First, it's Google head on. This is exactly the stuff where Google is very hard to beat. For Apple, it's a little outside their strengths. Too fiddly. Every damned place in the world has their own little public transport issues, data sources. Apple are more of a clever solution with the right compromises bunch than a "slog our way through 10 million random issues until a pattern emerges" bunch.
I like the moxy, but there's always going to be an "are we the new Bing?" cloud hanging over projects like this, unless and until they "win." All that said, I'm glad there is something out there that isn't google.
A few years ago Apple disclosed that Apple Maps has 75% marketshare on iOS.  Mission accomplished.
Assuming that number is accurate, as Apple Maps is preinstalled on iPhones it means 25% of users went out of their way to manually remove it. Mission far from accomplished (and hence Apple's efforts in the OP to rebuild Maps' dataset entirely in-house.)
I'm also curious what the active usage numbers are versus Google Maps on iOS.
Ok, maybe slightly less than 75%, because Waze exists. But again, crushing Google Maps is not the goal. Keeping people on iOS is the goal.
This isn't a manufacturer problem, it's an Apple problem. Lack of choice is baked into their design, which is uncontroversial among both proponents and detractors; the former would (reasonably) say that there are tradeoffs that are the other side of the coin to constraining the user so heavily.
Also, they had practical monopoly. Apple doesn't
I agree with your point, and think I can guess what that phrase means, but I'm not quite remembering why Bilbo Baggins would be associated with being intentionally vague about something :)
I'm not sure if it's what OP meant though.
It says nothing about the users that have no use for maps and just counts them anyway
Strategically, Apple maps is in a good spot for Apple - Google's offering isn't the major choice of users for a piece of critical functionality.
What choice do they have? Maps, location data, and the services they enable are critical to mobile devices today, and will only get more so with AR and devices without screens.
“Everybody but Google” isn’t good enough judging by the current state of affairs, and Google doesn’t play by the same privacy rules as Apple, so they seem to have few options.
> * I work for Apple’s Maps team. We are interested in doing some fixes and improvements to inland water features in Australia on OSM, such as adding and improving geometry of polygons for lakes and wide rivers, fixing broken relations, and correcting alignment issues for inland features when they meet the coast.*
> Atlas , a tool Apple created for querying, visualizing, and storing OpenStreetMap data.
> Data Improvement Projects  being worked on by the Apple Data Team.
> Building Footprint Data  that Apple is sharing.
So the question for Apple is why tie themselves to a 3rd party platform? If they're going to go to this massive level of effort to generate the best data set they can achieve, they'll want to control the full stack for quality and predictability.
They could feed the OSM-relevant data they create to the platform, but that means a lot more work to create and maintain the integration tools and manage the workflow, along with potentially reduced revenues if they make OSM too good.
I doubt they'll care about any threat from OSM, but I doubt they'd see the overall effort as a good business investment. This isn't as straightforward as open sourcing some software.
As ever, define "worse" and "my area".
OSM is consistently worse worldwide (compared to Google, TomTom and Here) for geocoding. OSM is consistently worse for lane guidance. OSM is generally worse than Google worldwide for commercial POIs (shops, restaurants etc.), but on a par with TomTom and Here, and this is very location-dependent.
OSM is better worldwide, by several orders of magnitude, for pedestrian and bicycle mapping. OSM is generally better for non-commercial POIs. OSM is very often better in all aspects (save geocoding) in rural locations, particularly in Europe.
If you're an American motorist then Google is your best map right now. If you're a European cyclist then OSM is really the only game in town. It's not a black-and-white issue.
I think a perfect example of Apple doing this is: Webkit. Webkit gets back a lot from Apple (though I'm sure there's plenty of room to be miffed at Apple for being slow sometimes, but it still doesn't disprove the point) and it's a core part of their user-facing applications.
Personally, I'd like to see them just open source what they have and let the world enjoy. Either approach would certainly remove the death grip Google has on mapping solutions right now.
Edit: update for grammar and clarity fixes.
