NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple's Maps application is still suffering from major issues. But there might be ways to fix the problem before it gets out of hand.
Apple Maps is a problem for the iPhone maker. The application, which showed up in iOS 6 and was designed to replace Google Maps, was expected to give users the kind of reliability and innovative experience that customers have come to expect from Apple products.
Instead, applications hit the market with a wide array of performance problems that left iOS users scratching their heads and competitors like Google and Microsoft licking their chops. Things became so bad that Apple CEO Tim Cook was forced to apologize for his company's massive mistake.
Maps was so bad that Apple is faced with the decision to either fix it fast or cut its losses and kill it. But Maps is still fixable. The application might suffer from a lack of detail, and errors abound in some continents around the world, but they can be addressed.
With the right design decisions and additional investment, Apple could actually improve Maps in just months. This would enable the company to silence critics and give Google Maps a real run for its money.
Don't believe it? Read on to find out what Apple should do to vastly improve Maps
1. Acquire Waze
According to the rumor mill, Apple might have talked with Waze
, a social-navigation app maker, about buying the company. Although it's likely that Apple won't acquire Waze, it's a good idea. Apple Maps could use some real-time traffic and social features. Waze will deliver that.
2. Maybe even acquire TomTom
Aside from Waze, there has been some talk of Apple possibly acquiring TomTom. The GPS specialist is partnering with Apple on map technology already, which makes the deal all the more sensible. Buying TomTom will be expensive and could end up costing billions. But the company has the talent and expertise the iPhone maker needs to improve Maps quickly.
3. Steal more Google Maps workers
According to reports, Apple has been surreptitiously targeting folks who have worked on Google Maps
to see if they want to join its Maps team. That's a good idea. Google is the leader right now in mapping applications, and its staff is second to none. Why shouldn't Apple try to woo those folks away from Google?
4. Invest serious cash in Maps
The nice thing about being Apple is that it has enough cash to do what it wants, when it wants. So, rather than invest all kinds of cash in a rumored watch (a dumb idea, if I've ever heard one), Apple should throw that money into Maps. Apple's mapping application is integral to iOS' future. Apple should pour its money into fixing or replacing its Map application.