When Apple discarded Google as the map provider for its iOS devices with the iPhone 5, it was more than just a little controversy. Apple Maps was an unmitigated disaster when compared to Google’s coverage. Google Maps covers everywhere and has uses beyond finding directions, while Apple’s map app was so flawed it forced Apple to fire the guy in charge of the project. Now, Apple is slinking back to Google Maps by allowing Google’s app back onto the iPhone.
Apple Maps is still the default setting for the iPhone 5 and the latest version of iOS, but the acceptance of Google’s presence is an acknowledgement that people want Google Maps, or at least the option to have them. Google Maps may be flawed and prone to frogman attacks, but it’s complete and functional and mature. Apple Maps is not.
Meanwhile, Nokia has launched its own free map app in an attempt to horn in on some of that direction-giving action. Nokia has launched its own map app, Nokia Here, which uses the company’s decades in location finding services and its known accuracy for its various mapping services into an HTML5-centric app that should be available for iOS as we speak. It also provides businesses that may not want to link up to Google or Apple, like Blackberry and Facebook, a third party neutral option.
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