This article was last updated February 2015
Mac users have had Apple Maps on their machines since the launch of OSX Mavericks in 2013, but it is not a business mapping tool.
For consumers rather than business users
Like Google Maps, Apple Maps will certainly help you find places you want to go and also provide directions on how to get there. However, it will not allow you to upload data or plot it on a map (not to mention carry out analysis and create reports) so it’s a product that’s really for consumers rather than business users with specific location data needs.
In terms of accessibility, you can create maps using Apple Maps and then send them to your iPhone. Again, this is a great feature if you want to get from A to B, though it does seem rather cumbersome to create something on one device and then send it to another device.
Where does that leave Android users?
You can, alternatively, upload your maps to iCloud and then access them through any other Mac device – iPhone, iPad, MacBook, etc. But therein lies the rub: it has to be a Mac device. Not an Android phone or a PC computer.
I have a Mac computer, but use an Android cell phone – so where does that leave me?
Back to using online mapping software…
There are two reasons to map online:
First of all, when I create my maps (on my Mac), I am not tied to a specific operating system: because it is cloud-based, online mapping software is not dependent on device software, since the mapping application and the maps I have created are stored in an external server. This also saves me using up any precious storage space on my computer.
Secondly, although Apple Maps does have a sharing function, once again this is flawed by not being cross-platform. All good and well if I am running a business and Apple Maps helps me plot potential customers (for my sales team to contact) on a map but what if my sales team use PC computers rather than the more expensive Apple Macs? They’re not going to be able to read the maps I send them.
Business Mapping software for Mac devices has not been made obsolete by Apple Maps. While the latter is a handy application for Mac users, the closed world in which it exists has limited impact for other mapping software, particularly online mapping software.