September 21, 2012

The Reasons Why Apple iOS Maps are Broken

Why is Apple iOS Maps broken? Why does the iOS Maps appear to be a half-baked product like Siri?

If you are wondering why iOS maps are broken, why Apple did not provide a high-quality maps app, TeleMapics provides the reasons – 
  • Currently Apple lacks the resources to provide the majority of geospatial and POI data required for its application.
  • My overall view of the companies that it (Apple) has assembled to create its application is that they are, as a whole, rated “C-grade” suppliers.
  • Apple seems to plan on using business listing data from Acxiom and Localeze (a division of Neustar), supplemented by reviews from Yelp. I suspect that Apple does not yet understand what a headache it will be to integrate the information from these three disparate sources.
Perhaps the most egregious error is that Apple’s team relied on quality control by algorithm and not a process partially vetted by informed human analysis. You cannot read about the errors in Apple Maps without realizing that these maps were being visually examined and used for the first time by Apple’s customers and not by Apple’s QC teams. If Apple thought that the results were going to be any different than they are, I would be surprised. Of course, hubris is a powerful emotion.

TeleMapics points out that Google Maps went through similar growing pains and eventually were able to evolve it to a high-quality maps service. 

So there is hope for Apple iOS Maps but with a lot of hard work from Apple.

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