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Apple Maps: Just How Bad Is It?

Bobby Gill | November 12, 2012

For those of you wondering if the recent backlash against Apple Maps is justified, let me shed some light for you:

Apple Maps feels like watching ‘Battlefield Earth’ .

Yup, it’s hard not to be disappointed with Apple Maps. Its saving grace: turn-by-turn directions, which are very good. Everything else? Not so much.

New Coke , Ford Pinto , Windows Vista and the Arch Deluxe : look in any business school class curriculum and you will find all of these listed as quintessential examples of product design gone horribly wrong. Well let’s add one more product to that list: Apple Maps .

If you are an iPhone user and have had the either misfortune of upgrading to iOS 6.0, or buying a new iPhone 5, you know exactly of what I speak.  For reasons that defy logic, Apple decided to toss one of the stand-out  features of the iPhone, its Google-powered mapping app, and replace it with their own home-brewed version. To simply call Apple Maps a bad app is an insult to the Colors and iFarts of the app world.




It’s hard to believe, but Apple has broken new ground when it comes to screwing its customers. Apple Maps is terrible not because it’s buggy or slow, it simply doesn’t work! Quite often, I find myself wistfully recalling those days when my old iPhone 4, with its Google-powered Maps app, would quickly get me through some combination of road, foot and public transit to where I needed to be.

Apple Maps has the geographic awareness of a retired Asian woman.

Back then, if I were going to an unfamiliar place, I could easily pop into street view and get a picture of what the outside looked liked. Back then, if I were running late and needed to find the nearest subway station, all I had to do was pop open ‘Maps’ and the Google-powered map would not only show the stations around me, but also what subway lines ran through them!

Apple Maps couldn’t find the front-door to the Spearmint Rhino

More than just a bad product, Apple Maps has actually set-back the human cause! This must be how the onset of the Dark Ages felt, and we are once again a lost people. Some of us cope by suffering through the web-based version of Google Maps, others have taken a page out of 1999 and started using MapQuest again, and some have even done the unthinkable and pulled their old iPhone 4s out of retirement.

Apple Maps makes Windows Vista look good.

No matter which you look at it, Apple Maps is a train wreck. Sure it was going to have bugs, but to be missing entire pieces of functionality that millions had come to rely upon everyday defies any logic. Its hard to imagine Steve Jobs ever letting Apple Maps reach the marketplace and the fact it did is a testament to how much Apple has changed since his death. It’s been one year since Jobs died and I’m afraid the Apple Maps fiasco, along with the underwhelming iPhone5 and iPad Mini are signs of a company slowly rotting at its core. What I pondered last year now appears to be true : we’ve seen the best days of Apple.

Bobby Gill
Co-Founder & Chief Architect at BlueLabel | + posts

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