Apple Maps Of Melbourne Emerge And They Look Just Awful

Screenshots of Apple's iOS 6 Maps for Melbourne emerged late last week, and they serve to reinforce our previous point: these maps look rubbish in comparison to their Google Maps counterparts.

A screenshot posted to the Melbourne subreddit shows a comparison between what Melbourne looks like in Google Maps (which is facing impending doom on iOS), and what Melbourne looks like in Apple Maps.

So how do the Apple Maps shape up in comparison? Just awful.

As we can see from the screenshots, Apple Maps seem to lack the detail that Google Maps do, leaving off important place labels, train and tram stops, suburb names and business listings, instead opting for a minimalist design that shows only major streets and pretty fonts.

I'm willing to give Apple Maps the benefit of the doubt, and hope that some layers aren't enabled in the screenshots we've seen here. If it really does look like this when iOS 6 goes gold, we'll have some problems on our hands. [Reddit via Macworld Australia]

Image: Reddit



    I don't see what the problem is. It seems that the new maps are not as zoomed in making it look like its not as detailed as the google ones. All so google maps will still be in the App store if you don't like the Apple ones.

      Apple like blocking apps if they "duplicate functionality" of iOS...

        Plenty of map apps and navigation apps, already in the app store.

          That could change with Apples introduction of their own maps. But if their own maps are terrible or missing features I doubt they'd shoot themselves in the foot and disallow other map apps.

          Unfortunately Apple only allows one default map app to pick up links in contacts, apps and web pages and (like the browser) they probably won't allow someone else's to be specified.

      I'm not sure how many apps in the app store will still be google maps based... as a developer I tested one of my map based apps in the ios6 beta and found it had been converted in to the new format, so any app using the standard mapkit will loose google maps.

        Surely you can point your app to a Google map instead, like the Facebook app does with Bing maps.

    Umm, where is Swanston Street on the Apple map?

      Probably not mapped by the software as you can't drive down it. :-\

        Doesn't change the fact that its still there.

        Zoom level looks about the same

      epic fail...

        No.... It's clean and beautiful that is all that matters ... functionality is not the focus ... the new maps will be magical

    Just playing devil's advocate here - it looks like the Google one is zoomed in further

      nah its the same zoom.. apple's lines are lot thinner than google's

      Distance between La Trode and Lonsdale St is about the same, negligible difference if any.

      just compare point to point of both images, the two maps show similar boundaries and road limits. no upgrades for now

    Worse still, large portions of the satellite maps outside of the major cities are in black and white. The detail is also almost 50% less than those of google

    Apple have billions of dollars in cash. Couldn't they just buy a GPS company?

      They did... a few actually from what I hear.. most likely Apple just thought you dont need to see the names of all the roads, just like you dont need ethernet or a DVD drive..

        They are saying that a bit of pain is good for you. Apple knows what you need, and they dish out the tough love.......

          I should have elaborated. By removing the DVD drive they are saying it is good for you to buy movies from the iTunes store instead.

            Every now and then, I look at the DVD drive slot on my Mac Book Pro and get surprised that it's there. Like most people in 2012, I don't use physical disks, (besides the occasional thumb drive or SD card) the optical drive is pointless. Ive got a 50 disc spindle of blank DVD's I bought 3 years ago sitting in my room and I think I still have 40+ of them left over.

    It seemse as though Apple is looking to create the focus of their map app as a pure location finding asset for driving with the minimalist design approach. Why display specific location data all the time that most likely does not concern a specific user and just adds clutter. I'd imagine they'll be a search function so if I want to know where a tram stop is, or a church, I can search and it will then show; a more tailored personal user experience.

      In which you will never learn what is around you.

    i swear you guys write articles these days on the back of cheques by Samsung and Google... hell, they probably write them!

    "rubbish", "awful" and "some problems on our hands" to describe a beta which you obviously know that it is...


      Thanks Dude for nailing it!!

      +1.. giz once again looses the plot...

      Just because it's a beta doesn't mean it doesn't suck. They are just calling it how it is

      Apple - Because Money Doesn't Burn Itself

      The point is, Apple removed the Google Maps application, which is excellent, and replaced it with their own poor cousin of a substitute. They've actually made their devices less useful with this "upgrade."

      What happened to Apple's high standards and putting user experience first? It seems that with these maps and Siri, it's now more important to play games to mess with Google's ad revenue stream than to ensure their users have the best possible experience. I had a play with Siri over the weekend and it's truly terrible - maybe 1 out of every 10 requests was accurately handled.

      It's worth noting that Google Maps Navigation (on Android) has a beta label as well, but it works extremely well. I've used it as my sole source of maps and navigation, both here and overseas, for the past 2 years without a single hiccup.

      For iOS user's sakes, I hope Apple doesn't block Google Maps as an alternative maps application for "duplicating" their own services.

        You do know its like 3-4 months until this is released right? You do realise map skins and layers are fairly easy to update right?

        Before you all start crying for blood - What that map layer looks like is purely a driving map, which is why Swanston street is off (closed to car traffic), and why pedestrian walkways are off. So for a map for driving the new Apple map as displayed is far superior to the version on the left.

