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Monday, September 24, 2012

My take on the Apple Maps brouhaha

As a matter of course, I upgraded by iPhone 4S to iOS 6. There were several new apps included with the upgrade and some of them appeared interesting. I knew beforehand that Apple was dumping Google Maps in favor of its own proprietary map app (say that fast six times) so I wasn't at all surprised at the new replacement.

From reading the news about the Apple iPhone 5 intro and the comments about the new Map app, you would think that Apple had shot itself in the foot and was finally going to lose its position as the most valuable company in history. Oh, and then the product was introduced and the media was so disappointed that Apple only sold 5 million iPhone 5s in the first weekend. Oh dear, what can the matter be? Apple must be losing it. Only more iPhones sold in two days than there are people in the sixth largest city in the U.S. including every single man, woman and child.

So is there some reality here? What am I missing. I have had the new iOS 6 on my iPhone for a couple of days and tried out the map several times. Oh, guess what? It isn't Google maps. But all the handwringers apparently don't use iPhones. Why is that? Google already has a map app for the iPhone it is called Google Local. You can look up anything you want in Local and then switch to Google Maps if you still wish to do so. No sweat. And just in case the rest of the commentators missed using their iPhones, there has always been MapQuest, a good alternative to both Google Maps and Apple's offering.

The real issue is the huge competition going on between Apple and Google. There will be some things that do not survive the battle. In this instance, Google is acting like a sulking child saying, "I want my way or I won't play." Apple is responding by saying we will move our game elsewhere.

When you are the biggest and the best, people will always try to tear you down. Will I look forward to a Google Maps App? Yes, I will download it as soon as it is released. Will I upgrade my iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5? Umm. Not likely anytime soon.

1 comment:

  1. Also...

    You can still go to Google Maps from the web browser, and then download the Google Maps Web App. Providing a direct link to Google Maps from your phone's home screen.

    Little has really changed except that it is no longer the default.

    There are no 'spoken directions' for the web app, but the Google Maps for OS5 didn't have that either. Google Maps for Android has for awhile. And Mapquest's app has it too. Apple clearly saw they couldn't rely on Google to update the iPhone version of Maps in a timely fashion. It made sense to go their own way.

    And in two weeks, the Google Maps Web App will have street view:

    http://www.macgasm.net/2012/09/27/street-view-coming-to-google-maps-web-app-in-two-weeks/

    Rumors are by the end of the year Google will have an app in the App Store. But the Web App is more then sufficient until then.

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