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iOS 6 and OS X 10.8.2 Now Available (apple.com)
63 points by yottabyte47 on Sept 19, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 96 comments

The native iOS 6 Maps are just short of wretched. No transit directions, unhelpful default views, a dramatically weaker points of interest database, weaker scrolling performance, and a busier UI that doesn't add anything of great use.

It's a rather big turd in an otherwise delicious punchbowl, and it is going to become a real-world talking point about iPhones starting today.

Apple needs to take their massive $$$ warchest and spend an inordinate amount of money on getting maps back up in shape. Each of those $'s is worth it. It's an absolutely crucial feature and it needs to be not just good enough, it needs to be really good and better than most.

My fear is now Apple is becoming more bean counter and less passion, strong-opinion driven. To let Maps out in this shape is a troubling misstep.

That falls afoul of Brooks' law though. Apple isn't limited by development cash in any meaningful way. They're limited by staff. There aren't that many world class developers out there. Apple is grabbing up all they can, but they're in competition with a lot of other companies with sizable war chests. And the ones Apple has are hard at work already.

Google's been throwing world class talent at maps for the better part of a decade now. And it's only now, within the last year or so, that the product has even begun to look mature enough to be cloned. Basically, Apple can't buy this. They just have to work on it iteratively until it improves.

Which, IMHO, it will. The "innovative window" for maps has closed. There aren't enough great features left for Google to add, so they won't be able to maintain their lead indefinitely. Mapping will be a commodity app (and hopefully an open source one) within a few years.

> Apple is grabbing up all they can, but they're in competition with a lot of other companies with sizable war chests.

Why not start a price war for developers? Presumably Apple has plenty of funds to start offering developers, say, double what they're offering now. If developer skill and/or quality is really a primary concern for Apple, what is stopping them from simply offering more compensation? (Obviously, I'm not suggesting that this would be a quick fix to their maps project.)

Apple Maps might need some code improvement, but what they really need is data improvement, and that can be bought.

Yes, I meant the data improvement. Pay people to get all major metros internationally double-checked and corrected. Pay for POI data entry or develop that separately.

I think Amazon one-upped Apple on the maps front by licensing Navteq's maps (now owned by Nokia) for the Kindle tablets and wrapping a nice API around them for developers.


Navteq's maps are way better than TomTom's. One of my friends had a TomTom GPS a few years ago and it was terrible, like once taking us around in circles for a restaurant and showing it was three miles away, when we could see it across the street a few hundred feet away. He had such bad experiences with it that he would borrow our Garmins and finally switched to Garmin a year ago. I just assumed that TomTom was Europe based so had much better coverage there and pretty horrible maps in the US.


If I were Google, I would release a very polished maps app for iOS for $10 with ads, but they might be just content with some people picking Android phones just because the builtin maps experience and turn by turn voice directions is really good.

My experience in the reverse and backs up your assumption: in the UK TomTom has MUCH better maps than my Garmin device.

Eh, I tried the new Maps and it seems usable. What's really wretched in this release is what they've done to the App Store. It's now HTML5-based, like the old (and despised) facebook app. It crawls compared to the old one.

That doesn't sound good. The app store wasn't all that zippy to begin with on a new iPad, and became nearly unusable on an (admittedly aging) 3GS.

Unless I'm terribly mistaken, ALL apple stores (iTunes music, iOS App, Mac App, iBooks) on all platforms (Mac, WIndows, iOS) have always been web views. Every single one of them. Ever since 2002 when iTunes was launched.

And my experience in the past few months (iPad 2, iOS 6 beta) was that the store is not slow at all, so don't worry!

> What's really wretched in this release is what they've done to the App Store.

The appstore has always been web-based. You could really feel it on a slow connection (e.g. Edge), because the UI itself (not just the content) would take ages to display and sometimes fail to render altogether.

I agree in general, but it isn’t all bad. (Recounting my experience on the Retina iPad:) At least on that device, performance now appears to be on par with the old app, much improved from earlier betas (but the new iPad is a pretty beefy device, other devices may struggle more). On bad connections, maps seem to load much better (because they are now vector based) and I do like their style – if it weren’t for the atrocious map data, I think the default view would be on par with the old app (I also have seen the styling of the maps and the placement algorithms for labels improve by leaps and bounds during beta testing). Turn-by-turn is really great and works very well. I have no complaints about the UI on the iPad, it’s more or less the same (though the changes they made might not works so well on smaller screens).

(I’m in Germany, living in a small city with 50,000 inhabitants:) However, map data is atrocious and riddled with embarrassing mistakes (when zooming in, the label of my city is not visible for the longest time – while much smaller villages around my city appear much earlier – and when it finally becomes visible it’s about three kilometers east of my city, in some forest). Satellite images are embarrassingly bad. POIs are practically non-existent and useless in Germany. If they exist at all they are out of date (when I search for italian restaurants, it shows me a pizzeria that closed half a decade ago, not a single italian restaurant that is open now). Google’s POIs are current and (more or less) comprehensive, Apple’s are anything but. Plus: No one uses Yelp in Germany, Qype is pretty popular around here, though – consequently there is just no useful data on Yelp about German restaurants.

I really hope that Google will soon come out with their maps app for iOS. And I hope that Apple will improve. I believe they can (hey, it took Google some time, too), and I don’t object to the existence of a second good maps service.

