Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Users are turning around on Apple Maps

Writing at the Wall Street Journal, Ann-Marie Alcántara reports that the tide is turning on Apple Maps (Apple News link):

The biggest competitive advantage Apple Maps has over Google is its deeper integration in the iPhone. Any iOS service that requires directions—from finding restaurants in Yelp to locating AirTags in Find My—uses Apple Maps. Users can’t change that.

“People are inherently lazy and form habits around default options,” says Peter Ramsey, a user-experience consultant who has written about design differences between Apple and Google Maps. “For a long time Apple Maps was so bad that people proactively switched to Google Maps, but as the experience of Apple Maps improved, there was less incentive to make that default-breaking action.”

I’ve used Apple Maps more and more in recent years, and in my opinion, though it’s not perfect, it’s often on par with Google Maps in terms of how often I get bad directions. There are still some improvements to be made (traffic indications are good, for example, but not as good as Google Maps, and cycling directions still don’t see the bike path near my house), but I’m generally pretty happy with it, and in some cases—such as transit maps—I vastly prefer it.

This year’s platform updates bring a decent number of Maps improvements, including offline maps, that continue to make it a worthy competitor to Google Maps. After more than a decade of cheap shots, it does feel a bit like Apple Maps is still being judged for its failures on launch, rather than the product it is today.

—Linked by Dan Moren

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