Apple Maps – The Good, The Bad, and The What Were They Thinking
October 2, 2012 | Contributed by: Will Scott
Now that Apple’s iOS6 has landed, more and more iPhone users are updating and learning that the deep integration of Google Maps that they had grown accustomed to has been replaced with the drastically different Apple Maps. For the most part,reviews have been pretty bleak.
The complaints have covered a wide variety of issues like geographical errors, outdated navigational data, absent public transportation routes, misplaced landmarks, and inaccurate search results for local business information. There have even been some potentially dangerous issues like an Irish farm being labeled as an airport that was reported by an Irish government official.
Apple has made a bold move with this new app and they are currently paying the price with this swift and vicious backlash from tech pundits and users alike. However, this venture is by no means a total failure on Apple’s part. While it is true that Apple has released a product that is currently inferior to Google Maps in many ways, they have uniquely positioned themselves against Google by teaming up with partners like Localeze, Acxiom, OpenStreetMap, and Yelp.
The deep integration with Yelp has actually made business listings more dynamic with sleek cover photos, and the ability to check in, which was previously absent. Over time, as Apple gets more content-heavy companies like Yelp to partner and integrate with this product, it could provide users with an enriched experience that might very well rival Google Maps.
Overall, Apple Maps has potential. Apple is already hiring developers to fix some of the larger issues and report a problem features are embedded within business listings so users are able to report issues with relative ease. It is also important to note that Google has had nearly a decade to build their maps product to what it is today. As was recently pointed out on the Search Influence blog post, The Suite Life of Google Plus Local Address Issues, Google has it’s own problems with erroneous business data and painful error correction processes that are hard for business owners to navigate.
Ultimately, any map app is going to require a great deal of tweaking and upkeep on a regular basis, so it will take time for Apple Maps to come into its own. Once it is understood how fast and accurately Apple deals with these issues, a full judgement of Apple Maps can be made.
Will Scott is CEO of Search Influence, a national online marketing firm focused on small and medium-sized businesses, and white label online marketing products for publishers and media partners who serve them. Search Influence is the largest online marketing company on the Gulf Coast and New Orleans’ only Inc. 500 honoree in 2011.