Any company, and especially Apple, has to make sure that its ecosystem is healthy, thriving and does not depend on hidden interests of collaborators and, of course, competitors. In this regard, the strategic move to own Maps software is a brilliant move, timed well and its repercussions will be felt for years to come - and in good way for Apple. In order to understand the logic behind the Apple's move, history will be a good reminder. In desktop, before 2000 Apple had to rely on 3 pillars to provide the ecosystem for its users: Business software - dominated by Office, Microsoft. Graphics and imaging: dominated by Adobe (Pagemaker, Illustrator, Photoshop, Premier) Browsers and internet software: Netscape, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express (1998), Entourage (2001). By beginning of 2000, all three pillars really began to stagnate. Mac users were treated as second class citizen not only by MS, but also by Adobe who didn't bother to upgrade its graphic software even as Mac platform was moving to OS X. Internet Explorer was a slowest browser around. MS office for mac for incompatible in many ways with Windows version, always lagged behind and sometimes lacked important features. Despite Apple's urging, the software houses of MS, Adobe didn't really wanted to move to new OS X platform and all attention was on Windows software only. In order to provide its users with first class software, Apple had no other way but to begin creating software itself for its users: Safari: now arguably one of best browsers on desktop, best mobile browser Apple Mail: great mail software package, constantly evolving Pages: one of best word processor/DTP packages iTunes: one hell of online Store/music management/app management/iOS device management programs. Now moving to cloud. Keynote: most beautiful presentations on desktop and mobile Final Cut Pro: preferred tool for movie editing iPhoto: you don't need Photoshop for most of picture editing Garageband: record, edit and write digital music. These applications provided not only first class software experience, but also ensured stability of the platform, further guarantees of growth and stimulated appearance and improvement of rival software houses, all enrinching Apple ecosystem as a result. HOwever, when each of these programs launched, they always were, well, version 1.0. Safari was slow (still the question: is Safari snappier?, Apple Mail was not up to Entourage, Pages hadn't as many functions as Word, etc.). However, in 2 or 3 iterations the software reached the rival's standards and in many cases are themselves became examples of excellent and innovative software (reader, reading lists for Safari, wonderful graphics of Keynote, etc). Now in mobile: this new ecosystem which was launched just few years ago, Apple had many fields covered already: it had now a best mobile browser (imagine if we had to rely on Microsoft Explorer for iOS browsing - yikes!), Apple Mail (no need for Outlook), Garageband and whole Office system: Pages, Keynote and Numbers. However, mobile brought new challenges: maps (because of mobility), turn-by-turn directions, mobile search and new software needs because of the transition to smartphones and tablets. The latter was taken care by genius of Apple: creating first great AppStore, better than anything existed before, which gave iOS users thousands of new functions available on their iOS devices, beginning from imaging and games to finances, cooking and whatever needs are. Mobile search is taken care by Siri, AI assistant. Its much more capable than simple search, but its truly mobile, always on device, constantly evolving. Only now Siri is out of beta stage, but its future looks bright. Maps: the crucial location software belongs to Google, a company well known for stealing and selling privacy to advertisers, caught in multiple places by law authorities, company which was fined for intentional theft of private browsing information even when users wanted privacy. Similar to MS and Adobe decade ago, Google was not providing best experience to iOS users though its was getting most of information from iOS users, sometimes illegally. With further development of mobile platform, it was crucial that this vulnerability is closed, addressed properly and that iOS users have best mapping software in the world. Enter Apple Maps. Yes, its database is not perfect. So are databases of many GPS and mapping softwares like it, which cost higher. But the advantages of its are there: its 3D approach, turn by turn directions, its built in reporting and error-fixing possibilities, which essentially make Apple Maps a Wiki-like software, with endless possibilities for improvement. For my home town, Apple Maps lacked some information, so this morning I spent few minutes submitting what I thought, most important information for my city to Apple for upgrading the city information. I have no doubts that in next 2 iterations it will become a software far superior to Google provided that updates are fed into main database quickly and I have no grounds to doubt that based on what I hear about locked-up Apple Maps team at Apple campus . Building in such easy to use error-fixing instruments into Apple Maps is a brilliant idea. It makes it essentially an open submission software, similar to podcasts which ended up making Apple the place for podcasts, a favourite place for indie musicians and a place where you can find best apps in the world. And it will make Apple the place for maps and tagged geophysical information, all open to all users and most up to date. Because I have no doubts that Apple Maps will also be available for desktop users in browsers as well. It is important for Apple to provide easy tools for submission and integration of public transit information and an easy iOS standard for public transit information. In a cycle, I am sure we won't recognize Apple Maps. It takes time and effort. But certainly, Safari now is one of snappiest AND most sophisticated browsers in the world.