Apple is suffering harsh criticism over its in-house mapping solution in iOS 6 which has for better or worse effectively replaced a Google Maps-backend. Apple Maps have been called a disaster waiting to happen and even pundit John Gruber called the system a downgrade. With more than 65 percent of the world’s population left with no transit directions, traffic data and street-level imagery, Apple Maps understandably drew ire from users around the world.
No wonder nearly 85 percent of our readers think Google should write a native Maps app for iOS, just as it’s done with the excellent YouTube iOS app. Commenting on the situation, Google UK Marketing Director Dan Cobley asserted that a standalone app could be released soon…
Dan Cobley told Bloomberg TV today:
iPhone 5 users can still use Google Maps just by download them or going to the Google Maps website.
That’s an unusual way of putting it.
Last time I checked, there was no standalone Google Maps app to download from the App Store and I doubt he meant the Google Earth app.
Cobley probably wanted to urge people to add maps.google.com to their home screen because the web-version of Google Maps supports transit, directions and other features.
By the way, whatever happened to ridiculing web apps?
SearchEngineLand pressed Google on the matter, but only got this prepared statement:
We believe Google Maps are the most comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps in the world. Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system.
According to both TheUnderstatement.com and Apple’s own website, 51 countries have no access to Transit data in iOS 6 Maps, 24 countries lost traffic data, 41 countries are without access to Street View and 20 countries don’t support turn-by-turn navigation and 3D Flyovers.
For more horror stories on iOS 6 Maps, I advise checking out this TechCrunch post.
Also, Garmin is looking to fill the void by updating its navigation apps with public transit, Street View and other much-needed features though convincing iOS 6 users to pay for these capabilities could prove a challenge.
9to5Mac has put together a nice list of third-party apps that help you get back some of the missing or lacking functionality in Apple Maps.
Is Apple’s mapping solution in iOS 6 a dud?
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