Apple Maps now available in Australia on iOS6

Apple released its new operating system, iOS6, today and with it came a new local search product – Apple Maps.

Although the much-anticipated iPhone 5 is still a day away, Apple customers are able to get their first taste of its new operating system and maps software. With Apple’s iPhone controlling over a third of the smart phone market it’s time for Australian businesses to listen up.

Until today, Google Maps has enjoyed free reign across Apple’s iPhone and iPad offerings. This allowed your local business another avenue to reach potential customers looking for directions to your business location. As reported back in April, Apple’s foray into local search – Apple Maps – is now upon us and marketers should take note.

How Apple Maps works

  • To find your business on Apple Maps users can search only a business name or Yelp category – the first major flaw. This shortcoming is due to Apple’s partnership with a weaker set of data providers in comparison to Google Local.
  • Similarly to its predecessor, Apple Maps also allows users to find directions from their current location. A handy feature for local businesses that rely on in-store visits and foot traffic.
  • For most Australian businesses with a local presence, you might already notice they already have a listing on Apple Maps, albeit with the wrong location or details. Apple pulls this information from a number of its data partners including its prominent relationship with Yelp.

Tip: Is your business information correct? By clicking through your business Apple allows users to report a problem to help users improve the accuracy of the listing.

So what next?

Functionality, design and data accuracy are key features for local searchers, which are currently lacking on Apple Maps.  With commentators already bashing Apple’s first attempt into local search it may not be time to jump ship just yet.

Learn more about Apple’s new iOS6 software here.

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