I like to be thinking that, but being aware of me liking that thought, I'm asking myself: would I actually do so being some Apple executive? And I'm not sure I would. I do think that being community-supported is really, really great, and OSM has a pretty good community too. I'm a big opensource proponent, so it's easy for me to say, but I also think having their maps (software and data) free (as in GNU, yeah) wouldn't harm Apple, given the map is not their unique product they are selling. And being a native supporter of something that could be wikipedia for maps would be huge. So, yeah… yay OSM?
But, with all that said: IMO, OSM is a huge organizational mess. Giving them money & satellites, and then just expecting it will all "solve itself out" isn't really something I would do being responsible for Apple Maps. For starters, it's not like all OSM community members automatically become Apple employees, you're basically donating to somebody over whom you won't have any leverage. What's more important, it's not clear what it the goal of the donation, what OSM is expected to do with that? And how it will serve Apple? Their priorities seem to be quite off, OSM doesn't give a shit about any "product" whatsoever, they are just guys passionate about collecting all sorts of geo-data into databases nobody ever uses (at least, as far as OSM is concerned, they are the database: they don't make apps). And it's even questinable if such way of collecting data is the way to go in the age of imaging satellites, widely accepted spyware on every phone, ML and "big data".
And it's not like this is cheap, any way it would be done. And, no offense, but "partnering" with OSM wouldn't be exactly partnering. OSM doesn't have managers, engineers or cartographers any better than Apple can hire, all they have is community, which wouldn't even be OSM community anymore, if Apple rolls out a better (and more accessible) open geo-spatial DB than OSM has. Which, I believe, they are capable of.
also Apple need to bring alternate satellite image providers like ISRO, SpaceX
Apple could do the same thing with maps. Support a robust open mapping initiative to make sure their primary business (selling iPhones and other devices) has a solid platform for emerging technologies like AR. Making sure they have a solid maps offering supports the Apple (aka iPhone) ecosystem.
Also similarly to Google, they can still push plenty of proprietary things on top of the open parts of the initiative.
Gwern's article about it was recently discussed here on HN:
Makes perfect sense, they don't need to make money on it, just an alternative to google.
It the same argument when someone talks about an issue with an open source software. The response is, “The source code is available, go fix it yourself.” It doesn’t work that way for anything but trivial issues.
No one said it has to be your job or passion. I've fixed a couple of areas in OSM, but I've probably spent no more than a few hours working on it in total.
> It the same argument when someone talks about an issue with an open source software. The response is, “The source code is available, go fix it yourself.” It doesn’t work that way for anything but trivial issues.
Fixing a map for a locale you're familiar with is orders of magnitude easier than fixing a bug in an unfamiliar codebase potentially built with unfamiliar technology. That's assuming you know how to code in the first place.
That doesn’t work unless everyone else is doing it. And for that to work, everyone should be using it in the first place. It’s a catch 22 problem. To be fair, it is possible that people do this where you live - which may be a reason why it is usable there, but I have not found that to be the case at the places I have visited.
Perhaps it is not as complicated as fixing a software bug, but the idea is same - the data is available publically, go fix it.
If that were actually true, Wikipedia would be no more than four stub articles written by Jimmy Wales.
The real barrier is people looking at a volunteer project and asking themselves "how can I take from this what I want?" rather than "how can I contribute to this, even in a small way?"
No one says anyone has to take on the herculean task of totally fixing all the problems they see in their area. But if you spend a little time fixing something, it will get better and perhaps even attain a high enough quality to satisfy you.
Create an account, figure out how to navigate the interface, figure out what rules apply to your update, apply update, get reprimanded because you followed the explicit rule for "I'm not quite sure what to do with this".
He tried to dream up some notions to gamify improving OSM's data. While their current data quality trends are remarkable, better is better, right? (I don't have the gumption to find & link their conf proceedings slidedeck right now, sorry.)
I have interest and experience with GIS, location-based stuff, games. So we tried to brain storm some game ideas.
Sadly, we got nothing.
