I tested out the new Apple Maps iOS 6 application while driving a friend’s car around Washington, D.C.
My first destination was 9707 Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda. This is an enormous apartment building on one of the most major arteries of the metropolitan area. Apple thought it was about 1 mile from the actual location and had it on the wrong side of the street.
The application does not seem to take advantage of traffic information. This is a serious problem in a city whose Saturday afternoon traffic would make nearly any Third World capital seem like an efficient place to live. The 20-minute trips of my youth (1970s) are now one-hour ordeals, albeit ordeals that are endured by Washingtonians enthroned in the most luxurious cars on the market (I saw two Lamborghinis!).
The iPhone 4S was not useful for more than one trip in the Washington area because the battery life when using navigation is limited to about one hour. It is possible to turn off the LCD backlight and rely on voice directions, in an attempt to save battery power, but the screen turns itself back on every time there is a new instruction.