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Newsletter Issue #670: Examining the Ongoing Mapgate Controversy

When Apple demonstrated a new home-grown mapping feature for iOS 6 last June, I wonder how many expected how it would all turn out. Certainly it was clear why Apple made this move. It’s all about Apple’s soured relationship with Google, and the drive to dominate mobile platforms.

According to published reports, Apple wanted Google to add turn-by-turn navigation to their iOS mapping app. As negotiations soured, Apple was busy building Plan B, their own mapping service, which links to the data gathered by Tom Tom and other suppliers of navigation information.

You expect that the first version of any app, OS or service will have bugs. That’s how things are. But, after eight years of Google Maps, people expected a minimum level of quality. For all sorts of reasons, the flaws with the new mapping product were sometimes laughably obvious. It’s not just about melting bridges in the new Flyover viewing option, but missing destinations and landmarks, and sometimes putting a city in the wrong country.

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