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Image (c) Greg Nokes 2012

I am sure that all of you have already heard about Apple’s colossal failure to deliver a mapping application that was all things to all people. Many pundits have spent many hours writing reams about how iOS6′s maps failed to live up to expectations. And I agree with much of what they have said. Apple’s Maps do not live up to the hype that surrounded their launch.

Except that Maps works better for me then the Google Maps that shipped with iOS5.

Let me explain. I use maps to get from point A to point B, normally while I am driving. Trying that with Google’s Maps app on iOS5 or lower? Abject failure. Try using it while you are driving. It was horrible. And my friends with Android phones would whip out their phones and get spoken turn by turn directions from Google Maps. I had to use another app, the always awesome Waze, to get close to that. Add to that Google Map’s user interface had not changed much since iOS1, and I was often left wondering why Google had shafted the iPhone.

And then Maps appeared. It looks really nice. Its directions are pretty much spot on. I can put in an address and actually get good directions that I can follow while I am driving? I kind of like that.

No transit directions? Well, in my city, Google’s transit directions cost me hours of wasted time before I found One Bus Away, so no real loss for me. I still use One Bus Away.

Maps location search is not great. I’ve personally been using AroundMe and LocalScope for that for a long time, after getting frustrated with Google Maps. Not a big loss.

Is Maps for everyone? No it’s not. There are problems with it. However this change has forced Google’s hand in trying to ship a real maps app for the iPhone. All in all, I think that the change has fostered innovation and more importantly competition. And that, my friends, is a win for all of us.