The folks at Google must be loving this.
The major new feature of the company’s new iOS 6 mobile operating system is a new mapping module developed by Apple itself — a replacement for the Google-supplied maps that have been standard on the iPhone since it debuted in 2007. It is a change borne not of user demand, but of corporate politics: Google’s Android platform is the biggest competitive threat to the iPhone, so Apple is cutting ties with Google. iPhone owners might have loved Google Maps, but Apple has no love for Google.
Unfortunately, Apple’s new maps are simply not as good as Google’s. The release of iOS 6 yesterday was immediately followed by users complaining about the new maps, which lack a significant amount of detail and omit public transit directions. Access to high-quality maps is a critical feature for modern smartphones, and Apple’s decision to swap out Google Maps is a rare example of the company openly placing its own interests above those of its customers. “There was no problem to solve,” says Rene Ritchie, editor ofiMore. “They’re going to get hammered by mom and pop who want to find a store. It’s going to be messy for them.”