Apple Maps Overview Updated June 29, 2016

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Three 'Apple Maps' stories

March 2013 - June 2015


Apple Maps Stories June 9, 2015

Yesterday, at WWDC 2015, Apple introduced transit directions to its native Maps application for the first time. It’s a feature that has long been in the works, and it’s still not actually coming to consumer devices until later this year. But those who have access to the iOS 9 beta can try out the feature in select cities, including New York City, San Francisco, and others.

Transit directions aren’t new, though, and you probably know that Google has offered them in its own official Maps app for many years. But since Apple split off from using the Google-powered Maps app with iOS 6, the company has been struggling to match Google’s offerings. Here, we take a look at Google’s transit directions in comparison to Apple’s new offering… expand full story

Apple Maps Stories October 3, 2013

This one is a head scratcher: FastCompanyDesign named Google Maps for iOS a design award winner in the Interactive category. “The app’s continued polish is a testament to the power of focused iteration”.

If any of us ever took Google Maps for granted, that impulse ended the moment Apple released its mapping software. Apple’s PR nightmare reminded us all just how hard this whole navigation space can be. But Google Maps for iPhone not only rescued us from bad directions, it did so through a more refined UI than ever before. “I think Maps is iterative…but I don’t think we should penalize for that,” says Doug Bowman, creative director at Twitter. “It’s even harder to get folks’ attention when something has been up for a while…it speaks to what Google, as a large company, can actually focus a team on.”

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Apple Maps Stories March 18, 2013

FastCompany today posted an in-depth look at the differences between Apple’s MapKit and Google’s recently launched Google Maps for iOS SDK from the perspective of developers. The lengthy piece gets insight from several iOS app developers with apps that rely on the SDKs and sheds some light on a few things that Apple is doing much better than Google despite a perception from users that Google Maps are superior:

“Google doesn’t currently charge for the Places API, but they do require a valid credit card for access–which gives you a quota of 100,000 daily requests. So you have to wonder if they plan to start charging sooner or later,” McKinlay explains. “That 100,000 limit perhaps sounds reasonable, but each user session can generate many requests–particularly when using the ‘autocomplete’ feature of Tube Tamer–and some types of requests count for 10 times the quota each, so it can get used up pretty quickly.”

While noting that Google wins out with location lookup services, 3D buildings, directions, geocoding, and better hybrid satellite imagery, the developers were also quick to point out downsides of the Google Maps SDK such as quotas for the Places API, an increased app size, and limitations with markers, gradient polylines, and overlays.

Developer of transportation app Tube Tamer, Bryce McKinlay, discussed some of the benefits of using Apple’s MapKit: expand full story

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