Apple’s iOS 6 comes with many top features, but users will miss Google Maps as no other map is as detailed and complete as Google’s Maps app, says Raaj Datta
Update to iOS 6 and the Google Maps application simply disappears from your iPhone. Apple released the software update on Wednesday and many customers who went for the update were surprised to find Apple’s own Maps application instead.
Losing Google didn’t go down too well with those who went for the update. The feedback lacks any positive shout and rather point towards the errors in the search results the new mapping app generates. The earlier version of the maps was made by Apple but powered by Google. The new version is all Apple and is a result of the number of acquisitions that were made to replace Google in the iPhone.
The end-result hasn’t been too satisfactory and users have reported errors while finding in-town destinations. Apple is new in the mapping business but there’s a clear urgency to eliminate the presence of Google from its devices because the search giant is a competitor and not a partner anymore.
After the patent victory against Samsung, Apple is out in the open in its war against the entire Android ecosystem. The three mapping companies that Apple took over in the past three years are a part of a strategy to take on Google, but will users like the shift and why? That needs to be seen.
On the brighter side
The mapping app with iOS 6 is a first for Apple and there’s lot to done to come at par with Google on this platform. But not all is bad with the new mapping app from Apple; there are some good things that have come with it.
There are some new functions that were not there in the previous version – the look and feel has improved drastically and definitely has the polished look that Apple is known for. Usability-wise, the best thing to happen is perhaps the voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation that helps keep the eyes on the road.
Flyover is another feature that will take users for a surprise. The feature provides 3D views that are photo-realistic and users can zoom, pan and rotate around a city and its landmarks. This feature can come in handy at times, but users would appreciate if the application takes them to the correct destination.
Users who get frustrated using the new built-in mapping software may find some respite via a tedious way meanwhile – the traditional way of using Google maps through a web browser. Currently, there are around 400 million iOS devices and more when the iPhone 5 hits the shelves, so the impact could be huge for Google.
Will iPhone users get a Google mapping app? That is something that we will watch keenly, but as of now Google is tight-lipped on the new development at Apple. The Google mapping software has been ditched, so whether Google actually comes up with a new app that requires approval from Apple is again a bit doubtful.
At the same time, the iOS update will affect a lot of users, so Apple won’t like to be complacent at this stage, especially when user satisfaction and market dominance are synonymous.