But I'm confident someone will divine a MineCraft-esque smash hit game. Something simple, fun, engaging, cultural, that with 20/20 hindsight will leave a lot of people facepalming.
Sure if they could have a super high quality dataset they build themselves it would be stupid to share it, but they don’t have that data, and I wouldn’t bet on them to have it even putting all their weight in the effort.
There is also the issue of motivation for the user to give feedback. If I do it in Google Maps I know it will benefit most users. In OSM it’s a pure gift to the community. Apple Maps ? it’s less clearcut.
The reason to partner with OSM would be to cover the other 99% of landmass. It's very, very difficult to scale an operation like that otherwise.
According to the article, OpenStreetMaps was one of the data sources that Apple used and decided wasn't up to snuff.
The article doesn't specify what the problems were with OSM, or if there were any problems unique to OSM, but one of Apple's priorities is rapid map updates, which is something that can be accomplished faster if it's in-house.
In addition, Apple intends to update its new maps in real-time (new road opens and 100 iPhone users drive on it, it magically appears on the map). I don't think that's possible with OSM.
The article just strikes me as plain wrong in this regard. Yes, of course Apple isn't going to use OSM in the Bay Area, but it's a big world out there.
It'd likely be necessary to make that data available under the same license OSM is under, but that'd be it.
The way people use OSM, they grab a dump of the data and then load it into a database or whatever (probably processing it into a convenient schema) and then build maps from that database. So it's pretty easy to have more than 1 source contributing to the map you are displaying.
For updates, edits to OSM are available minute by minute, so if your data ingestion is up to it you don't have to put up with the stale data:
OSM comparatively was of much higher caliber, which was surprising.
Bear in mind if malicious entries got into OSM and made their way into Apple's data, guess who eats the smelly sandwitch for that?
It admittedly doesn't seem like a great fit for current Apple.
Maps, location data, and the services they enable were available on Apple devices before this project. They outsourced to Google, like everyone else. I can see how that's a strategically concerning position, especially considering that they are in a two-horse race against Google, but... you are going to have some uncomfortable dependencies in this business regardless. I mean chips are important.. nevermind.
Google was withholding the latest features from the Apple version, including vector map data and turn by turn directions. There's also indications Google wanted access to user location data in return for some of these features, something Apple was not willing to compromise on.
Sure Google could've promised that they wouldn't collect which tile a phone requested by specific user agent, but that would be silly.
This is absolutely it. Maps, location data, and point clouds will power ARKit on the phone and perhaps in glasses.
Apple’s mobile UX has always relied on vertical integration, from custom-built A* chips all the way up to iCloud-powered software. Similarly, mastering underlying AR technologies will give Apple maximal control over its AR user experience.
Perhaps this would be too risky, but they could license it from Google?
This seems better for consumers in the long run: better to have two maps apps on the device, both attempting to be comprehensive and accurate.
When Google launched navigation on Android, it lost money in countries not covered by Ground Truth, which I think was everywhere outside the US. That's because TeleAtlas and co. charged N times as much when the same data was used for real time directions.
>But multiple sources familiar with Apple’s thinking say the company felt it had no choice but to replace Google Maps with its own, because of a disagreement over a key feature: Voice-guided turn-by-turn driving directions.
>Spoken turn-by-turn navigation has been a free service offered through Google’s Android mobile OS for a few years now. But it was never part of the deal that brought Google’s Maps to iOS. And sources say Apple very much wanted it to be. Requiring iPhone users to look directly at handsets for directions and manually move through each step — while Android users enjoyed native voice-guided instructions — put Apple at a clear disadvantage in the mobile space. And having chosen Google as its original mapping partner, the iPhone maker was now in a position where an archrival was calling the shots on functionality important to the iOS maps feature set.
>And this caused Apple — which typically enjoys very tight control over its products — no end of philosophical discomfort, sources say. Apple pushed Google hard to provide the data it needed to bring voice-guided navigation to iOS. But according to people familiar with Google’s thinking, the search giant, which had invested massive sums in creating that data and views it as a key feature of Android, wasn’t willing to simply hand it over to a competing platform.
