In fact, just about every map screen I look at in my neighborhood has a mistake of some sort. A nonexistent school shows up a few blocks from my home, several miles from the school’s actual location. The National Institutes of Health Bethesda main campus, not exactly a minor landmark, is not indicated on the map. (I reported both of these errors to Apple a year ago.) The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is shown as the national Naval Medical Center, a name dropped two years ago, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and Howard Hughes Medical Institute are missing.
Apple has still not done what is needed to improve the shortcomings of the apps itself. There are still no public transit directions, one of the more useful features of Google Maps. Switching between driving and walking instructions remains awkward.
We heard a lot last fall about how Apple would catch up throughout the coming year. Then when things didn’t seem to be improving much, we heard about how Apple was on a yearly schedule, with major improvements on the way for iOS 7. Apple itself has barely said anything about maps lately. Nearly every time I’ve tried to use Apple Maps, it has gotten something important wrong. Google Maps has rarely given me any trouble.
Back with iOS 5, it was possible to ask Siri or tap on a contact’s address and have it open up in a top-quality map. This is no longer possible today, because although Google Maps is in the App Store, all the OS services are hard-coded to use Apple Maps.
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