Apple loses its way with maps


Rory compares Apple's new map app with Google maps

Apple and Google used to be very close, with YouTube and Google Maps given pride of place on every iPhone, iPad and iPod. But since the launch of Android, which saw Google become a rival force in the mobile market, they have been increasingly at odds.

Now Apple's new mobile operating system iOS6 has arrived without a YouTube app and, far more controversially, a new mapping system.

Apple is proud of Maps, with its turn-by-turn navigation and its 3D flyover view allowing you to swoop over the landscape.

But early users seem far from convinced that this is an upgrade from Google Maps. Amongst their complaints, the lack of Streetview (now a popular Google feature), little detail of the road system in the UK, and poorer satellite images - including the fact that much of Scotland appears covered in cloud.

More seriously, some places seem to have moved or been lost altogether. Search for Luton, for instance, and you will find it has been relocated to the Devon coast. Manchester United Football Club appears to have relocated to Sale, where it is sharing grounds with a community football club.

I've been contacted by a few people who say the new maps aren't bad for a first try - and that it has taken Google years to perfect their product. But that does not sound like much of an excuse for a company that prides itself on not releasing any product until it is perfect.

Rory Cellan-Jones Article written by Rory Cellan-Jones Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent

Instant translation – no longer sci-fi

Automated translation is no longer the stuff of sci-fi fiction, since Skype launched a beta version of its Translator service.

Read full article

More on This Story

More from Rory

Related Stories


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    There is a Luton in Devon.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Let's face it. Apple produces their own Maps because they had to - they could not let Google have such a high value bargaining power chip. I just don't understand why they did not develop it behind closed doors, and when Google pulled the plug on Maps for iPhone then release it. They could have used it to turn public opinion against Google, instead now they look greedy and, worse, incompetent.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    We are comparing Apple's catch-up attempt to Google's mature product. Now, Google can definitely steal a march if they can, like their youTube app, get a maps app onto the iPhone 5 fairly quickly, while Apple puts effort into making the next maps revision better. I've been using the new Maps app on the iOS beta for iphone 4 and ipad3 for a couple of months now and haven't noticed any major issues.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    There is a village called Luton in Devon!

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    With OpenStreetMaps and NavFree, open source is the way to go with Satellite Navigation. Free and accurate, and, should you find any errors (Manchester United in the wrong place), you can update it yourself. Power to the People!

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    This is clearly a sign of Apple's greed. Sacrificing quality so they can minimise the market for Google. The only person losing out is the Apple product purchaser.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    I wonder when the public will notice that the emperor (Apple) is no longer wearing clothes. Siri doesn't work; iMessage is confusing and sometimes not working at all; PhotoStream is too little too late and, again, confusing; Maps has no public transport integration and not having StreetView is a reason to ditch the iPhone; iTunes in the Cloud is confusing (that word again) and slow.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Wow. Truly truly terrible. Google will make it's own map app soon enough, then we'll be okay again :)

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Sorry but this is the smug crowd trying to compete with the company that has done all the ground work. What do they expect, that users will flock to it just because its fashionable and that it is a dumbed down system................ Oh wait.........

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    So with all the crap they make app developers go through, they decide to push out this poor excuse of an app just because they have a spat with Google? Well the I-phone 5 is just a poor imitation of samsung and htc phones (with their stronger processor and larger screen). Knowing apple as I do, they will make some lame excuse, try to sell off the failure as a feature, then correct it for the 5S!


Page 5 of 5



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.