>And if there were terms under which it might have agreed to do so, Apple wasn’t offering them. Sources tell AllThingsD that Google, for example, wanted more say in the iOS maps feature set. It wasn’t happy simply providing back-end data. It asked for in-app branding. Apple declined. It suggested adding Google Latitude. Again, Apple declined. And these became major points of contention between the two companies, whose relationship was already deteriorating for a variety of other reasons, including Apple’s concern that Google was gathering too much user data from the app.
I think it was a major strategic mistake on Google's part. But this was the heyday of Andy Rubin, and during that era Google was letting the tail wag the dog in trying to differentiate Android. They've since come to their senses and Android is back to being what it was always designed to be, a vessel for Google's services that actually make money. But that forced Apple to enter this business when they otherwise wouldn't have and now it will serve as a core technology from autonomous cars to AR. And since they're already sinking the capital and doing the grunt work to make Maps from scratch, they might as well earn some incremental revenue from it .
That story is cool, but it's missing at least an additional plot twist that "people familiar with Google's thinking" cautiously chose not to mention. I doubt the Apple side would bring it up. Hopefully in ten years someone will write a memoir about those crazy days.
I disagree that this was a major strategic mistake for Google; they had no other realistic choice. A bit of that was informed by the experience with the built-in Maps AND Youtube apps written in Cupertino. The article talks about features and data, but there are other realities to contend with. Of course, Apple had its hands tied by earlier events and choices, too. Things were already on a collision course by the time the negotiations started.
This sounds definitive. Is it a conjecture, or do you know something that you're not mentioning (or possibly it is widely known and just I don't know it …)?
The All Things D article is nice when it comes to drama and gossip, but omits details behind words such as "there were a number of issues". Those twists might be mundane or boring for a good story, but made the divorce even more inevitable. The relationship was doomed to fail.
Getting a good dose of impotent rage just thinking about it.
(The most ironic part is the pop-up "You should increase browser zoom level to get a better Google Maps experience!". No, Google, not really.)
Popular app that uses OpenStreetMap-data:
The only complaint I have about maps is that it doesn't seem to know where I'm going next. Nine times out of ten the place I'm navigating to is the same place I navigated to from the same spot yesterday.
The problem is that while Google Maps is very popular, it's not easy to find and use these features. I just came across is accidentally one day. Or it's possible Google asked me if I wanted to save if when it detected I do it often. It's been a while so my memory is a bit hazy on the original workflow I took.
While talking about hard-to-find-and-use features: sometimes, when I try to get directions, Google offers to download them for me for offline use.
This is frustrating because it only happens sometimes, but I want it almost all the time. There's a relatively easy way to download offline directions for a specific region, but I can't find a way to download offline directions for a specific route (including, presumably, a small fuzz of nearby information—I don't know what it downloads when it offers, since I find this hard to reproduce). Just downloading all the regions involved is impractical for, e.g., cross-country drives.
Do you know how to download offline directions for an arbitrary route, when Google doesn't prompt me to do so?
Now what if you're trying to casually browse the map to get an idea of what's around you? Have fun!
From south to north the streets are:
"You should already know all the streets" is not what I would call a scalable approach to labeling maps.
I had to look at the street signs and compare to the map on my phone to determine where I was and where I needed to go.
"Why do you need to see the name of the street" is a really odd question to me.
I don't get why a MAP, won't show street names. Its maddening when you have street signs and have to look around to figure out what street you're on in the application.
I'll just say Google is great at making AI and A/B testing away things that are useful and needed in a pinch.
If not, the current strategy I use is to google map search a business I see and the street name and that usually works.
And this is the heart of the Google philosophy: Second-guessing the user, rather than delivering what the user asked for. A map is a tool, not a guessing game.
You're much more likely to pull open a map to go somewhere instead of learning about street names in your own neighborhood.
If I'm in my own neighborhood, I'm probably not using a map. If I'm somewhere new, I pull out the map. Maps 101.
