New Apple Maps app blows Google Maps out of the water
Received the most wonderful gift of an IPhone 6 plus the other day. As a Samsung Note 3 owner the large screen size is what I am used to and what I have come to expect from a phone. As someone who is immersed in new technology and offers consultancy services to businesses I adore learning about the latest and best apps that make our business lives that bit easier. Moving back to the iOS platform after 6 months was a little jarring. Although, at the same excited by the new features I had being hearing so much about.
After dropping my mum home last night I decided to give Siri a simple task. “Hey Siri, bring me home.” Apple Maps outlined a journey home with alternative options based on time and route. To be honest, myself and my other half were initially skeptical of the suggested journey and of the Maps software. I remember hearing some tragic stories of it in its initial release and have always found Google Maps to be without fault. Anyway, open to a new experience and a rather unusual journey suggestion I placed the phone on its cradle in the car and let Apple Maps start directing me home.
The first thing you will notice is the rather unusual perspective Maps chooses to show you of your road ahead. It feels incredibly natural and shows an excellent view of the intersecting roads ahead. Knowing the roads well I watched with interest as Maps updated the journey ahead. The best description of the UI is graceful and calm. It uses a darkened dark grey screen that is beyond simple to follow. Upcoming intersecting roads are labeled clearly and give you more than enough time to recognise and read. The panning movement of the landscape is really something else. Elegantly panning and zooming as you drive along. As we got closer to the city the map began to show building heights and full 3D landscapes are mapped out around you. It nearly feels like you are playing some rather cool computer game. The voice giving directions is soothing and clear and consistent throughout.
As we approached within 1km of our house I noticed we had done the journey in an incredibly short time. Apple Maps also updates of your ETA (expected time of arrival) based on your speed and distance. As we approached the last 400 metres, Apple Maps notified me of what side of the road my house was on and proceed to countdown to the metre exactly where my house lay. As I turned the car into park, I turned to my co-pilot and said “Wow. That is one of the best map softwares I have ever used or seen”. Well done guys. Well done.