The Hills Are Greener: Apple Losing Their Way With iOS 6 Maps?

The Hills Are Greener: Apple Losing Their Way With iOS 6 Maps?

Oct 1, 2012

Apple has a small mess on their hands with iOS 6's Maps. The issue is rather simple: the maps are a downgrade from Google Maps. Many of the maps are actually significant downgrades in quality and detail, with many locations misplaced. While there are new features like turn-by-turn navigation built-in and 3D fly-by maps, the public consensus is seemingly that they're a dud. CEO Tim Cook saw it necessary to actually apologize for the snafu, and actually recommended that users use third-party apps while they try to approve them.

Now, while this is something that is definitely bad for iOS users because they lose the native app integration of Google Maps, I think that trying to to mine it for Android superiority will only lead to diminishing returns. One, Apple will make it better. There are reports that they're even working to hire ex-Google-Maps developers to improve iOS maps right away. Of course, it will take some time before the maps reach the level that users were accustomed to; after all, Google's been at this for years.

The ultimate takeaway from this is that Apple is willing to truly go thermonuclear to separate from Android. And it's getting to a point where Apple is willing to hurt themselves by inconveniencing users in the short-term to try and get some independence. Long-term, will it be worth it? Definitely. Google is at a position of strength with Android to be able to offer a multitude of service to expand out the operating system. Apple enhancing the services they offer is a long-term strength for them. But in continuing their war on Google and Android, they need to be careful, after all: driving customers to a rival platform due to these kinds of failings may be how they ultimately lose their position of dominance. No one stays on top forever, and I get this inescapable feeling like these failings are where Apple's decline has begun.

Carter Dotson
Carter Dotson, editor of Android Rundown, has been covering Android since late 2010, and the mobile industry as a whole since 2009. Originally from Texas, he has recently moved to Chicago. He loves both iOS and Android for what they are - we can all get along!
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