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iOS 6 launched yesterday, with one very notable absence: Google Maps. As part of its fallout with Google, Apple ditched the big G’s mapping service in favour of its own homecooked version.

But the new service isn’t going down well with people who’ve tried it.

Apple’s Maps app is a hotchpotch, with info provided by TomTom NV and OpenStreetMap. And people are complaining it feels like a rush job.

“Apple believes that they can deliver a better experience for customers than Google,” Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst at Forrester Research, told Bloomberg. “But in the short term, Google has a better mapping application, and iPhone customers will suffer.”

Ian Betteridge, ex-editor of MacUser, goes one step further, calling it “the most half-cooked piece of software that Apple has released”. Once outside the M25, satellite images become “blurry, pixellated, useless nonsense”. In some cases, the data are 15 years out of date.

It’s all the worse because of how reliant we’ve become on using our phones to find places.

Maps does give you Flyover, which lets you adjust the degree of 3D-ness. It’s a pretty nifty way of finding your way around. But what you gain in fancy 3D skills you lose in usability: Google Streetview is gone, as is its Traffic and Transit functions. So if you’re using public transport, you’ll have to rely on the timetables.

Quite an oversight. Or is it actually a canny move by Apple? A few months ago Gizmodo speculated Apple could be leaving out public transport info in order to encourage app makers to get on the case. The more apps are out there, the more Apple will coin it. So while Maps might not be too polished at the moment, it could all fit in with Apple’s master plan.

How have you been getting on with Maps? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Tim Nederlandse Moed Pyke

    was loking at my wifes phone last night to see what changes had occurred and while the maps apps pinpointed my location very well using GPS the actual labels on the app were ridiculous saying I was in a totally different area of Leeds than I was. Glad I am an Android user which mean sI have to better maps app :)

  • Average Joes

    Posted a few times this morning already. In my local Norwich, Jumpin Jacks is still there. Although a favourite haunt in my teens, it closed down in the mid ninties!! Unless of course Apple are bringing it back…

    And turn by turn navigation without downloadable maps…. Seriously?

  • Rich

    According to ios6 maps my local village Crumlin is now situated in the middle of Belfast International Airports runway. genius

  • Bluemoonin65

    I am wondering if this is a very clever tactic of Google’s… after all the whole Samsung court case is in part at least a sideways swipe at Android, what better way to make a dent on Apple’s most important launch event of the year than to expose a huge Apple weakness. And what does it cost Google? Nothing – just make the terms of an agreement to use its map data something they know Apple won’t go for and you have negative press for your main competitor. Very smart.

  • Stephen Ellerington

    iOS 6 Map app has turn by turn navigation, a huge improvement on Google Maps. It may not be 100% accurate but then neither is Google Maps. I am sure that the iOS 6 Map app will improve over time and that Google Maps will not be missed by the majority of iPhone users.

    • Alex

      You have not heard of google navigator which uses google maps and is free on Android then?

    • Europa

      What plannet are you from ?

  • Anonymous

    Planning to stick with IOS5 for the time being for both iPad and iPhone. The new features I will be missing would not change my life in any case.

  • David Nicholson

    Hmm, and to think I was thinking of getting an iPhone. Guess I’ll stick to Android and just get an iPod touch or an iPad wifi model.

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