Well this user is happy, I don't want a digital copy of a paper map. I love the dynamic aspects of Google Maps and hope they continue to evolve new ways of showing me what I want before I do anything.
> If I'm somewhere new, I pull out the map. Maps 101.
And still I ask why would you want to know that the street is named Pike? When I'm somewhere new I don't care what any of the streets are named, I care about what is on those streets. Street names matter for turn by turn navigation, but just browsing around are useless to me. Seattle could change the name of every street tomorrow without warning and it wouldn't change where I want to go for lunch.
From your example -- If I'm in Seattle and I see "Pike Street" I might wonder if the city's #1 tourist attraction, the Pike Place Market is nearby.
Or I could just let Google decide what's best for me like a good, compliant income bag.
As for places of interest, I've seen an article that blew my mind. By analyzing business concentration, they are able to deduce the interesting parts of a city (they are shown in a different color on the map). And it works. Famous streets tend to show brightly, and even if you don't know the name, you know there is something there.
Of course it doesn't mean that street names are uninteresting, but on a map, choices have to be made. And tbh, when we have all these powerful tools, street names are, I think, secondary. It is not that I think Google choices are the absolute best, just that what works best on paper may not be the best for computers.
Obviously we use the product differently, but I'm not using Google Maps to study for The Knowledge exam. I am looking for POIs which is what Google emphasizes, streets are
just part of getting there (and are then emphasized when you're in navigation mode).
Anyone who's been given a wrong location or directions by Google Maps. Repeatedly.
Like when Google Maps tells me repeatedly to drive my car through the lobby of a hotel to get from Point A to Point B.
There's plenty of examples of Google Maps screwing up royally and people needing to use Google Maps as an actual map. Just Goog... oh... right.
Your comment literally seems to say "Why would you do this thing, since I don't?". Surely that reasoning is just as specious as (say) asking why someone would want a vegetarian restaurant, since you eat meat?
I like riding my motorcycle around and exploring the city. I may not have a specific destination in mind or want to take the most efficient route. being able to quickly pull up a map of my location mapped to signage in the real world is indispensable.
Naming streets is the entire point of a street map. It literally maps names to streets.
No, it's not. Showing where streets go is important independent of naming; street maps exist for places with unnamed streets (and include the unnamed streets), which would not be the case if mapping names to streets (or vice versa) were the entire point.
So many folks (myself included) rely on our phones for GPS & navigation, and having the UX for that be monopolized by one player is leaving a huge use case for your phone in the hands of your biggest competitor.
I think Apple has the opportunity to make a very unique & compelling experience, with their deep integration with the OS that they don't offer to outside developers. Though we'll see if they can actually execute.
This makes me wonder: where is "Apple search"?
For example, see Safari Suggestions - https://imgur.com/a/uyd20c6
Wait, isn't Spotlight the name for Apple's local search (and maybe it's now used for whatever kind of unified search iOS likes to do?), whereas Safari's feature of treating things entered into the address bar that don't look like URLs as search queries is just a common redirection feature (analogous to the Firefox Awesomebar/Omnibar/whatever it's called now) that has nothing in particular to do with Spotlight?
I would argue that my pushing for more prolific relationships with developers, you sort of chip away at this competitive threat with more specific, vertical-oriented searching experiences.
Example: I'm searching for restaurants nearby, I _could_ open Google, or I could leverage the Yelp/OpenTables of the app store.
Same thing for travel - flights, hotels, etc. all have apps that could, in theory, better serve the user than the catch-all "Google Search" app.
Maps is a slightly different beast; it's almost as ubiquitous as the "Phone" app itself .
But I would be very suprised, if Apple had not a team working on search algorithms, so they could start a search engine of their own, if the need is there.
Anything it can't do directly it punts to Bing.
That's a level of moralizing that isn't really appropriate for analyzing decisions like this. It's equally true, and for essentially the same reasons, that Android as a whole exists because the Google leadership basically assumed Apple would screw them over sooner or later if they could.
Businesses compete, basically. It's a good thing and the efficiencies that result make us all wealthier. It's only "screwing someone over" in the myopic eyes of the internet fan boi.