        I'm sure that with other layers turned on it would have just as much details on the map.

        So maybe think before you all start crying with your Apple hate.

          "the new Apple map as displayed is far superior to the version on the left."

          Wow, just wow. Nads' head, meet Nads' arse. You'll be spending a bit of time together from now on...

            As I said "for a driving map", Jester head meet comprehension.

            Unless of course you think its important to clutter your map with the footpaths and walk-ways when your driving a car.

            Don't mus-represent what I said, thanks!

              So before Apple brought out their maps, I suppose you were ranting and raving about how 'cluttered' the Google maps were? You absolutely hated the level of detail and information they provided because they made life, and navigation, terribly difficult? What's that, you weren't? Oh I see, you're just another fan boi who will defend whatever crap is thrown your way by Apple simply because it's from them. Might I just point out that you're the only one in this conversation who will be worse off.

                I use Tom Tom on my iPhone for in car navigation because its less cluttered and has turn-by turn for in the car - the current maps app is great, but its only really good for finding a location, POI's or for walking around in a new city and for street view.

                I have no problem with the current maps app, but no I wouldn't enjoy using it for car navigation.

                And despite my obsessive iSheep iFanboiness I WOULD be disappointed if the new maps from Apple left out details currently available on the Google implementation. But like I said this is still beta, and map layers and skins are fairly easy to update, if all the data is there.

                  What are you talking about, if you decided to try an android phone and used the turn by turn navigation there is no 'clutter'. And besides the 'clutter' is for you to learn what's around you.

              BOOM pie served with custard ..

              Everyone is talking about driving maps. You people realise its illegal to use your phone whilst driving this means operating the phone in anyway including for maps

                @Dan - Not in Melbourne. VicRoads relaxed it's laws about two years ago.

                "Mobile phones
                Using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited, except to make or receive a phone call or to use its audio/music functions provided the phone:

                * is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle, or
                * can be operated by the driver without touching any part of the phone, and is not resting on any part of the driver's body.

                Using a phone as a navigational device/GPS while driving is prohibited unless it is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle. All other functions (including video calls, texting and emailing) are prohibited. "


          Good luck with that explanation - it shows Lynch Place - try driving down there and let me know how you get on....

        Google Maps was/is only excellent on Android. On iOS it's pretty poor unless you purely want to view static maps. The missing turn by turn navigation pretty much kills Google maps as soon as you want to use it to get anywhere.

      Either your a blind apple fanboy or you don't come to this site very often. There has been many articles praising apple and all they do..

      if these were screenshots from a pre-alpha, Id still say they were rubbish. But no, this is from a beta, you know, the development stage that is basically the release candidate going through bug fixing...

      a map should contain information, not elegant & simple lines. sure they're pretty to look at, but they dont tell you what you need to know to find your way around (ie street names, landmarks etc.)

      also, the contrast between the background & the streets makes it a bit difficult to see.

    "we’ll have some problems on our hands"

    Correction, iPhail users will have problems on their hands.

      Beta implies that they are reasonably far down the development cycle.

      I find it hard to believe that the entire way through the development cycle no one realized that these weren't giving people the information required. Google maps shows you the street sizes as well as layouts, plus displays road names in font sizes that are readable.

      These are basic things that apple are just not doing.

      Additionally they are taking out existing features and not replacing them.

      I dont think Melbourne had public transport integrated into gMaps but for the cities that did have it, it was freaking amazing, and while I'm not a big user on street view, it is somewhat useful.

      It seems inane that apple's plan to replace gMaps is to replace it with something harder to read and with less features. you can argue that turn by turn is a useful feature, but it doesn't add any new features to my phone as I've had the tomtom app on there for years, which since it stores its maps locally on my phone, won't be as data hungry.

      I genuinely hope that gMaps will be available on the app store, but if I am honest, I doubt it will happen.

    Apple clearly aren't consulting with Australians, or in this case Melbournians. Who the hell calls it "Central Station"...

    The Apple maps definitely aren't as detailed as Google's yet, but as you zoom in there's more detail that appears (e.g. all the street names are - of course - included.

    I think two things:

    1) Apple's mapping system is not feature complete yet, nor will it be on launch, but they will be constantly improving it just like Google does;
    2) It shouldn't be a surprise for Apple's app to be less detailed. Everybody is so focused on the fact that there isn't as much detail, they're forgetting to ask, 'do we need the kitchen sink location, or are we just used to that'?

    Also of note, when you Google locations within Safari on iOS6, the maps you're provided are still Google's, they just use the mobile web interface of the maps, instead of reverting to the maps app. This seems a bit odd for sure but I guess it's the way it has to work.

    It must be missing a layer, where is Swanston Street?? Even though you can't drive down it,it is massive, and has so many addresses that you would want to navigate to. Say you wanted to find your way to Cookie or Rooftop Bar, you'd be out of luck.

    Since when is Melbourne Central called 'Central Station'?

      errr since forever ?

        I've never heard it referred to as "Central Station", only ever "Melbourne Central", being that it's named after the Shopping Centre above it.

