Once the numbers came in that Google Maps was downloaded more than 10 million times in only 48 hours, it became crystal clear that Apple’s Maps app was a complete failure.
The iPad maker realized their error immediately after launching the mapping service, but the damage was done. In an effort to correct their mistake, Apple has been working hard to improve the Maps app. Today, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the tech giant is in talks with Foursquare Labs for potentially integrating the social networking service into the Maps app.
Unnamed sources familiar with the talks between Apple and Foursquare told the Wall Street Journal that the goal is to build up a strong storage of local data in an effort to “take on Google Inc.”
Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue was on hand with executives at Foursquare in hopes that the latter would be willing to incorporate their data into the Maps app. Foursquare is a social networking service that allows people to “check in” where ever they are. In the process of developing the service, Foursquare has collected a massive amount of information regarding local businesses and the popularity of those businesses, including user-generated tips. Apple wants to stand out from Google with more than just a Yelp listing. Google’s mapping service includes data from its own search engine, which includes a link to the business website, hours of operation, and user reviews.
Its great that Apple is working on incorporating more data about local businesses to its Maps app, but that is not the reason the app failed. Instead of getting more social networking data about which burger joint is the best in town, how about making sure streets don’t dead end in the middle of nowhere, or fixing the bug that keeps the service from generating directions to certain locations? If Apple came out today and said they’d added Foursquare to the Maps app, I still wouldn’t use it.