Probably not. I don’t remember many things from 6 years ago, and the US launch of Google Maps is definitely not one of them. Today, using Google Maps to find business locations and directions is second nature to most, so it’s easy to forget about the times when finding your way around town wasn’t so easy. One only needs to take a look at the search results for “problems with google maps” from 2006 (screenshot below) to see that Google has come a long way in those 6 years.
With Apple’s much anticipated iOS 6 launch on Wednesday, there have been many criticisms of this latest software “upgrade.” The biggest one by far is the quality of Apple’s new Maps application. On Wednesday, the official launch of iOS 6 both “iOS Maps” and “Google Maps” became trending topics on Twitter. There was even a Tumblr created to centralize the numerous location fails that plagued the new product.
But, are Apple Fanboys and Google enthusiasts being too quick to judge? Many seem to immediately forget the problems with Google Maps that were vocalized just months ago. This article in the New York Times received over 100 comments in the 24 hours after it was posted, the majority of which complained about incorrect information present in the Google product.
This lambasting of Google is just another example of the business listing problem. Both Google and Apple remain unaffiliated with Yext’s PowerListings solution (hopefully not for long), but as the local search market continues to fragment and become more complicated this just validates Yext’s mission to synchronize the world’s local information. By the way, I’ve yet to hear a PowerListings customer complain that their information is incorrect on any of the Yext’s partners. (If you want to see how your business appears online you can find out for free here.)
So, I’ll give Apple the benefit of the doubt. Creating the perfect local search application is far from easy, and only time will tell if Apple can make it happen.