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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  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 69.

    After they fix maps, I hope they fix the terrible IOS 6 Music App which is now almost unreadable. The new typeface is so grey that it is very difficult to read the music lists. The old version was so much easier to scan the lists because the typeface was black against a white background. Now there is no contrast.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 68.

    Is it really a surprise there is an issue between Apple and the company who owns Android. Wonder what was happening behind the scenes. Maybe that's why this was rushed out. Of course Android user's have never had a problem with their phones or apps.

    => 57 Hope you are not on Windows - they seem to want to update my laptop OS every few days as do Android with their own installed apps.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 67.

    Apple is not yet so powerful that they can start changing town names. We now have Duncaster in South Yorkshire.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 66.

    Steve would never have allowed this to happen.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 65.

    I'm sure Apple will make up for its poor performance loses by simply suing someone else.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 64.

    There should be competition in any market. An alternative to Google Maps offers choice to the consumer. Where Apple err is that they offer no competition and force their user base to use their, and only their, App. In other words this is anti-competitive and of no use to the consumer.

    The bigger picture is tech companies seeking a monopoly over distribution, display, and charging.

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 63.

    #27 Roland

    At least iYouTube would be responsible enough not to publish a video that has led to deaths and protests around the world.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 62.

    Apple, like any other company is trying to lock consumers into their ecosystem. However, doesn't matter how Apple tries to gloss over this. In this particular instance their product is just not very good.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 61.

    I think all the critisism is to do with the satellite images. I have found the road view to be just as accurate as the google maps it replaces. I am sure it will improve with time, Google Maps too was poor when it first came out and took years to improve.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 60.

    As an Apple fan I'm speechless, this is the crappiest map product I've had the miss fortune to use, its more out of date than my 5 year old Garmin Car Sat Nav. How could a company like Apple release this Dross

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 59.

    I think the BBC needs to do its reasearch. Luton is in fact in Devon. Its a small hamlet just north of Newton Abbot. Pronounced 'lut-on' rather than the more famous 'loot-on' . So really what is the fuss about!?!?!

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 58.

    Apple has never shied away from criticising others, that's been the basis of their advertising ever since the Mac was launched.

    And they didn't launch this to make the experience better for users; anyone who thinks that is hopelessly naive. They did this to control a potentially lucrative application on their own locked-in ecosystem.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 57.

    Apple has responded to fierce criticism of its mapping software, saying the application will "improve".
    Great. Launch first, improve later. Did Apple not hear of design reviews? Is the hardware also a "work in progress"? I wouldn't treat paying customers this way!

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 56.

    Oh look, *another* tech article on this issue. No doubt followed by others later in the day on the release of the iPhone in general. *sigh* If only phones that were good value, technically innovative, well specced and "just worked" got so much coverage.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 55.

    The point isn't that Apple's new maps aren't this or that. The point is, they control what you can do with YOUR phone. They've decided that you can't have a YouTube app, you can't have a Google Maps app. That is why I will never go for an iPhone, I like being able to decide what I can or can't put on my phone. Someone mentioned a nice 'alternative' to Google maps - it's not an alternative. ;)

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 54.

    The new maps aren't brilliant I admit, but just download and use the Google Earth App. Gives you street view etc.
    I'm sure it will soon be sorted, besides they have to do something wrong to give the Apple bashers some fun, don't they!

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 53.

    Has anyone reported the similar errors that exist in Google Maps?
    It is only because Apple Maps is new that it is under such close scrutiny, try checking some things on Google Maps and you will find poor images, cloud cover, wrong maps. My street name was wrong on Google since it was launched, my street has been here 30 years, the maps were only corrected very recently, even though I reported it.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 52.

    I cant believe that Apple fans will still try to justify this ??? Sure, Google maps took a while to get right but there wasnt a suitable alternative already in the marketplace !! Only Apple fans could overlook things like phone signal problems (4S) and a downgrade on maps (iOS6). Any other company and there would be uproar followed by poor sales.

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 51.

    Who cares that Apple Maps has loads of errors! Google Maps wasnt exactly spot on at start.
    I actually quite like Apple Maps, I live out in the sticks and everything is fine. If everyone still wants google maps, go into Safari, go to their website and create a homescreen shortcut to it. Then it'll be like google maps app again.

 

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