Newsletter Issue #669: Is Maps Really an Apple Miscalculation?

September 24th, 2012

The launch of the iPhone 5 appears to have been hugely successful, but it seems the tech media, and a number of Apple customers, wanted things to be just perfect. So they seized on a clear shortcoming that is more part of the iOS 6 update than the new smartphone. And that’s Maps.

Embroiled in ongoing patent disputes involving Google’s Android mobile platform, and clearly feeling betrayed over presumed “resemblances” to the iPhone, iPad, and iOS, Apple made a strategic decision to build their own mapping software. Certainly the fact that Google never offered turn by turn navigation in their iOS mapping app may have been a contributing factor.

As with Android, Google Maps is based on technology invented by another company. In this case, it was Where 2 Technologies of Sydney, Australia, which was purchased by Google in 2004. So Google has had eight years to get things right, and it’s still not perfect. I’ve sometimes been led astray with Google’s turn-by-turn directions, but that’s also true with the built-in navigation system on my Honda.

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