Apple Maps have been utterly useless here in Malaysia. I believe that Malaysia alone isn’t the only country suffering because if the folks in the US have issues with POI and wrong data, I can truly say that at the pace Apple moves with their map apps, they are far far behind the behemoths that are Google Maps and Waze.
When Apple Maps launched 6 years ago, it was a true disaster. Apple has to rely on third-party providers to obtain data but that has been a huge mistake because not only are the data wrong, it is hugely inaccurate and sometimes doesn’t get updated at all. On the other hand, Google Maps has improved leaps and bounds with additional data such as a friendly business setup which is free (businesses can sign up for their Google Maps location and details) as well as provides the ability to customers to rate businesses.
This gives Google additional data, not just from their own data such as the Google cars that roam the streets but crowdsourced data as well. See a restaurant you like? Check out the ratings on Google Maps. Is the address listed wrongly on Google Maps? No fear, users will send in corrections. Automating all of that makes Google the king of mapping data here in Malaysia.
Apple, on the other hand, has had so many issues with the US market and other parts of the world that it has ignored the cries of smaller markets such as ours. With only less than 10% market share in the mobile phone market, I don’t see why they would put their focus here. Google, on the other hand, bolstered by other related businesses as well as Waze gains popularity day-by-day. So much so that even if Apple made the best map apps in the world, it would take a lot to change people’s habit.
For example, the term “Google it” has become synonymous with searching or finding out about stuff. In Malaysia, “Waze it” has also become the defacto phrase as well because when my parents start using that phrase, I am pretty sure the rest of the country does as well.
Apple has mentioned that the new maps app will debut in iOS 12, the next iteration of their phone operating system starting with a few cities in the US where it will use data from their own cars. Since we haven’t spotted any of those cars here in Malaysia, we might probably have to wait a long time for any improvements.