Sep 24, 2012

Are the maps on iPhone 5 really a problem?

I was thinking about a new iPhone, but there has been a lot of talk about the maps being a mess. Are they really that jacked up, or is it just a question of needing a little more polish? Is it something that is significant enough to postpone a purchase?

I used mine yesterday and had no problems with it. I suspect that the media coverage has been hugely overblown, which is rather typical where Apple is concerned. The company seems to take a beating over relatively minor things.

Like any new product, Maps will get better over time. People seem to forget that Google's mapping apps didn't set the world on fire when they first came out either. Apple is already working to improve its maps app. For now it seems to work well enough for me.

One of my coworkers stood in line to get a new iPhone 5, so thanks to his, er, perseverance, I got to play around with it and we spent some time with maps, including using it while we drove to lunch.  My conclusion was that it worked fine for him, in our town.  Nothing special, but fine.  On the other hand, we looked at some of the examples that had been noted as failures by other people, and sure enough, there were some major errors.  If I was traveling in an unfamiliar city, it would make me uneasy if I had to depend on an iPhone 5.  I would be fine with driving around an area I generally know while looking for an unfamiliar location.  Fortunately, there is a workaround already available - they make these paper things that are also called "maps" that will work in a pinch!




This is from InfoWorld's Galen Gruman...


"[R]eports are coming in worldwide about errors in Maps, some as severe as entire cities missing or placed in the ocean."


Given that entire cities are missing or given the Atlantis treatment, I'd say there's quite a problem, at least for the moment. One would assume Apple will fix the glitches, but who knows when.


If you really want the new iPhone and aren't dependent on maps for your everyday nagivational needs, I'd say go for it anyway.

Answer this