#AgedTech, the iPhone 5 Problems, Pt. 2: iOS 6 Maps
In the attempts to document the always iterating world of technology, I think the story of how products age is not as on display. Sure, it’s right to document that Apple Maps is a step backwards for anyone who uses public transportation or relies on accuracy in their turn by turn navigation, but what about how that problem evolves in the weeks after?
Three weeks later, Apple Maps still can’t parse imperfect search requests well, or sometimes at all. Unlike Google Maps, Apple’s solution needs addresses written in a horribly formal way. Sometimes I don’t have the exact spelling of my destination, but the great thing about Google Maps was that it would figure out what I wanted.
With Apple Maps, you need to get the spelling exactly right, and excuse me for sounding lazy, but that doesn’t fit with a digital maps service. The usage of these apps is very frequently involving destinations you’re not familiar with. You know, the reason why you don’t know the directions yourself?
My other big problem with the Maps app in iOS 6 is the integration of third party public transportation apps. The app that I’ve used – and it’s more than a few - are far from the solution to bring Maps back to parity with iOS 5’s maps. Sure, Apple Maps spits the data to the third party apps, which feels very un-iOS, but the experience of using those apps to guide you getting to your destination is a far cry from what it used to be.
Most of the apps just give you either a non-interactive map showing the path to take, or a written list of directions. The iOS 5 style of the GPS-placed dot on a map you can interact with is gone for public transit, and will probably be gone until Google’s legit maps app launches.
A friend recently said online that Google’s lack of service updates for when the F or whatever train shits the bed is a great reason why those third party apps are valuable. Agreed, but I wouldn’t trade away integrated transit directions for that feature, nor do I think Vector Based mapping is an important enough feature to be listed as a counterbalance to the failings. You can only cell-shade a turd so much.
If I didn’t need to get a new phone and Google’s Play offerings didn’t seem piss poor, I would not be using this iPhone 5 with iOS 6, but for the time being, I will continue to document the experience.
Also, saying “it will get better” only reminds me of Google.