October, 2012


15
Oct 12

My experience with Apple maps … In Dubai

I find all this apple-hating we sometimes see on tech sites very annoying.

The purple fringe on iPhone 5 photos appears to me to be a non issue. Or at least something common to a lot of phones cameras. Not that purple but very similar.

However it really annoys me when people say Apple Maps are good.

C’mon, Apple Maps might be good ON YOUR CURRENT LOCATION!

I can guarantee that Apple Maps are not good where I’m currently are, which is is the lovely city of Dubai in the UAE.

And by not good I don’t mean worse than Google Maps … I mean not-giving-directions-to-very-common-and-know-Points-of-Interest-NOT-GOOD.

Here are some screenshots i’ve taken today (first is GoogleMaps web app, then AppleMaps) …

Lets just compare the “where I’m at” screen:
(first Google)
20121015-202031.jpg
(then AppleMaps)
20121015-202039.jpg

See? Apple maps are weak someplaces … Notice the missing roads on the top?

Ok, and what about directions? … You know, something that A LOT of people is saying that Apple has done right …

Let’s just try to go to a very common and known mall nearby:

1) So let’s ask directions from my location to Mall of emirates …

(notice google already suggesting it)
20121015-202104.jpg
(Apple nows nothing … And I’ve also tried several iterations of its designation)
20121015-202052.jpg

2) The result ?

(actually, the webapp version is awful for this. Release a iOS app already google!!!)
20121015-202110.jpg

(NOPE! Apple doesn’t know it ..)
20121015-202057.jpg

3) And show it a map … just for google, of course …

20121015-202119.jpg

This is of course just an example and it means that the maps that support Apple Maps don’t include on some places some of the basic points-of-interest that people usually need …

Apple Maps app is a good, but the supporting maps still have a lot to evolve. Let’s not forget that Google has like 7 years on this and big teams correcting / adjusting mapping data.

In the end, I think that the fact that Apple and Google couldn’t come up to a agreement is bad for the user in the short term. In the long term, I think competition is good.

But one thing comes to mind … Why didn’t Apple considered going for a OpenStreetMaps option? In my opinion Apple, using OpenStreetMaps, was in the ideal position to be a open-source-good-standards-promoter in this cloud map services space …