Apple has released iOS 6 and by far the largest difference in the experience for many is the fact that Google Maps has been replaced by Apple’s own map service. Previously, the mapping app from Apple was powered by Google since 2007, but that has been dropped as acrimony grows between the two companies.
Many early adoptors say the app is attractive but it has some issues. Some have found that searches for an in-town destination can pull up an entirely different city, and there is no built-in information about public transportation.
This move has been a long time coming, as Apple has purchased three mapping companies and Google doubles down on its own mobile OS. There are some new additions to the Apple-powered Maps app including spoken turn-by-turn directions and Flyover, a feature that shows 3-D models of buildings in major cities.
Google Maps is currently available for consumers that don’t upgrade their iPhones and those with iOS 6 will still be able to access it from a web browser. Apple’s maps should become as good as Google’s for most people, said Scott Rafer, chief executive of Lumatic, a company that has developed a transit app for iPhones. “What no one’s talking about is map usage is a lot more important than any of this crazy software [that Google’s maps may have],” Rafer said.
Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said Apple was clearly not the market leader in maps, lagging both Google and Nokia, but that most consumers would not be bothered by what was missing in Apple’s maps and that, on the whole, they would be more pleased by the addition of turn-by-turn navigation. “The granularity of how good mapping is on one platform versus another doesn’t seem like it’s going to matter a lot to consumers,” he said.
Source: New York Times