That is the whole reason. Same with Chrome.
This should be the default assumption for any relationship - doubly so when corporations or big $$ is involved. That's why we have legal paperwork even for inter-family agreements - your Mom & Pop may love you now but in 20y when dementia sets it, that may be out the window (or Mom dies, Pop remarries and Step-Mom hates your guts, etc etc).
Every time someone doesn't use Google Maps, Google loses ad revenue. If people don't use Apple's maps, Apple has lost nothing but a few bragging rights.
Shortly after Apple Maps was introduced Google suddenly came through with these features but they lost access to peoples location and being the default app for locations on iOS.
Apple wants to allow users to make map data requests anonymously using a random identifier that changes frequently.
Google wants to link the device requesting map data to a particular user account.
Google was playing hardball and refusing to provide turn by turn directions (as they did on Android) unless Apple stopped protecting their user's privacy.
Rather than give in, Apple decided to roll their own mapping service.
It's all about the difference between how the two companies make money. Google chooses to monetize their users' data. For instance, using their location data to tell it's advertising customers that a user has entered a store that sells their product. More recently, they have started buying credit card purchase data from third party data brokers so they can go farther and inform an advertiser that someone who saw their ad ended up buying the product advertised.
... because Google/Android abuses peoples privacy by following them everywhere, which gives them an advantage/much more data.
"Google admits it tracked user location data even when the setting was turned off" :
There is nothing Apple can do to preserve their Chinese user's privacy against their own government. Either they stay in China and allow the government to access their citizen's data, or they leave China and another phone manufacturer will allow the government to access their citizen's data.
Google on the other hand is under no such pressure to violate their user's privacy. They could stop at any time, but have decided that the increased revenue and margins they can extract from the data is more valuable than their user's privacy.
This seems so obvious to me, I don't understand why this false equivalence is brought up so often.
Apple could absolutely leave China if they really cared about privacy; the backlash against the govt would be huge - your argument "but if we're not abusing your privacy, someone else might instead!" just backs the claim that Apple is doing it by choice, and their own free will. Both are doing it for money.
And do you really want a corporation to have the ability to hold a nation state hostage? What’s next? Allow us to sell our stuff without taxes, or we’ll shut shop and let you handle the outcry? Allow us to circumvent <insert a corporate
unfriendly law here> or we’ll let you have it?
For better or worse, a corporation can’t be allowed to dictate the policies of a nation state. Yes, it is sad that the Chinese don’t get the same privacy rights as citizens of other countries, but that is a problem with the law of the land, not any company.
>Google on the other hand is under no such pressure to violate their user's privacy. They could stop at any time, but have decided that the increased revenue and margins they can extract from the data is more valuable than their user's privacy.
There is also no pressure on Apple to violate their users privacy. But, they do it because China represents a large percentage of their revenue growth. If it were not for their cooperation with the Chinese government their stock would tank. China is one of their largest markets, if not the largest, so of course privacy was always going to take a back seat.
>This seems so obvious to me, I don't understand why this false equivalence is brought up so often.
Probably because of Apple's hypocrisy on privacy and human rights. It's absolutely disgusting to listen Tim Cook preach about human rights and privacy, with every interview he does, considering their business practices in China.
Even better, they could only offer end-to-end encrypted services in China so that the datacenter operators can't track more than the ISPs already can.
Apple can go against prevalent business practices, other companies etc, but they can’t go against the law. And they shouldn’t even try! Do you really want a corporation having enough power to go against the law? If you live in a country where someone (including the government) can legally force you to forego your privacy, there is literally nothing you can do - except try and get the laws changed - something you may not have the power to do - even in a democracy.
The difference between Apple and Google is that Google is doing things which may not be desirable despite no law compelling them to. If the US government (or any other government) manages to pass a law which says that Apple must turn over all the user data they have - or that they must collect certain types of data, there is nothing Apple can do other than comply - or shut shop. The sole reason other Apple can resist other countries’ governments is because no one has passed laws similar to China yet. There are people who resist the passage of such laws - something that is not the case with China. Apple (or any corporation) is not going to war with a nation state over the rights of the said nation state.
