a) it’s basically Google Search just with a visual representation
b) the closest the West has to a ‘Super App’ (book hotels/restaurants/movie tickets etc straight from Maps)
Apple and Google had been long time collaborators but the relationship was finally cooling off as iOS and Android competed more aggressively. Google continually pushed the rollout date for turn by turn on iOS so it was always “6 months away.”
Eventually Apple bought some mapping companies and when they were near complete Google finally added turn by turn to its iOS map app. Apple had a reaaalllll rough rollout the first ~3 years of Apple Maps I’d say, and for years after still nobody trusted Apple Maps. But they were no longer at the mercy of Google.