No doubt you’ve already heard about the tragic mess that is Apple’s iOS 6 Maps. In fact, you’ve probably already gotten lost on the way to something important thanks to Apple’s faithful geographical guidance.
But just in case you want to get down to the core issues here, and don’t feel like wading through article after article, I thought I’d just tell you about it, to your face.
In short, Apple announced that it was ditching Google Maps with iOS 6, opting instead to use a homemade offering as the default maps application on iOS devices. Little did we know at the time, but Google actually had a year left on its contract to be the default app for Apple.
Apparently, the relationship disintegrated due to Google’s unwillingness to relinquish turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation to the Cupertino giant.
In any case, Apple announced that iOS Maps would have turn-by-turn navigation with Siri, transit directions via third-party (semi disguising it as a feature), and a 3D “Flyover” mode. It was thrilling, and we couldn’t wait to play with it ourselves.
Until we played with it ourselves.
And we all got lost.
And learned that Berlin was actually called “Schoeneiche.”
In essence, it was a very bad day.
To make matters worse, Google mentioned that it wasn’t going to do anything for the time being, and that it hadn’t submitted a Google Maps app to the Apple App Store. Officially, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said the following: “In my opinion it would have been better to retain our maps. It’s their decision, I’ll let them describe it.”
So, in the end, we’re left with a Map application that we can’t trust, and no alternative. This has led to the first ever drop in customer satisfaction from iOS 5 to iOS 6 (in the video, I mixed up iOS 5 and iOS 6, but you catch my drift).
In the meantime, hackers are trying to port over Google’s iOS 5 maps to iOS 6, but it’s proven relatively difficult. Ryan Petrich, however, has made it work, though it’s still too buggy to release his method to the public.
In related news, the NYT reported that Google is in fact working on a Maps app, but that the company wants to take it a step further than mere accuracy: 3D. To do this, much of the Google Maps code would have to be re-written to incorporate Google Earth, an entirely different app.
That means we’ll be lost for months.