New iOS 6 iPhone/iPad Maps app: a good reason to delay upgrading?

By John Walton, September 20 2012

If you're a business traveller who relies on the iPhone's Google Maps app on the road, you might want to hold off upgrading your iPhone or iPad to Apple's new iOS 6 software, which was released overnight.

Since the Maps app is one of the big changes business travellers will notice in iOS 6 -- and since it's one of the most-used apps when we're on the road -- we've been keeping our ears to the ground, and we're hearing concerns about how iOS 6's new Apple Maps app works, especially in Australia and elsewhere outside the US.

Developers who currently have the testing beta version of iOS 6 installed are under a non-disclosure agreement, so the details of precisely what fails is pretty sketchy.

But much of the problem seems to be around street categorisation -- in other words, whether X Street is bigger than Y Street and thus better to drive down -- and the details of the turn-by-turn direction system.

Google is expected to release a dedicated Google Maps app in the relatively near future, but there's no release date as present, so there's no fallback option once you've upgraded or swapped out your iPhone 3G/4/4S for an iPhone 5.

Bottom line: if the Maps function is mission-critical to you this week and next, you might want to hold off on getting the latest and greatest iPhone and iOS version until everyone finds out what the real situation is with Apple Maps, or at least keep your older iPhone handy.

For more on Apple's latest tech, check out our guide to iOS 6 for business travellers -- and its companion guide to the iPhone 5.

We'll keep you abreast of developments here and on Twitter. Follow us for the very latest: we're @AusBT.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

3GS not 3G guys :) This is why we profread 

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 673

Thanks for the beady-eyed spot there, Zachary!

7OD
7OD

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 21

*proofread

Qantas

10 Sep 2011

Total posts 162

If maps is critical - then maybe upgrade to WP8?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 737

Or Android :)

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 673

Let's leave the iOS/Android/WP8 wars for the comment pages elsewhere, shall we?

Qantas

10 Sep 2011

Total posts 162

John, while it is going to be hard to do a review on mapping options until November, I think it would be interesting to see a side by side comparison between IOS, WP8 and Android (not sure what Blackberry has, if anything).

19 Sep 2012

Total posts 9

Ah yes, Windows Phone 8 — no apps, staid design, and devices with no ship dates.

Why not just use a 3rd party app like Tom Tom which has voice direction, or if its too expensive there is a free one available (not sure of its name)  This "might want to hold off " stuff is just scare mongering.

After all the Android one is 3rd party anyway, they have very little in the way of embedded apps designed by themselves.

Qantas

10 Sep 2011

Total posts 162

Again, a comparison of options is needed.  

Nokias have been getting free Navteq maps for quite some time (ie in Symbian) for a large number of countries, and these can be downloaded prior to travel, which is handy if your business takes you to some out of the way places without reception, or if OS, you don't want to buy another SIM to cover data.

Some Androids have caching tools for similar purposes.  With Nokia maps powered by Navteq being free on all new WP8 Phones come November (including HTC, Samsung, etc) this feature in my opinion makes it a serious option for a business traveller.

Hence the suggestion a review of all three platforms.

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 7

I have had the iOS 6 beta for a few months & can confirm the maps app is terrible compared to the original Google version. The maps are missing much localised data & it's now impossible to search for businesses. I used to use it regularily to serach for business contact information - this no longer works, at least in Australia. 

I was in Asia recently and many cities had no detail at all compared to the equivalant Google map.

Turn by Turn, touted as a new feature, also does not work in Australia. 

19 Sep 2012

Total posts 9

This was true early on in the iOS betas — but since beta three, iOS maps added tonnes of business listings and placemarks for Australia. Some of the data seems a little outdated, but your commentary on it being 'impossible' to search for listings is just plain wrong. 

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 7

Fair enough alanzeino, I stand corrected. I must have given up searching after getting no results, as it actually brings up businesses listings now.

jbc
jbc

19 Sep 2012

Total posts 1

Turn by turn notifications are coming next month. I've been uing iOS6 maps for the better part of a week and they either just as good or better than the previous Google maps. A change in colours don't mean that they are worse. 


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