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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Better 3D Maps, imagery in iOS 6 Maps now

After Apple introduced iOS 6, the brand received an incredible amount of flak for its under-par Maps service. This prompted Apple CEO Tim Cook to issue an apology to its users. He even went as far as suggesting alternative applications to use until Apple meets customers' expectations. As per a report by MacRumors, it appears that Apple is already putting the effort in, and moving quickly to address issues with its default mapping application. It now has improved coverage for 3D maps, and better imagery.

As per MacRumors, “While improvements have been ongoing, MacRumors forum members yesterday began noticing what appears to be a larger set of additions to the 3D content in the Maps app, including both the satellite/aerial imagery and the standard maps. One region that was among the first to be noticed was the New York City area, with a number of improvements including new 3D imagery of the Statue of Liberty being seen.”
Improvements noticeable
Improvements noticeable

There is now Flyover imagery appearing in Honolulu, Hawaii, and in the San Fernando Valley in the Los Angeles area. MacRumors concludes, “Interestingly, not all users are seeing the new imagery, with some even doing side-by-side comparisons between devices with different results. The difference is presumably due to aggressive caching of maps and imagery, and users who are not yet seeing the new imagery should see updates in the relatively near future.”

In the letter issued by Tim Cook, the Apple CEO stated, “At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better. We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.”

According to a recent report published by CNET, the website quoted an analyst who claimed that the Maps in iOS 6 have not affected the sales of the iPhone 5. They stated that the demand for the new phone apparently continues to run high, as supply-chain manufacturing plans remain unchanged. Complaints over the many mistakes in Apple Maps have surfaced since the app debuted two weeks ago. But analysts see this as a short-term problem, and one that may have been unavoidable. 

Since Maps is software-based, the analyst is confident that Apple will make the program "more powerful and refined" over time. Google Maps has been touted as a better solution, especially since it was kicked out to make room for Apple Maps.

An analyst had stated in a research note, “People forget that Google Maps started out inferior to Yahoo Maps and Mapquest. From our understanding, Apple had no choice but to produce its own Maps as Google wanted to keep turn-by-turn navigation unique to Android. We see this as short-term pain for longer-term gain.”

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