Apple Maps. You've already heard, haven't you?
I don't care about how wonderful it is to have turn-by-turn voice navigation for your car. I don't drive in Japan.
I don't care right now that I can go offline and still zoom in and out. I have unlimited data everywhere in Japan.
What I do care about is the complete lack of anything this map app can do for me.
If you live in Japan, you use transit. Does Apple Maps have transit directions? Certainly not.
If you live in Japan and speak English, you probably use Romanji characters (the English alphabet). Can Apple Maps handle Romanji mapping in Japan. Of course not!
If by some grace of God you can get the kanji/katakana (Japanese character) address, does Apple Maps give you the exact address? Why would it? Instead, here are five markers (hopefully) on the same block. Don't worry, you can just hunt for the correct building when you get there.
If you somehow end up figuring out which is the right location, can you then use Apple Maps to get you there via Tokyo's number one mode of transportation? Nope. You have to download some kind of transit app.
Here's a mind-boggling example. I bring the map up to my current location, a couple blocks from the local train station. I can tap on the train station logo and see the name in English. It says "Kita-Koshigaya Station." If I type Kita-Koshigaya Station into the search menu, it tells me "No results found." How could you possibly not find a place that's right in front you, typed in exactly the same manner that it is shown on the screen?!
Can I go back to iOS 5.1? I'm sorry, but you're screwed, says Apple.
Thankfully, I can use the (decidedly less-functional) web version of Google Maps. But that's a fucking pain.
Like most iPhone (and other smartphone) users, the mapping apps are a crucial part of my phone's features. Living in a country where I need the mapping software Google Maps provided, I feel like I'm now carrying around a brick. I don't know how I will be able to get addresses entered properly into Apple Maps to just give me an idea where to look, because the most important feature for me in Google Maps came when I was walking the streets from station to destination.
If I was Apple I'd complete an update that allowed users to revert back to Google Maps. I don't need fancy 3D or turn-by-turn maps when I can't even get to the train station 2 blocks away.
For the love of God, Apple. Make the right decision. Give me back my Google Maps.
At least Google announced it'll release its own standalone map by the end of the year.
(PS I'm cross-posting this on both of my blogs tonight.)