Apple Maps Review

Apple Maps and Satellite Navigation App for iPhone.

Apple Maps ReviewThis is a review of the Maps and Navigation App that replaced Google Maps as the built-in Maps App on iPhones.

It’s true what you’ve heard about Apple Maps. It’s terrible!

For those of you who don’t have much cause to use a maps application, take it from someone who relies heavily on Satellite Navigation for my work every day, that Apple Maps is very poorly researched, very badly made maps and navigation app, compared to Google Maps, which is far from perfect itself.  But Apple Maps is so much worse.

Here is a list of issues I’ve experienced with Apple Maps:

Missing Streets

A lot of streets have not been mapped on Apple Maps. I am not talking about streets on newly built housing estates that have not yet been added: that would be understandable. I am talking about streets that have been there for many, many years. Google Maps has most streets mapped, in my extensive experience.

Poor Research of Localities

Apple Maps researchers have not properly researched the various districts of Dublin. I mean, it seems like a man-made error rather than a computer error and if that is the case, it would seem to be due to laziness and lack of care in creating the maps for Ireland. For example:

— It thinks that Tallaght and Clondalkin are in Lucan
— That Blachardstown and Castleknock are in Clonsilla
— That Shankill, Sallynoggin, Glenageary, Deansgrange, Killiney and Dalkey are in Dun Laoghaire
— And that Terenure, Rathfarnham and Templeogue are in Ballyboden

Lacks Business Info

Very few business locations have been added to Apple Maps. Google Maps features a lot of business locations because they added a lot of them themselves, allowing the business owners to claim them later if they wish.

Poor Pronunciation

Ok, we know the Irish Language is difficult to pronounce for computer voices. Why do they even try? But Apple Maps gets it more wrong than any other app or sat nav device because it thinks the “fada” is a Q somehow. So it pronouces Áth as A-Q-T-H which is completely senseless. At least Google Maps Navigation just disregards the fada and pronounces it “Ath”.

Poor Navigation

One very bad navigation error occurs whenever you are driving along the N7 towards the M50 with the intention of heading Northbound on the M50. If you have entered a location that requires you drive Northbound on the M50, the voice navigation gives you incorrect instructions. While it does tell you to “keep left”, which is correct, it tells you to follow signs for Dun Laoghaire/Southbound, which is incorrect. Actually it says: “follow signs for D-U-Q-N Lay-oh-air”.

Good Points: Integration with Calendar

To give credit where credit is due, the way that Apple Maps is integrated with the Calendar is great… when I can find the street on Apple Maps, that is. I use the calendar a lot and the way it can remind  me when I need to leave in order to arrive on time at a location based on the distance between my current location and the job location, taking into account the potential for traffic delays, is brilliant. It can even assume the correct starting location based on my destination for my previous appointment. But again, it only works if I can find the location on the app.

Updates

It really annoys me how little care and attention Apple put into developing the app for Ireland. I have to assume that they made more of an effort with the app for the USA (it can’t be this bad there or Apple would be a laughing stock, especially at Google board meetings), and probably for other “more important” countries like the UK, Germany, France etc they were more thorough in their research and mapping.

But one would think the fact that Apple has a major operation in Ireland would mean they would also consider us important customers, even if wee do have a small population.

We can only hope that Apple intends to improve the app in future updates. I did see an Apple Maps mapping van driving around gathering info the other day.

 

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