Explaining the Apple Maps debacle

Confused about the uproar over Apple Maps? Allow us to explain it so even mom will understand

At this point many of us are familiar with the debacle that is Apple Maps. Of course, though, not everyone has been following this story as intently as those of us with far too much free time. As a service to those people who are either (a) recently freed from being trapped under an avalanche of milk bottle caps that they’ve been collecting and hoarding for years or (b) my mother and who would like to be able to intelligently discuss the situation at upcoming Columbus Day parties, I’ve assembled a helpful Q&A to explain the situation.

eiffel_tower.jpgITworld/Phil Johnson
Whoa - who squashed the Eiffel Tower?

What are Apple Maps?

A mapping app that Apple added to their latest version of their mobile operating system, iOS 6.

What type of features does it offer?

Well, duh, maps, but also satellite pictures, turn-by-turn directions and live traffic reports.

Traffic reports - sweet! Does it also play Freebird and give away concert tickets?

No, it’s a mapping tool, not a radio station.

What Apple devices does it work on?

Anything that runs iOS 6, like iPhone 3GS and later, iPad 2 and later, and iPod Touch 4th Generation.

Does that mean my my cell phone has Apple Maps?

No, mom, you have a Jitterbug.

Wait - iOS 6 only came out last week, so not too many people can be using it yet, right?

Only if you consider 100 million people to be not too many.

Apple Maps sound delightful. What’s all the hubbub about then?

Apple Maps replaced the Google Maps app that used to be on all previous iOS devices. Apple Maps are, to put it mildly, not as good as Google Maps.

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