>The difference between Apple and Google is that Google is doing things which may not be desirable despite no law compelling them to.
No, the difference between Apple and Google is that Google decided to leave China rather than cooperate with the government.
>If the US government (or any other government) manages to pass a law which says that Apple must turn over all the user data they have - or that they must collect certain types of data, there is nothing Apple can do other than comply - or shut shop.
Shut shop? You mean like how Google shut shop?
Let’s say Apple leaves China. So what next? Do you have any contingencies outlined where the people of China get their rights?
And by the way, it’s not about Cook. Decisions like these are made by the board with shareholders’ agreement. I recommend you learn how things work before you go bashing.
There is a simple fact here you seem to be ignoring. If you want to do business in China, you follow Chinese laws.
If you have issues with China's human rights, you should encourage your local government to take up that issue. Your post reads like a bunch of raw emotion and statements like "Tim Cook doesn't believe" that which are just impossible for anyone BUT Tim Cook to know. Relying upon supposition of what you think a person thinks, and extending that to a company to arrive at a conclusion of: money > human rights is... pretty sad as arguments go.
>If you have issues with China's human rights, you should encourage your local government to take up that issue. Your post reads like a bunch of raw emotion and statements like "Tim Cook doesn't believe" that which are just impossible for anyone BUT Tim Cook to know. Relying upon supposition of what you think a person thinks, and extending that to a company to arrive at a conclusion of: money > human rights is... pretty sad as arguments go.
What's really sad is that Apple's revenue from China is far too lucrative for Tim Cook to really care about human rights and privacy. Tim Cook knows he'd probably be ousted as CEO if he ever tried to exit China.
Are you suggesting Google is being allowed to store Chinese citizens’ data on servers outside China? If the servers are within Chinese territory, it doesn’t matter who is hosting them - they are subject to the same laws.
For majority of those people Apple maps works good enough and for other there is always Google maps. Apple does not have to beat Google maps out of existence, that is not the Apple's objective. Their objective is to make sure they are not dependant on Google for maps. It is easy to build that kind of product.
I really don't think Apple is either capable or comfortable with dealing with the kind of messiness maps data represents vs google, who is essentially an expert on wrangling such data.
Of those four things, which has the most potential to monetize? Maps.
People look for restaurants, for gas, for hotels, for rentals, for real estate, Etc. All of those things are being offered by a vendor who would love to know when you're looking and would love to be able to put their pitch in front of you when you are.
Maps is to phones what the browser window is to laptops.
Latest entry in Dec 2017: How far ahead of Apple Maps is Google Maps? https://www.justinobeirne.com/google-maps-moat
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-Satellite imagery to generate build footprints.
-Lots of human intervention
-Land based car imagery
the article mentions being able to create a 3d, textured world and do some pretty interesting localisation (street signs that look like local signs, fonts that match local fonts etc) that shortens the gap between the real world and the map.
id say that from a UX perspective (even if their core data isn’t quite as good, which we really can’t comment on yet) they’re doing a lot of interesting things that google isn’t doing.
that’s not even to mention that they’re doing it all while respecting their users’ privacy... something that google will likely never do any more than obligatory hand waving toward.
it think they’re doing quite a lot better than google maps, but it’s just not data related.
A point that I often see missing is that Niantic (Ingress then Pokemon Go) historically is strongly bound to Google.
The get people’s real world movements for long periods of time, it’s even included in the game mechanics where you see path with consequent flow of people. Coupled with all the user submitted and user validated “places of interest”.
Overall it’s a tremedous amount of data of pretty decent quality.
I don't have an iOS device so I can't comment on current state, but I hope this gets first class attention.
Another problem is that it loves to move your viewport -- sometimes just a small zoom out or something, but sometimes moving you entirely, or searching around your current location instead of in the selected map area. I would prefer it if every viewport move had a prompt saying "Hey, I'm going to move your map to some other area" and give me a chance to complain, or have some sort of seamless "save this view" thing that goes into a stack in the corner so I can go back to the view that I was looking at.
