David Talbot

A View from David Talbot

Does Apple Maps Deserve Another Chance?

Test in California shows edge over Google Maps and Waze

  • March 7, 2013

Back in September we wondered whether Apple’s launch of a disastrously bad mapping application was a shark-jumping moment for the much-loved company less than one year after Steve Jobs’s death (see “Is Apple Losing Its Way?”). We were hardly the only ones baffled by the misstep.  

Now a head-to-head contest suggests—albeit in a limited context—that Apple Maps is clawing its way back. Three journalists using separate cars with different navigation systems—Waze, Google Maps, and Apple Maps—visited several places in California (including Apple’s corporate headquarters in Cupertino). The conclusion: Apple outperformed Google and Waze in providing directions and beating traffic.

One tester, PC Magazine writer John Dvorak, said it made him “wonder what the fuss was about.” Of course, it’s going to take a lot more than a drive through Silicon Valley to know whether Apple Maps is back. But the report at least suggests it’s time to take a second look. What are you experiencing? 

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