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One not-so-secret reason Apple built its own Maps for iOS 6

Sep 23rd 2012 9:00 PM EDT


In the uproar over iOS 6's move to Apple's homegrown Maps service, the driving theme is user frustration (not to say outright anger). Even the most ardent apologists have to acknowledge that Maps has serious issues, and the company's critics are having a field day.

Some of the challenges may be remediable in the short term, while others may take far longer to address effectively. Apple is reportedly doing deep-dive recruiting into the fallow, contract-complete engineering pool that helped to build Google Maps in the first place. Yes, this stuff is hard.

We're going to dive into the Maps conundrum (and a little product launch from Friday) on tonight's Talkcast, so bring your suggestions, complaints and consolations. You can connect to us live here at 10pm Eastern Sunday night, or listen in after the fact.

For iOS 6 users, especially those who upgraded without realizing that Maps was changing under their feet, things are awkward. In the short term, we're seeing a lot of workarounds and substitutions for everything from Google's Street View feature (the $0.99 Live Street View app does a fine job) to transit directions (if they cover where you live, Embark's offerings are sharp and accurate) to simply going with a bookmark to the mobile version of Google Maps itself.

We're also seeing a lot of enthusiastic attribution of motives: "Apple wants to force its customers to use its own products, even when they are not as good as those from rivals," opines Joe Nocera in the New York Times. "They put their own priorities for corporate strategy ahead of user experience," suggests Anil Dash. "Apple put crapware on their most

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Filed under: TUAW Business, Podcasts, iPhone, iOS
Tags: api, features, google, ios 6, Ios6, iPhone, mapping, maps, navigation, podcast, routing, talkcast, turn by turn, TurnByTurn
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