Thursday, January 30, 2020

Apple Finishes New U.S. Map

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News):

Apple today announced that all users in the United States can now experience a redesigned Maps with faster and more accurate navigation and comprehensive views of roads, buildings, parks, airports, malls and more, making it easier and more enjoyable to map out any journey. Apple completed the rollout of this new Maps experience in the United States and will begin rolling it out across Europe in the coming months.

Justin O’Beirne has lots of before/after comparisons.

Matthew Panzarino:

Maps is probably the biggest software turnaround in Apple’s modern era — an interesting case study for a company that rarely needs turnaround efforts.


Apple Maps has given me the wrong directions so many times, that I have completely forsaken it. I feel like I see a tweet like this every year, and every year I try to give it another chance. And alas, I’ve arrived at the complete wrong destination.

Alessio Maffeis:

I use Apple Maps all the time, but if I want to check opening hours of some business, I have to open Google Maps, and then I also find foot traffic stats, reviews and photos. So much work to do in that respect for Apple.

Josh Centers:

I prefer Apple Maps over Google Maps for a lot of things these days, but local business information is still sorely lacking. And it drives me crazy when I search for a business and it tries to direct me to one hours away.


Update (2020-02-04): Lauren Goode:

In a prepared statement Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue said that the completion of the US map and delivery of the new features are “important steps” in creating what he referred to as the best and most private maps in the world. He added that Apple will “bring this new map to the rest of the world starting with Europe” sometime in 2020.


Despite Apple’s efforts, it’s still playing catch-up to Google Maps in many regions around the globe. (The notable exception is China, where Google Maps is unavailable and Apple Maps relies on data from Chinese provider AutoNavi.)

Nick Heer:

I use Apple Maps almost exclusively for finding places and getting directions; I know it’s highly variable around the world, but its wayfinding abilities and read-aloud instructions have been tremendous in the past year. When I’m monkeying around and trying to figure out what a place looks like, however, I still turn to Google Maps.

See also: Hacker News.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

If only they could put the same amount of resources into the things that I actually care about, like fixing all of the bugs in their OS and app software. Maps really seems like the turnaround that we don’t really need — Google Maps works fine, and all these years later it still has many useful features that I rely on that Apple Maps doesn’t have. I really still don’t see a single reason to use Apple Maps (though I admit their new street view photos are slick).

Like many people quoted in the post above, I still think Maps sucks. I still prefer Google Maps. Almost everyone I know does too. It’s just so much better. And yeah I’m still bitter about the one time 4 years ago that I tried to give Apple Maps a shot and used it to go from the west side of San Francisco to Oakland (which is Apple’s home territory, should be a perfect test case!) and it routed me directly into a massive traffic jam on SF neighborhood streets instead of quickly getting me to the nearest freeway, making a normally 45 min (at worst) trip take 2.5 hours, and I missed a lot of time hanging out with a friend that night (had to cancel our dinner plans). Google Maps would have routed me around the jam, not directly into the middle of it!

I honestly have no idea why Apple Maps exists outside of the US and a couple of other English-speaking countries where it is usable.
In Russia, for comparison, Apple Maps are unable to do even essential things, like showing a correct post code for an address, or displaying a map that without buildings that were demolished seven years ago.

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