Thoughts on Maps

Why is it that people have some kind of perverse need to see a person (or company) rise up, against the odds, the once they are considered the top of their field, the same people take delight in pointing out every flaw, no matter how minor, in an almost venomous attack? After hearing all of the hubbub on the internet about how bad the Apple maps are, I wanted to chime in and put in my two cents.

  • First – Google is one of Apple’s main competitors. I never thought it made sense for Apple to allow its DIRECT competitor to create applications that were pre-installed on their phone. (In addition to Google Maps, the YouTube application was also not pre-installed with the OS, However you can still download it from the App store).I am sure this was in the works prior to Steve Jobs death. As revealed in his autobiography Steve said “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” That being said it is possible that Steve had started the wheels in motion prior to his death.
  • Secondly – While the Apple maps application isn’t as feature rich as the Google maps application. The thing to remember this is only Apples first shot at maps. I am sure that the future iterations will add some of the features that are missing. While the Maps application may lack some of the Google functionality such as “Street view”, I’m quite sure that ability will be added in future releases.
  • Lastly, with all of the enhancements in iOS 6, (over 200 new features) the only thing that everyone is focusing on is a mapping application. Instead of focusing on the improvements in Siri, or any other of the cool new additions, it appears that for some reason people tend to not focus on the improvements but would rather complain about the Maps application not being as good as Google Maps.

I on the other hand, am an optimist when it comes to software. Every software company releases the first iteration that is missing some feature that you think “it would be great if it could do this or that”. Instead of thinking “This is the first try and it will be better in the next evolution.”

As far as Maps go, I have to admit, I really don’t use my iPhone as a GPS or any of the “heavy duty” map tools, so it’s really hard for me to be a map snob. So I think for the first try it is acceptable, and the next revision will be better.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

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4 thoughts on “Thoughts on Maps

  1. People are complaining about Maps because it’s clear that Apple’s attempt at Maps is a Beta and not release quality. In the face of the release problems that Apple has had with software lately, people are getting tired of forced Beta programs. Apple could solve this problem if they did better quality control and offered an open Beta program that allowed for people to report issues they have before they declared software “release.”

    You shouldn’t be sad though. People are complaining that Siri is giving the wrong weather for locations as well.

    • Every vendor does that. Remember Millennium? Vista? Remember it took Google 10 years to get their maps to where they are today. Tim Cook addressed this yesterday.(). How is this problem different from any problems on the Android platform? I’ll tell you, when a problem is found in Android, nothing can be done about it, unless you are willing to root your phone, because you are at the mercy of the carriers as to whether or not you get the update. So tell me, how is the “openness” of Android better then the “Walled Garden” of Apple? At least I can update my phone when a new release comes out.

  2. The time to find out just how “beta” something is, is NOT when you really really need it to work. Apple should have included a popup on first time use that said, This Maps app is in BETA. Please help us improve it, but in the meantime, if you can’t afford to get lost, we recommend you use something else.” Yeah, I know, they wouldn’t do that. And there was no warning on first use that it was beta. But when I really need an accurate map, I use BING. The old maps program wasn’t fabulous.

    • Nancy, I agree with you. The thing is with Apple’s track record, maps will get better. It took Google 10 years to get their maps to where they are now.

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