Business Insider has an interesting take on why we haven’t seen turn-by-turn directions yet in Apple’s native Maps app for iOS: it could be that they simply aren’t allowed to do it.
It’s hard for us to remember sometimes that despite an overabundance of cash and know-how, Apple still relies on Google for their map data; Ed Lu—who did some work for Google when it launched its own map project—suggests that the agreement between the two tech giants precludes Apple from offering turn-by-turn directions, since it would compete with one of Google’s own flagship services:
“…Google couldn’t include turn-by-turn directions on Android phones until it had control of its own mapping database. The companies that provide databases wouldn’t let Google do it, because it was a threat to their business.”
Of course, all signs point to Apple launching their own mapping service very soon—at which point we will likely see turn-by-turn directions finally landing on iPhones. With a bit of luck, we’ll know more after WWDC next week.