The Real Problem with Apple Maps

Earlier this year I travelled to Hong Kong. I’d never been there before and I wasn’t 100% sure about making my way around the city. I knew that I wouldn’t be there long enough to warrant getting a local data SIM and I’m not crazy enough to try roaming data on my Vodacom contract, either of which would be necessary if I wanted to use Google Maps. So it turns out I was wrong. By simply loading up Hong Kong city on Wifi before my flight, I was able to use the GPS to navigate around the city. As long as I didn’t reload the App I was fine.

When Apple announced iOS 6 vector based maps, I was over the moon. This meant that I could do exactly the same thing, but on a much bigger scale with all the tiny details included which were missing from Google’s tile based maps system without refreshing the page. Awesome.

Now there’s been a ton of bad press regarding Apple Maps, but frankly I think this has been blown way out of proportion. Apple maps for Johannesburg are about on a par with its Google counterpart.

That being said, there’s still a huge problem with Apple Maps and that is that you, for some absurd reason, require a data connection to plot a route. Why!? If I have the downloaded map, my current location (via GPS) and my destination, why would I need a data connection to simply connect those dots?