The Good Apple's Maps app finally has functional turn-by-turn directions with voice. 3D Flyover views are very impressive in supported cities.
The Bad Generic search terms bring up inadequate results. Many locations we tested lack details. Flyover produces strange visual bugs when browsing some areas. Public transit directions are no longer part of the app.
The Bottom Line Apple Maps now has functional turn-by-turn navigation and gorgeous 3D Flyover features, but lack of public transit directions, shoddy details on maps, and distorted 3D views in some areas make this app mostly unusable until there's an update.
Coming as a part of iOS 6, the Apple Maps app has received a lot of for good reason. Out of the gate, Apple's replacement for the Google-powered Maps app in iOS 5 has a lot of problems. Simply put, this app is not an upgrade over the last version of Maps.
One feature that many people have been waiting for on iOS devices is now here in Apple Maps: turn-by-turn directions with voice. Using the Siri assistant as its voice, the app in our testing on the streets of San Francisco. It delivered us to the place we wanted to go, and the voice directions gave us plenty of time for turns with few problems. The app had some hiccups when it came to rerouting, attempting to send us back to our original path rather than giving us a route on the new direction we were traveling (though it corrected itself soon after). It also had a problem with the difference between two contiguous streets with slightly different names (e.g. Broadway and West Broadway) -- a small difference, but important when you're traveling in a new city. Still, the turn-by-turn directions performed well overall, but that's not all there is to a mapping app.
Location search and map details
Where the Apple Maps app is lacking are in search and map details. In around our offices and when viewing well-known landmarks, we found several locations that turned up almost no details, where Google Maps showed much more useful information. As an example, a plan view of the San Francisco International Airport showed only the three main terminals, where on Google Maps you get shops, restaurants, services, and even an interface element that lets you switch floors within the terminal. The app also doesn't do well with generic searches like "coffee" or "pizza," giving some results, but nowhere near what you see on the Google-powered maps in iOS 5. We often don't compare an app directly to another in a review, but in this case, Google Maps is what was on the iPhone in iOS 5 so a direct comparison is fair.
Photo format from Google and Mozilla could leave JPEG in the dust
Apple's got one idea for next-gen photo technology, but a rival approach based on the new AV1 video compression tech could go a step further.
The best job in America is, oh, software developer
Commentary: US News and World Report releases its list of 100 best jobs. At the top, a job that apparently offers great work-life balance. Really?
Samsung's next big thing isn't something you can buy
Instead of showing off the features of its new products, Samsung spent much of its CES press conference talking about its vision for connected devices.
Brave browser offers to boost your online search privacy
A partnership with search engine DuckDuckGo means private-mode searches can become more private.
Speedy new Firefox Quantum browser has people flocking to it
Lots of us are installing the overhauled browser, but it'll take a busy 2018 to turn that into a real recovery for Mozilla.
iOS crashes and MacOS flaws? Here's what to do
The MacOS password flaw can reportedly return. Plus, some iPhones and iPads are repeatedly tanking. But you can fix the issues, with iOS 11.2 and with a Mac reboot.
Mozilla revenue jump fuels its Firefox overhaul plan
The nonprofit pulled in more than a half billion dollars. Now it's spending it on making Firefox worth using again.
Firefox's big-bang update brings you speed and a new look
Mozilla has doubled its web browser speed already and hopes to double it again in 2018. Say hello to Firefox Quantum.
Chrome will whack website bait-and-switch tactics
Starting in 2018, Google's browser will stop website elements that try to send you to a page you didn't expect or want.
Facebook Messenger now lets you pay pals with PayPal
Facebook's payments get a boost ahead of Apple's peer-to-peer Apple Pay.
Firefox Quantum challenges Chrome in browser speed
A beta version lets you test whether Mozilla's newly named web browser, replete with changes built over more than a year, is a match for Google.
Prepare to update, because Google Drive PC app dies next March
The new Backup and Sync app for Windows and MacOS expands Google's approach to file storage spanning your PC and phone. Your choices: update now or update later.