What made Apple realize its mapping technology was failing miserably? Maybe it was when folks started pointing out that its maps were missing entire cities. Maybe it was when they realized that they were duplicating islands in the South Pacific. Then there was that farm in Ireland that was listed as an airport (oops—glad the Irish government caught that error before the pilots figured it out the hard way!). More recently, they've been leading people astray in the Australian desert.
No wonder Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a public apology—his company released a product that not only annoyed, but actually endangered (and in some cases offended) millions of people. To be fair, it has also provided a great deal of comedic value (the Huffington Post did a nice job of rounding up their more entertaining mistakes).
In any case, all of this is a long way of saying that Apple did the world a huge favor yesterday by releasing Google Maps new app for the iPhone in its app store.
The free app is even better than the one that was originally installed on the iPhone. It includes turn by turn directions, three-dimensional views, public transit directions and listings for 80 million businesses around the world. The one perk that users will only find on Android platforms are directions inside buildings such as malls.
I'm not the only one who is thrilled to see Google Maps return to the iPhone. The new app is so popular that within just a few hours of being released it had received 10,000 reviews, 90 percent of which gave the product the highest rating possible—five stars.
Three cheers for two tech companies that were able to set aside their differences long enough to give the people a mapping product that works. Now, if only some of the other powers-that-be could follow suit...