This is my response to the people who argue that there's nothing wrong with the current iOS Maps App. It's not about Navigation, it's all about information. Not everyone uses the Maps app for JUST driving and Turn-By-Turn. I've done plenty of whining in the last 5 days about iOS 6 maps and I'm just about over with all but 3 key things at this point.
- The geographical boundaries (water edges and lack of detail and accuracy) are hugely simplified (and sometimes non-existent) compared to Google Maps. And in most cases even if you zoom in really close...somethings appear and some don't. To me geographical data should be visible at all zoom levels. And for god's-sake make the boundaries accurate. They're using vector graphics for crying out loud, there's no excuse for simplifying these things.
- The building outlines can only be viewed largely at a zoom levels that are unusable in most cases (it's better on the iPad but on the iPhone it's unusable). Meaning you have to zoom in too far to actually see building outlines. Not to mention the way it denotes types of zoning (i.e. hospital, University, governmental boundaries) are inaccurate as well.
- Transit overlays on top of the maps. It's great they they at least show transit stops on iOS 6 maps. But not having the routes overlaid on the maps is a huge annoyance. I could care less about Siri telling me which train route is the best and time tables. Just give me the overlay transit system on the map and I can find my way. In larger, more complex transit systems...showing the layouts of the stations and exit locations is also a huge advantage Google has over iOS Maps. Check Beijing on Google Maps for a great example.
Using 3rd Party Apps is totally counter intuitive to the Apple method of design (meaning the one-stop-shop). And I resent the suggestion to use existing 3rd part Apps as a solution to something that wasn't a problem until this new App was released. If you want us to use 3rd party transit Apps, allow the Dev's to design "Plug-Ins" to the iOS Maps Apps, not the other way around. If I have to switch to a separate App, It's a FAIL in my book and totally pointless.
Being able to interact with multiple layers of information in a Mapping App is what made Google Maps so brilliant.
Google had the vision to see maps as more than just for planning a trip from point A to B. The ability to see all these layers of information allowed for an experience that was so much more than just navigation. It became a tool for exploration and learning (in Google Earth there were Wikipedia links too). With Street View you could quite literally tour the world (where available). There are many more layers of information that made Google maps better (like names of buildings on College Campuses)...but you see my point.
I'd have to say that is really the one reason why I hate iOS Maps. And I guess I shouldn't really be surprised, because everything in this new App is typical Apple's MO. Start Small and get better over time with generational improvements.
That said though, I think the problem is that since Google has been at this for nearly 7+ years and is so flooded with data, people are used to that and we can't wait another 7 years for iOS Maps to catch up. My guess is it won't take another 7 years...perhaps half that, but still that's a long time to wait for Apple to just get ON PAR with Google from now on.
I understand that crowd-sourcing is a necessary evil to improve maps accuracy. But if you look at my bullet-points above, most of what I believe are THE KEY issues with iOS Maps are not something that necessarily needs crowd-sourcing to improve. Just give me an accurate map with vital info. Addresses and location accuracy will come. We all agree even Google still has issues with that. Heck, all Apple had to do is go to the local visitor's center in any major city and get the free city map to see what the vital info is they need to show.
Also solely relying on Yelp! for location data is a mistake. They need multiple sources. If I learned anything in school, it's that you need at least 3 sources for all information you present. You need to cross-reference data for accuracy...triangulation of data if you will. And Apple dropped the ball on that.
Something needs to happen fast. Or there will be a lot more articles about the deficiencies of this App.
Edited by antkm1 - 9/28/12 at 8:19am