Yesterday I drove to a city that I’m pretty familiar with, in broad strokes. I know where my usual haunts are, and I rarely ever go off the beaten path and need to pull up a navigation app to get me to where I’m going. But yesterday was different and I actually had to use a navigation app twice, because the places I was visiting were fairly new and I hadn’t visited just yet.
When I say new, I mean these are probably a year old, give or take a couple months. They aren’t weeks old, or even just a couple of months. They’ve been around for a stretch already, to the point where those who live in the city would know them well enough. But for someone that lives an hour away, they were new to me.
With that being said, Apple Maps made me almost throw my phone out the car window while I was driving.
So, picture this. I’m on a road heading North. The place I want to go is on the left side of the street, and there are two different street lights, with designated left-turn lanes, that could easily get me into the parking lot for that business. Two of them. Off to the right? There were some houses.
The reason I bring up what was to the right, is because Apple Maps made me turn right, down one of those streets, up another, and then turn left — and back towards the street it had just made me turn off of. And then it wanted me to turn left! Which put me back on the street, now heading South, and then turn right at one of those aforementioned lights and into the parking lot.
Here’s the thing, though: I didn’t actually turn right, because I had looked closely at the map and knew the business was there, to the left, and in that parking lot. I genuinely thought about just listening to the Maps app, though — but I’ve been in that position before, blindly following the software that seems so confident in its directions giving, and have just wasted so much time as a result.
This isn’t the first time that Apple Maps has done what I believe are “crazy things” when it comes to getting me from Point A to Point B, often which all includes some kind of haphazard detour that seems to be present for no discernible reason.
One time, and I mean this, the software took me through Montana for no reason whatsoever — just to put me back on an interstate it had told me to get off of eight hours prior. To me, that definitely falls under the crazy category.
I’ve had some issues with Google Maps, too, in the past, but nothing of that magnitude. While there have been some hiccups with Google’s maps app, the general rule of thumb is that I’ve had a better overall experience with that one versus Apple’s alternative. I think, simply put, I’ve grown accustomed to the fact that when Apple Maps messes up, it really messes up.
But I keep trying for some reason. I have both Google Maps and Apple Maps installed on my phone, and I typically put in the same navigational queries just to see the discrepancies between the two services. Sometimes it can be an hour difference — sometimes they’re exactly the same.
After my experience yesterday and seeing the visual tweaks arriving for Google Maps, I got curious about your own experiences with Apple Maps, or any navigational app for that matter.