        Seems I'm going to make a habit of replying to Nads' less than brilliant comments. It's not called Central Station, it's called Melbourne Central:

          My bad - I thought you meant what people call it, I lived in Melb CBD for 2 years and no one called in Melbourne Central, they called it Central.

          Yeah its official name is Melbourne Central Station, but everyone I know just calls it "Central", as its unlikely your going to confuse it with Central Station in New York or Sydney.

            Amazing, I have lived in Southbank and worked in the CBD for the last 8 years and have never once heard it be called "central"

              Nads, I am beginning to think you have no idea which way is up. Honey pie, I was born and raised in this city and when everybody got over calling it Museum they called it Melbourne Central. I understand that perhaps you didn't end up talking to anybody but yourself for the entire two years that you were here. In which case, a lot of what I have read from you today would make sense.

              Central Station: Sydney.
              GRAND Central Station: New York.

              Side note; the current google maps system does cater for Melbourne public transport as far as I know. It could be -better-, so let's see what Apple can offer!

            dude, I lived here for 11 years never have i heard anyone call it "central station" , its always been called melb central by everyone I know, and I used to get off/on at melb central to go to work for almost 3 years.

        Remember Museum station? Hmmm no, your definition of forever started in the late 90s.

    Maybe it is meant to look awful and bleak. It is Melbourne.

      I totally agree. I'm sure Sydney's maps will be much prettier.

      I wonder if Adelaide will even be ON the map then.

    I dont know what you are carrying on about... a friend of mine uses the ios6 beta and the maps look nothing like what u have screenshotted above. The maps are 3d and show the buildings.... The new maps look great! I dont know where this idea came from but its incorrect

    I'm wondering what the new maps actually look like on an iPhone? Looking at the two screenshots on a BIGGER screen than a 3.5 inch isn't really a good thing.

    The idea of keeping it simple and clean seems to be what Apple is after. Talk of the zooming might be something that Giz isn't thinking about or telling us about. What does the Apple map look like when you zoom in compared to the Google Map zoomed in?????

      They're zoomed in the same distance. If anything the Apple Map is zoomed in closer. Look at the size of Melbourne Central in the two maps, or the distance between Latrobe and Lonsdale.

    I've been playing around with iOS6 Beta for sometime now, the apple maps is just so bland and lacking in a large amount of apple polish like many of their apps. Google maps has a big heads up, and apple maps will take a long to catch-up.

    I will be hoping that I can install Google Maps on my jailbreak iphone once I upgrade to iOS6. I have done a side-by-side compare and the above image is legit!

    The station on on the wrong side of the road. Thats going to confuse a poor tourist..

      True, but there's an entrance there. Maybe that's what they're trying to show?

    "Simple and clean" - not what I want in my maps, thanks.

    And for anyone debating zoom level - Swanston Street is missing. Completely gone. Equivalent to ripping Hindley Street out of Adelaide, or Hay Street out of Perth. Not a small mistake.

    It's Melways vs UBD all over again. Google Maps looks like Melways and Apple like UBD.

    UBD eventually caved and changed the way they looked, how long before Apple does the same?

      Apple being the way that they are, they will break users before breaking themself. :-p

    As long as it works I don't give a stuff what it looks like

      Missing roads (major roads) means it doesn't work (in its current form).. so I don't give a stuff what it looks like either... but it needs to work as good as other maps, if not better.

    BREAKING: Beta 1 of a new product provides unsatisfying experience! More at 11!

    But seriously, looks like the OSM stuff isn't in there yet.

    As a user of the beta, I can tell you it is as terrible as it looks.

    However, it is a beta, and there are changes that will be making their way in (all distances are miles only at present, etc).

      Miles??? What the?? They better fix that.

      I may, just may, put up with simplified maps. I'm not putting up with distances in miles.

    How can Apple block Google Maps? So what do i use if my device hasnt been updated or cant run iOS 6?

      once this is out, apple will most likely remove google maps form their app store. if you've already got google maps runnig, it should contine to work, but yeah. cant guarantee that.

    I'm an emergency services worker. We use google maps on iPads to navigate to our destination. We Generally punch it in see what streets to go and know where to
    Go. We also use their maps to locate specific features for our reports. We wouldn't be able tO use these new maps as they don't show enough detail. It'll be useless to us.

    I just tried out the maps app. For a great example of how bad this is, just take a look at the Armadale train line in Perth. The stations are all there, but the line to show the tracks is just all over the place. Hell, at Carlisle station, it veers off over to Kewdale and there's no actual markings for the rest of the whole Armadale line. It doesn't show shopping centres or local businesses on the map. Search for "Carousel shopping centre" gives you some place in the US - even when you're centred around it.

    This really is pathetic. Oh and for all the people crying that there are layers turned off, this is with all options on - not that there are many. Lets just hope Google Maps are still available in the future.

      I have a friend with the Beta IOS6 and yes the maps show very poor detail for Perth as well, in both standard and hybrid views, the satellite views seam to be more recent scans then Google maps but the quality of the picture is poor

      For people saying its the zoom, the apple maps still didn't show much more at a closer zoom, it is the beta but i don't expect it to get much better ,

      Ps, Poedgirl Lets Blame Elwyn ;)

      The less said about Armadale the better!

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