Google rescues iPhone 5 maps

The search giant's new maps app aims to correct Apple's misfire

Topics: Google, Apple, Business, technology, iPhone, , ,

It’s always heartwarming when one wildly profitable technology company can come to the assistance of an even more wildly profitable technology company.

In the second most embarrassing tech flub of the year, (Facebook’s IPO) Apple’s iPhone 5 included a new but comically flawed maps program. The release resulted in the firing of an executive and a rare public setback for the company. In cartography, it turns out, experience matters and now Google has released a new maps app for sometimes rival Apple’s flagship phone. In a near worshipful review, New York Times gadget fiend David Pogue finds that Google’s maps app is accurate:

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Hundreds of Google employees have spent years hand-editing the maps, fixing the thousands of errors that people report every day. (In the new app, you report a mistake just by shaking the phone.) And since 2006, Google’s Street View vehicles have trawled 3,000 cities, photographing and confirming the cartographical accuracy of five million miles of roads.

Now iPhone users won’t be bumping into each other because they’re lost, they’ll be bumping into each other because they’re staring at the maps app on their iPhones.

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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