Can Google Maps Erase Bad iOS 6 Memories?
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has brought its famous mapping application back to Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iDevices with a new iteration that is designed specifically for iOS 6. This is big news for Google, but will it be enough to erase the bad memories incurred by Apple's lackluster Maps app?
For some users, those memories may never fade away. While Apple has been slowly repairing the faulty directions provided by its mapping application, the company had to act quickly after learning that Australian motorists were being stranded in a dangerous environment. Drivers in search of Mildura, Victoria were mistakenly directed to the middle of Murray Sunset National Park. The park -- which has no water supply and can reach temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit -- is several dozen miles away from Mildura.
Thus far, that seems to be the biggest problem caused by Apple's Maps app. Throughout the rest of the world, consumers are typically amused or baffled by the application's performance. "Compared with Google Maps, Apple's map app sucks," Fortune's Philip Elmer-Dewitt wrote in an editorial earlier this year. His comments echoed the words of countless tech bloggers and reporters.
One clever individual decided to humorously chronicle the endless list of Maps blunders (which continue to this day) at theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com.
Days after these and other complaints began to circulate worldwide, Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly apologized for the mess his company created. He also reportedly fired a top executive, Scott Forstall, because he would not apologize for the ailing application.
Apple is rumored to be interested in acquiring TomTom (OTC: TMOAF) -- the company that provides its GPS data to iOS 6 -- to provide a more permanent solution for the Maps app. However, it is not in Apple's character to spend billions acquiring one firm. The investment would be very expensive -- TomTom's market cap is greater than $2.3 billion.
Now that Google has brought its famous mapping application to iOS 6, Apple may not need to bother. In the few hours after is release, Google Maps became the most popular free app available on the App Store. Investors responded by pushing the stock above $700.
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