By now, I’m rather certain you’ve heard that Apple’s replacement maps aren’t living up to some customer’s expectations. While there has been all sorts of rumor and speculation as to why the change was made, as a consumer, it’s mostly noise (from the apologists). The bottom line for many iPhone owners is that Google Maps have been replaced by Apple Maps. And while, at first blush, they sounded superior with flyover 3D renderings and turn-by-turn nav (finally! on some models…), in many geographic areas the data leaves much to be desired. For example, as you can see above, Apple believes I live in a beige patch of nothingness whereas Google has a relatively decent picture of my neighborhood. Yet, I’m not often lost in our community and had good luck doing some minor Apple Maps navigation in the big city. So I’m wondering, on a practical level, how bad are these new Apple maps… and has it impacted you?
In terms of mapping and navigation alternatives, until Apple ups their game, I do have a few suggestions should you find the current cartography unsuitable. My wife and I both subscribed to Telenav ($10/year)… until they recently revamped the experience and have now reverted to our former navigation solutions — I’m running the Navigon app and she’s utilizing TomTom. However, if you’re not prepared to drop forty or fifty bucks (on a possibly short term solution), I suggest you check out the free Waze – which way exceeds what we managed to accomplish at Dash. Lastly, if you’re sold on Google Maps and don’t require voice guidance, simply visit maps.google.com via Mobile Safari and follow the prompts to add a convenient shortcut to your iPhone home screen. Bonus tip: In landscape mode, Safari can go fullscreen via the stretchy icon displayed in the lower right.