Apple Maps debuted in 2012, and at that time, it was nowhere close to what was expected of it as it not only overlooked many towns and businesses but also misplaced famous landmarks. For example, the application marked New York’s Madison Square Garden as a park because the name contained the word “garden.” Three years from then, the app has improved a lot, says a report by the Associated Press.
How Apple improved its maps
Initially, Apple Maps were seen as a blunder, which was very unlike Apple – a company known for its innovations and expertise at developing simple, easy-to-use products. Users continuously submitted the errors they faced while using the app, and the iPhone firm fixed them all.
For this, the iPhone maker kept acquiring several mapping companies, mostly for their engineers and other talent. There used to be a major gap between Apple Maps and Google Maps, but that has narrowed since the iPhone firm unveiled transit directions for several major cities. Apple Maps has become more popular among iPhone users now compared to Google Maps.
Apple claims that it leads its next competitor over the use of its mapping service on iPhones and iPad by more than three times. However, according to research firm comScore, Apple’s mapping service enjoys only a modest lead over Google on iPhones in the U.S.
Map apps – big opportunity for all
Even though Apple Maps lacks several features present in Google Maps and several third-party apps, the iPhone firm has succeeded in making a quick turnaround.
A former Google Maps manager, Alex Mackenzie-Torres, who is now with transit app Moovit said, “They really did a great job in a short amount of time. Apple has something that few companies have — simplicity in design mixed with high doses of pragmatism and practicality.”
The fact that Apple made a significant investment to bring about major improvements to Maps is a sign of the growing importance for maps and related services for tech companies. Phone users use their devices to look for restaurants and shops, discover things to do and just get around, and location plays an important role in all those activities.
Such services also offer tremendous business opportunities toapp makers as they tap into the core mapping functions of phones to help people find directions and offer them bargains based on their locations at a particular time.