Apple, Inc. (AAPL) earlier this week announced its latest upcoming version of its mobile operating system, iOS 6. The beta build showed off some new features including the new Maps application, which allowed Apple to toss rival Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Google Maps, the previous mapping application in iOS.
Perhaps he was right, but the world Apple is covering seems to be one quite different from our own. In the beta build the map names the ocean between Australia and Asia as the "Arctic Ocean". It thinks the continent of Africa is the "North Pacific Ocean" and the island of Greenland is the "Indian Ocean". Whoops.But it was Maps which may have marked the most direct anti-Google move. Google has been providing mapping information to Apple since the iPhone launched in 2007.
At the iOS 6 announcement, mobile chief Scott Forstall was all braggadocio commenting, "In iOS 6, we have built an entire new mapping system from the ground up; and it looks beautiful. This is a worldwide effort. We're covering the world."
Then there are reports that the mapping app has a penchant for suggesting curious shortcuts that take drivers on creative turns directly off bridges. Hopefully nobody tries to follow that navigator's advice unless they have one of those fancy car-boat-transforming vehicles.
True, this is just a test build, but it's a surprisingly poor showing for a company who has a reputation for polished core applications. It looks like Apple may come to regret its snub of Google Maps.