This is absolutely infuriating for trip planning.
If its a fairly fresh app launch, default to around me
2. The lack of consistency is especially annoying. "Italian" redirects to Italian restaurants in my area, and the same goes for "Chinese", etc.
I'm stil amazed how hard Maps makes it to view a street name. I can fill my screen with a street and nothing else, and I still won't see its name. I feel like they actually do it on purpose to breed dependence on Maps for navigation references.
> I'm stil amazed how hard Maps makes it to view a street name.
This is one of the reasons I prefer Apple Maps to Google's -- because IMO they do a slightly better job of that. Still wish it would be better, it's a daily nuisance for me.
Suppose you want to find things that match X near some landmark Y. As far as I know, you have two options. One is to search for the string "X near Y" and hope Google parses it correctly. The other is to search for Y, memorize its location on the map, search for X (which has a good chance of moving the map view to some random location), pan and zoom back to Y from memory, and click "search this area". It's a huge pain.
If each query was a layer, you would also have a basic GIS. You could allow the user to start asking spatial questions, such as, "Show me where all the Chinese food restaurants (layer 1) Best Buys (layer 2) are.
"Hmm. I need to go to Best Buy but I'm flexible about food. Let's tap X on the Chinese food layer and search for Poutine restaurants instead."
Do you want to take a shorter route? "No | Yes (auto selects in X seconds)"
I feel this is possibly the best way you can provide the options.
I think changing from your current plan unless you panicedly (and in my jurisdiction, illegally) press a button to stay the course is just generally bad UI.
Part of this is I just don't trust Google Maps' new route to actually be faster. It seems Google Maps doesn't properly weigh the cost of these items, which leads to it's suggested route usually being slower:
* Crossing bridges during rush hour.
* Making a left turn without a light across 3 lanes of traffic.
* Going down small residential streets that are too narrow to safely drive the speed limit.
* Routes that require turning onto a busy road without a light and the corner having really poor visibility.
[tap] Oh, sushi. Not in the mood for that.
[tap] Oh, that's closed.
[tap] Oh, that's too close to the one I already tapped, let me zoom in...
[pinch] [tap] Oh, sushi again.
I'm genuinely surprised at how many people here apparently consider that a better user experience.
Or that Google (of all companies!) hasn't rigorously tested this and found that lists work better. They convey so much more information and the whole reason you're using a map is because you don't know where stuff is, so you're going to need all that information.
If you search for something like "McDonalds", you care about which McDonalds is easiest to get to, and you don't really care about anything else.
Even if I'm looking for something more vague like "restaurants", I still usually prefer to see everything laid out on the map, but that's because I usually walk places, so location matters a lot to me.
I absolutely cannot understand why this isn't fixed. This happens so often.
Being able to hover your finger over certain points and quickly browse the options on a map would be great.
We do. Samsung used to have this on their phones (not sure if they still do):
I really liked the idea (and thought the hardware was pretty good on the Storm 2), but was too unusual on too-unpopular a phone to do much of anything.
BB never really understood how to do 'experience' - except in things at their core like battery length and keyboards. As nuanced and insightful as they were there ... it's like they considered everything else a joke, or didn't want to go deep.
The whole screen on Storm moved - neat idea - should have never made it out of the lab. Or at least, not in the manner it was. It was possibly ahead of it's time as I could feasibly see Apple doing something like this - the new MacPro trackpads are very, very nice. So subtle.
But it's all history now :)
With a mouse, the 3 actions
- double click
Ideally, the actions triggered by them are extensions of the previous one, too. With the mouse, we have that:
- hover = tell me more, but don’t really do anything
- click = tell me more and select this item
- double click = look, select, and open this item
⇒ if we can’t get a real hover, in an ideal world, a softer or shorter finger tap, not a long one would mean “tell me about this”. I doubt we can shoe-horn that into the UI this late in the game, though.