The hole in Apple’s map strategy

Click this link in iOS 5 (go ahead, it won’t bite – it’s a link to directions in Google Maps): http://goo.gl/maps/mDEE

See what happened?  It opened Maps.app and loaded the route.

Now click it in iOS 6.  It opens the Google Map website – not so helpful, since you probably wanted to use those directions that were in your inbox.

This is a pretty big use case.  Google is going to release its own iOS mapping app after iOS 6 is released, and I have no doubt that they will include a URL scheme and incorporate the URL scheme into links generated by their Google Maps web offering.

Apple could capture links opened in Safari that use Google Maps and reroute them to Maps.app, parse the URL and send folks on their way.  That won’t address a custom URL scheme.  Plus, that is an API catch-up game, as Google can change their URL scheme at any time.  That’s not Apple’s style.

I think Apple is going to roll out its own web-based maps offering to address this gap.  I have no idea how they are going to entice people to use it in lieu of Google Maps, though.

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