I went on a trip to Redmond this week, and decided to stay with family the first night. Not knowing exactly where I was going, I just let Apple Maps guide me – with the 6.0 release, it includes turn-by-turn instructions – much nicer experience than Navigon. My brother-in-law’s family isn’t exactly in the North Bend City Center, and Apple’s reputation with Maps isn’t, shall we say stellar. But, when I told my iPhone to map his address, and the pin went right to the general area I expected it to be, I decided to give it a shot. So, off I went!
Now, I’m sure you can guess where this story is heading – idiot, on the road, relying on technology too much, disaster strikes.
The thing is, though, this story turned out worse BECAUSE I KNOW APPLE MAPS HAS PROBLEMS!
See, when I turned off the highway, the environment was fairly rural, but not out of my expectations. When I originally selected my destination, Apple Maps confidently pinpointed his home – no ambiguity, no question, no grey area. I assumed that if there was any doubt, the Maps App would inform me. I know, I know. Assume. Ass-ume. When you assume, you make a… moving on.
So, when I got to the dirt road, I said, “Hey, it’s probably a short cut, or they just mislabeled a connector as a paved road. No big deal. I’m close, I’m early, it’s all part of the adventure!”
So, when the dirt road started to have potholes, I got a little nervous, but I said, “I’m only about a mile away according to Apple Maps, and I’m on-time, fine, I’ll keep going.” So, I soldiered on.
So, when the friendly Siri lady told me to take a left here, I decided enough was enough.
If you can’t read the sign, I’ll help:
- “Area Closed to Motorized Use”
- “Road Closed to Motorized Vehicles”
- “No Shooting” (with bullet holes, natch)
- “Discover Pass Required” (because, you know, NOBODY HAS EVER BEEN HERE BEFORE!)
I was able to turn around, back-track, get a cell signal, and have my brother-in-law just talk me through it. I’ll live.
So, in conclusion.
- Apple Maps still sucks, Google was spot-on with the same input data.
- I have a new sympathy how people get into these situations.
- Who gets fired for approving this cartographic sputum?
Those potholes? Most are 6-12″ deep. You just don’t know for sure until you’re in one, and you hear that rock-on-metal noise and pray you haven’t just lost your oil pan…