Several months after MobileMe’s launch—which was suppose to be Apple’s answer to email, cloud storage and so forth—then CEO, Steve Jobs, pulled the entire team into the conference room where he’s made several important keynotes. He stood on stage and asked the MobileMe team, “Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is suppose to do?” One brave employee raised his hand and answered with a good explanation, to which Steve so famously replied, “Then why the fuck doesn’t do that?” He went on a tirade about how the media and even their friend Walt Mossberg, was ripping them apart. On the spot, Steve fired the manager of the MobileMe team and put someone else in charge. The result is now known as iCloud.
Here we are, a few years later and it looks like Apple may have another “MobileMe” moment. Apple’s own in-house Maps app, which just recently launched with iOS 6, has been trashed, relentlessly, by industry critics. The mapping system is missing cities, getting names wrong, putting pin locations (of the results that it does find) in the wrong location, overall, it’s not Google Maps. I personally experienced the software putting a pin in the wrong location several times last night while messing with iOS 6 on my new iPad. While I thoroughly enjoyed the Flyover aspect in cities like New York and San Francisco, the apps accuracy when finding locations has been spotty.
That all being said, Apple’s Maps does have a solid core (no pun intended), it’s a decent app, it just needs more polish. Perhaps if it had been released next year, it may have given Apple more time to iron out the kinks. Since it wasn’t, we now have to hope that this app and its discrepancies are Apple’s top priority. This app can be salvaged, visually, it looks great, the colors, textures and animations are really smooth. For most people, they may not have an issue, but for others, it could be a little frustrating at first.
I see one of two (or both) things happening here, 1.) Apple gets their act together and fixes some of these issues pronto, and over the next few months we see Maps begin to take shape. 2.) Google, like they did with YouTube, will release a version of their Maps for iOS. Some of you may question why Google would even care, well fact is, Apple has a large, large following (2 million iPhone 5 pre-orders in 24 hours…) and to them, that’s a cash cow. So like Chrome, Drive, Google+ and YouTube, we will probably see a Maps app for iOS before Santa squeezes his fat ass down your chimney, aka, for those of you who don’t believe in Santa, the end of the year. Either way, for iPhone users, it’s a win-win, it’s just going to take a little patience.