Over at Search Engine Land Matt McGee has rounded up images and videos featuring Apple’s new maps. These are from developers that have early access to iOS 6. I have used a couple of the images from Matt’s post, since I don’t have a developer account.
These screens look similar to the old version of Maps on the iPhone but take things up a notch or two in terms of polish. Already there’s considerable controversy about how good these maps will be. For example, some people have pointed out they don’t offer public transit information (at this point) or quite as much detail on the map as Google presents (though that may be an aesthetic choice).
See Gizmodo’s side by side comparison of Apple and Google Maps:
Dan Lyons (Fake Steve Jobs) of Newsweek has written a very snarky piece about how Apple is harming its users by replacing Google with its own mapping product — to spite Google.
It’s also not clear how Apple is going to handle the challenges of managing local data. Apparently there is a form that allows users to submit corrections or problems directly to Apple. Yet it’s not entirely clear whether Apple knows what it’s gotten itself into in going into local search. However, there are some very smart people there on the geo-team.
We’ll have to wait until Fall when iOS comes out to know for sure how good these maps are. Until then here’s one of several videos that show off the developer version of Apple Maps; it focuses mostly on the 3D mapping features, which will be more useful on the iPad than on the iPhone.