is a Denver company; we have hundreds of restaurants that serve burritos. With iOS 6, that term shows you just a couple places. That’s it.”
The methodology of some one searching map has changed a lot since the old Garmin GPS days where business names and addresses were always known before using the product; now users expect to be able to search for locations with the same inputs as a conventional search engine. I criticized Bing previously for ranking large businesses higher than smaller local business in their search priority, however at least those smaller business eventually showed up albeit just more toward the end of the list. The iOS 6 Map app is worse in the aspect that it does not have many local business even listed, or if they there is even the chance the location is off.
Locations not matching up
Another common problem with the Apple’s iOS 6 Map app is the locations of many address and land marks do not match up with their real world location. Although many of these locations are problems for European and UK users, it provides a glimpse as to how hard it can be to provide a mapping service to an international audience.
Currently Apple is scrambling to hire developers to fix a lot of the issued with their map.
Update: Google has released information stating they have not released a version of google maps for the iOS 6. Possibly because the fallout of the people using apple’s map app could cause people to switch from iPhones to an android phone.