Waze Was “Surprised” By iOS 6 Maps Backlash, Says Apple Is “Hostage To Its Maps Vendors”

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One of the apps commonly toted as a replacement for iOS 6’s Maps app after the latter was released (and proved to be something of a debacle for Cupertino) was Waze, a crowd-sourced traffic app.

Now, according to a new interview conducted on-stage at AllThingsD’s Dive Into Mobile Conference, even Waze CEO Noam Bardim was surprised by how many people hated Apple Maps, and said that two years previously, consumers would have thought is was amazing.

Engadget reports:

When riffing about the fallout from the iOS 6 Maps debacle (and the ensuing boost in users once Tim Cook name-checked Waze as a suitable alternative in his famed public apology), he stated: “Consumers now have a quality bar, and that bar is going up rapidly. Two years ago, Apple’s Maps app on iOS 6 would’ve been a fine product.”

So why was Apple Maps so weak, according to Waze? “Apple Maps are definitely getting better, but the challenge Apple has is that it’s hostage to its vendors — and those vendors are weak these days. TomTom is challenged, whereas Google has an unlimited war chest to better its apps.”

What’s the solution? Apple needs to get better at partnering.

“Overall, there isn’t much difference between a high-end Android and iOS phone, despite the fact that Android is a knockoff of iOS. Samsung and Apple seem to think that they’re going to provide everything. Apple believes services will drive hardware, while Google wants to own each user regardless of hardware, so you have differing philosophies. Apple really needs to learn to partner. You can see that tight integration, as Facebook and Twitter now have with iOS, makes the overall user experience better for both the partner and for Apple.”

Waze was such a popular replacement for iOS 6 Maps six months ago that Tim Cook himself cited it as possible substitute in his unprecedented apology for the quality of Apple’s mapping experience.

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  • Adrayven

    I don’t get it, I’ve been using iOS maps.. been working fine for me..

    It always seemed to me that the blogs and media were blowing it waaaay out of proportion because Apple didn’t release something ‘perfect’.. lol Kick’m when they trip mentality. :/

    Just looking to get clicks.. and nothing gets clicks like ‘draaaama’… pffff

  • daov2a

    I used Apple Maps for about two months prior to dumping it. My wife and I got tired of getting lost: it sucked. It was NOT blown out of proportion at all. I continuously got lost. It has gotten a lot better but realistically, Google Maps is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better. Fact. Plus I’m not really so sure what use Flyover is anyway? How am I going to use that practically getting from Point A to Point B? Street view beats that as well.

    I think Waze is right that Apple was a hostage to TomTom and their vendors. Maps were obviously rushed. They have gotten a lot better but I personally believe Apple should have waited six months.

    In any case, due to the continuously getting lost debacle, I dumped Apple Maps and went back to Google. I’ll be sticking with my jailbreak for a while and using Google as the default. By no means, do I regard my opinion as the majority. Most people find Apple Maps to be perfectly acceptable. I am not one of those people.

  • TechBell

    Apple Maps have a long long way to go. Let’s start with labeling interstate exits…

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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