While there has been much hype around Apple's Maps application, which was integrated into iOS 6 to replace Google Maps, practically, we just see that Apple and Google are on a new battleground: maps, one of smartphone users’ favorites.
The iPhone 5 and iOS 6 have surprised Apple fans with an in-house-developed Maps application, which has been heavily criticized by bloggers and consumers, but most of the criticism has been quality-related and mentions the lack of Google Map's most popular feature, street view. Instead, we have vectorial maps with 3D buildings that can be used for virtual travel, but are useless when driving.
This is exactly what the recently published Consumer Report article highlights: while the reports are talking about the quality of the apps, instead of focusing on how it works, and whether it helps you to get from A to B. So their question was: how well does the app navigate?
To find out, they applied a complete navigation test, putting the Samsung Galaxy S III and the iPhone 5 side by side. As you may remember, Consumer Report praised the iPhone 5, but it was disappointed by the Maps app. This was their first impression, anyway.
However, they were talking about the quality of the app, just like others: they expected it to be a state of the art, out of the box, which would have been typical of Apple's standards. What they and other reports have forgotten to mention is how much time it took Google to achieve the quality of Google Maps they are now so proud of.
The navigation test was conducted in the New York City area, and the results cast Apple Maps in a different light: although this is a newly launched maps app, it impressed the testing staff with the graphic presentation (the interface), results, signage and points-of-interest info.
Overall, the main point is: if you use the app's functionality and don't do virtual trips to Paris, Berlin or San Francisco, for example, but you use the app for what it is designed for -- a tool for routing -- the Apple Maps does a good job. When compared to Google Maps – which, by the way, offers many more customization options even though they might be considered dangerous distractions while driving -- Apple's Maps feels like a less mature product. Hopefully, the Cupertino company will update Apple Maps as promised. [Via Consumer Reports, iClarified]Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback