In their latest addition to the iOS fleet, Apple introduced their own solution to mapping using sources like OpenStreetMap and TomTom, the latter of which is for voice navigation purposes. Maps in iOS 6 work great so far and have been performing quite well in all my testing; I especially love the 3D feature as an alternative to Google’s Street View, but it doesn’t quite provide such factual information at times. Sadly, there’s one major problem with the way Apple has organized things in iOS 6: the Maps app will no longer open when you tap a location search result in Google.
This isn’t a minor detail to be overlooked, but rather something that’s going to prevent productivity for those who search for things often. If you’re looking for a certain address, you could search in the Maps app, but you might be using Google since you’re already in Safari for other purposes researching something related to the location. For instance, I’m currently looking to move to San Francisco and was researching places to live around there. Since I was already in Safari, I just tapped the new tab button and searched for a city name to see a map of the area. The only problem was, I couldn’t open up the Maps app that way. Instead, I’d have to go into the actual app first and then search again.
Not even tapping the address or selecting it will let you open it in the Maps app. You can always copy and paste the address, but there really should be a shortcut to things.
Switching apps isn’t a big problem, but people always search using Google. (I do find iOS app switching to be a bit irritating in instances like this, however, but that’s another story.) Even if they don’t, Bing will bring up Microsoft’s new Nokia Maps and Yahoo will bring up its own as well. Apple created a disconnect here with the breakaway from Google because they have it as the default search engine — it is the best out there, after all, and they’re not going to use something like DuckDuckGo because it’s just too small right now.
Maybe Apple will update things in an upcoming beta release, or maybe they will just out their own search engine. Right now though, this is a problem.
On a side note, one nice thing about Maps in iOS 6 is that the app finally has search suggestions to make things a bit faster. So, if you do use Google a lot and have been annoyed by the sudden change to Apple’s own mapping service, at least navigating the native app isn’t as slow as it used to be. Still, Apple has really cut things off in this area and I’m really wondering how they’d go about fixing it. Maybe I’m just too used to doing something one way and need to learn it another.