Digital Insights

Three Reasons Why Apple Should Give up On Their Maps Development


Published: October 1, 2013

Since the release of iOS 6, Apple maps have been under the scrutiny of searchers and users as problems associated with Apples version have emerged. But despite the problems tied to Apple maps in previous software updates for mobile devices, understanding what some of the issues are may reveal why other versions of mapping may have the technology giant beat. While Apple recently released another software update accompanying exciting new products, more problems have been identified by users and technology gurus alike, especially when compared to other mapping services, like that promoted by search engine giant: Google.

One of the largest problems Apple has faced with mapping programs is accuracy and availability of a wide range of locations. In some situations, Apple maps offer problematic mapping or inaccurate locations for certain, sometimes important, landmarks. As a result, the company apologized after problem plagued maps were released last year. Using there own maps in contrast with previously used Google map applications has proved difficult for Apple, who may have seemed to rush the release of their version. Because of the difficulties associated with Apple maps, other mapping services rushed to provide frustrated users with alternative applications that could be downloaded for Apple products.

Why Apple Can’t Match Up

Though Apple is a front runner in technology, offering new goods and methods of searching, surfing and consuming, and almost single handedly transforming the way consumers use the internet and mobile devices, maps have proved to be a difficult application for the company to broach. Instead of offering a product that coincided with previous product so beloved by many, Apple rushed to release their version of maps while simultaneously pushing Google and their mapping service out of the picture. But despite the hopes consumers and businesses alike may have had for the new mapping services, they could not measure up to the time, energy, trial and error and financial investments made in mapping by their technological counterpart, Google.

Example of Apple Maps latest fail, see below:

Barricades have been erected at Fairbanks International Airport, Alaska, after a glitch in the iOS7 Apple map software appears to indicate motorists should cross one of the runways Photo: APPLE

Go Big or Go Home

Despite the millions of dollars Apple invests in its products and associated technology, research and advancements each year, maps did not seem to receive the same research, attention and care as other Apple products. As a result, the quality and accuracy of Apple maps could not compare to Google Maps. With years of research, employees and data driving Google Maps, the seemingly half hearted maps provided by Apple just couldn’t measure up to Google and other mapping services. Without investing similarly or more into their mapping services, it would be extremely difficult for Apple maps to compete with what has already transpired in the mapping world and what will be invested by companies like Google in the future.

What does Apple have to gain with the acquisition of mapping programs that are merely mediocre? Not much. In contrast, the promotion and proposition tied to their poor mapping programs may do little to help the company and actually tarnish their reputation as a front runner, who offers quality, dynamic and exciting new products. By releasing poor maps, Apple may actually hurt what consumers love about their goods in an effort to push other technological front runners out of the picture.