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

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  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 30.

    Almost starting to feel sorry for all the apple fans out there- a spectacular own goal by Apple in ditching Googlemaps.
    They never saw that one coming..... must've been using apple maps!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 29.

    Apple uses a WALLED GARDEN.

    This is fundamentally against the interests of its customers and the industry in general and is fundamentally anticompetitive.

    I wonder if US anti trust laws can be used to break up Apple?

    The map problem is all about making the walls higher!

    I conclude that Apple must be broken up.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 28.

    This really is disgraceful. I'm not interested in Apple's feud with Google. I do not expect my phone to take a backward step in this way and I think this will do enormous damage to Apple's reputation. I can only hope they remove this awful software in the next 24 hours. If I had not already ordered my iPhone 5 I would switch to Android. I note that Apple's share price is falling

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 27.

    #9.Stephan
    So it will be interesting how the relationship with Facebook pans out, given that Apple has already dropped the Ping social network service...

    Also given the experience with Maps, it doesn't bode well for iYouTube ...

  • rate this
    +13

    Comment number 26.

    Surprise surprise some of the iSheep are trying to defend the phone. Even Tom Tom are trying to distance themselves from it. Its all part of a very poor phone. Not enough money spent on R&D to make as much money as possible, and it shows. None of the specs of the phone are the best against the opposition in any area. Its not the best phone out there and will never be close to being

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 25.

    Some months ago I was shopping in a local computer store (a international chain) for a GPS to use in my car. I was told that TOM-TOM GPS units were no longer being stocked because the maps had too many errors.

    Apple! You get what you pay for ! My guess is TOM-TOM is running into difficulty, and made a real sales pitch to APPLE. What a coup for TOM-TOM, what a disaster for iPhone users

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 24.

    I got my car back from the garage today. Now it has only three wheels. The mechanic said it was the latest improvement. I asked if I could have my car back as it was before, but he said 'not possible mate' ....

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 23.

    I used Google Maps to travel by train from the South Coast to various businesses all over Central London about five times a month. It told me what train to get, times, then which tube, then walking directions to my client all in one search, then I could street view en route to familiarise myself with the area. I might as well buy an A-Z and a timetable now! 'Those' shoes have yet to be filled.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 22.

    I like my iPhone. I have no other Apple product. I'm no fanboy but can be objective about most things I buy. iPhones are expensive. Many would say we pay a premium for such a smart phone so, as a consumer, I really want to know I'm being looked after. Apple has utterly failed with Maps and it's making me think twice. Seeing as I'm about to start two new contracts, it should've been "in the bag".

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 21.

    Very disappointed with the new maps and, frankly, the whole iOS6 upgrade. A poor effort from Apple.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 20.

    As soon as I knew Tom Tom was being used I knew not to upgrade. I have been holding off upgrading my iPhone 4 to a 5 and this is the final push I needed to move back to Nokia and its windows 8 phone. This from a Mac, iPad, iPod,apple tv x 3 user. Steve jobs must be turning in his grave.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 19.

    Rory - try looking at Nottingham on satellite view... it's a cloudy blurry mess. A total disgrace by Apple and Google can't bring out a new app quick enough in my opinion.

    It's seriously dented my view of Apple, and as an owner of an iPhone 4 (5 being delivered tomorrow) and an iPad 3 I am really annoyed.

    Not sure why they even bothered launching this, it's the biggest embarrassment to Apple..

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 18.

    This is what happens when you don't have Steve Jobs controlling everything and telling people to do it right or else.
    They just got lazy and hoped no-one will notice.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 17.

    The other problem is that an iPhone needs network access to download the maps - a problem in remote or busy places. The Nokia solution of having map already on the phone makes so much more sense.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 16.

    This is slightly beyond the subject, but people did not mind if Apple coerced their clients into personal Apple eco-systems (Mac, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, iTunes work best together). But now they are trying to force a universal eco-system, with many "social" functionalities only working if your friends also have Apple products (PhotoStream, iMessage, Find your Friends, etc). THAT is turning me off.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 15.

    TomTom data's fine, it's Apples implementation of it which is wrong. The thing is - they have planned this for a while, and have had beta testers using iOS6 for a while - there is no excuse when you're the richest company in the world. You can't expect users to do free beta testing. Apple are renound for refining a product and making it simple to use, however this does not even work.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 14.

    Its a good time to invest in companies who make A-Z maps...

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 13.

    It's what used to be called a high cost of entry product.

    The scary thing is that so many people apparently expected it to be on a par with the market leader, when the one thing you can say with confidence about the Apple market is that it didn't need to be.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 12.

    "The new maps aren't bad for a first try"? I expect iOS releases to get progressively better, not worse. Losing Street View capability is a big deal for me, and the terrible quality of the satellite imagery would be hilarious if it weren't so tragic. And let's not talk about the "improved" Siri. I'm only glad I haven't spent good money upgrading to the iPhone 5 for the extra row of icons.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 11.

    It took Google 7 years to get to where it is, an it still have many inaccurate details. Apple, either using Tom-tom and Yelp databases seem to have 7 years of catching up to do just equal Google Maps as it current is, let alone what they will be line in 7 years time. An Apple has not got a history of keeping its cloud services on-line or updated.

 

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