Since the launch of Apple Maps in 2013, it was been the subject of much warranted criticism. It was intended to be Apple’s substitute for Google Maps, which was the premiere mapping solution at the time. The outcry was so loud that the CEO, Tim Cook, published an open letter apologizing for the application, and he even suggested that customers use third party mapping software. Some of the glitches the original Apple Maps featured were misleading 3-D images, mislabeled locations, and wildly incorrect directions.
Recently, Apple has been making an effort to improve their mapping data. For example, the company now alerts users when their reported problems are fixed. Additionally, users have noticed a substantial improvement in points of interest (POI) in their local maps.
“Over the past month, I’ve noticed a TON of changes. POI [points of interest] markers are being moved to their correct locations, names and information for POIs are being corrected, and tons of places are being added that simply weren’t there before,” noted one user via MacRumor’s forums. Many Apple enthusiasts predicted that Apple would unveil a more significant solution at the recent Worldwide Developer’s Conference, but there was hardly any discussion regarding Apple Maps. According to anonymous industry insiders, updates were delayed due to internal conflict and personal issues.
However, Apple has not given up on their mapping service. Over the past year, Apple has acquired numerous companies in the map app space, such as WifiSLAM, an indoor GPS company, Locationary, a location data company, HotStop and Embark, both of which are transit navigation apps, and BroadMap, a geographical information systems (GIS) company. Most recently was the acquisition of Spotsetter, a mapping app that merges map interfaces with social network data. With a long string of acquisitions of powerful mapping tools, it is only a matter of time before Apple finally releases a fully overhauled Apple Maps than can viably compete with Google.