I was actually thrilled that for transit directions in NYC, Maps just gave me a button to the Embark app, which won the MTA App Quest for best subway navigation in the city. It has a better interface than Google Maps for transit, anyway. It's obviously an extra step to go to another app, but if the experience is better in the long run, I'm willing to go with it.

Google Maps has been annoying on iOS for a while -- ever since they updated their Android app to use vectors, while ignoring the iOS version, it's felt much slower and I figured it was just a matter of time before they abandoned iOS completely.

You realize that Google Maps iOS app is an Apple product, right? They worked closely with Google, but it's not Google's code.

I was actually thrilled that for transit directions in NYC, Maps just gave me a button to the Embark app

I don't understand how you can be thrilled about that. It's a link to the App Store, and represents one less option available to you.

I shared many of those concerns from the previews given by Apple. That is until I actually tried using it, at which point I have deemed it much better than the Google-backed version. With that said, I think your location matters: Transit directions are not something I can use anyway, for instance.

Honestly, I think this just showcases how difficult maps really are. No matter how bad people in the US are finding it, I guarantee that users outside the US are going to hate this change even more than you do.

It's a great example of something that doesn't scale easily.

Yes, the map over Helsinki, Finland is full of errors like stores and restaurants being in totally wrong locations or just plain wrong (according to the map I have a bar I never have heard of on my iPad 200m from my house in the middle of a park).

I suspect Google will release an IOS app putting back their functionality soon enough. I hope so because while the apple maps looks pretty, the utility comes from the search by point of interest, and that's considerably weakened by this release.

There are a few improvements though, I like the new app store better because I don't need my password to update apps, or buy free ones, and the icon has a little 'new' badge to remind me to try the app.

> I don't need my password to update apps

As an Android user who was recently given an iPad for work, this one step stopped me from installing probably 10-20 apps. I'd be on a site, think "oh there's probably an app for this", realize I'd have to type in my 15-character password, and think "oh...well using the website's ok I guess". It baffles me that it's been around for as long as it has.

I haven't had time to explore it very much yet, but I was a bit disappointed when I first launched it and found that the only overhead imagery available for my area is in black and white. It's hardly a remote location.

I suppose they will be making a lot of map-related deals over the coming months, but Google may have arranged exclusive contracts with some companies.

Turn-by-turn is great. If only Google could bring that out of Android-land and into their iOS app.

I saw someone tweet (and someone I follow retweet) this: "Nine years ago Safari was released: a fringe browser that didn't run sites for IE well. Today, its engine powers everything. Now think maps."

I laughed and then felt really, really bad for them.

It's unbelievable the way people react to criticism. (in any cases, not just Apple/iPhone)

Trojankitten is extraordinarily astute and her opinion is not to be dismissed as partisanship. She is correct in that Maps are a fundamental and incredibly important platform service that will only become moreso over time.

Doesn't change how much they suck today, though.

If it doesn't change how much they suck today, then why do people keep bringing it up in response to complaints about how much they suck today? I can understand speculating that the new maps will get better, but I don't understand why that's being used as a response to people talking about how terrible they are now.

I have no idea who this person is other than guessing she is a female from her profile picture. It's also not the first tweet I've found to be completely off-base and ironically, the second today. The tweet about intro/extrovertedness is just flatly wrong.

I have no reason to take her tweet as anything but what it is. In context with her other tweets, I feel pretty damn safe in calling it at least a bit partisan. A quick scan of the first above-the fold tweets shows another conversation that is blatantly intentionally down-playing the badness of the iOS6 maps.

edit: I mean, I haven no stake in this, as I've said I have no idea who this person is, but you can't read through that feed and tell me with an honest tone that it's not biased. It's blatantly pro-Apple tweet, anti-Google tweet, ambiguous tweet about Microsoft competing with Google. Repeat.

edit2: I've devolved into an off-topic rant about some random Twitter account. I apologize. I'll merely conclude that likening iOS6 Maps to Safari (and really WebKit) as a response to how bad Maps is... is pretty desperate in my opinion.

Yes it's biased, she's deeply opinionated, yes she's an opinioneer, etc... But she's still got a piece of the truth in hand: Maps are important, they're only becoming moreso, and Apple is extremely unlikely to sit on their ass now that they've launched their own stack. (especially once their customer satisfaction numbers start plopping, which they will)

What in the world is an opinioneer?

A word I made up.

Now that is a much more palatable and understandable angle. I completely agree that it makes sense for Apple to take it in house. I completely sympathize that is a monumental (literally, World-sized) problem to tackle and that for a first-release, this is probably admirable of Apple.

I guess I still don't buy that Apple Maps are going to become the ubiquitous success that WebKit is.

There's one of two implications at hand:

1. It will be the best thing ever because Apple made it (which makes me immensely sad and is why I groaned at this tweet).

2. It will become a staple used by everyone like WebKit.

I don't see any chance of #2 happening as that would require Apple to license that data, or make it a service, or a reusable component for others to use. I can't think of anything that Apple does so with currently, nor any movement from them to make that seem like a logical choice.

Thus, again, I'm left wondering where on Earth someone comes up with correlating iOS6 Maps and WebKit.

I'm thinking it goes something like this: Let's assume Apple's map quality is more or less resolved within the near future and put it aside. What can they do with total control over a POI+venue database?

-- They can generate statistics on who's searching for what, when, and where from and sell that off or give it away free to venue operators.

-- They can link custom Apps and content to a venue. (Welcome to the Museum! Tap here to download a free tour guide.") They can link .passbook offers directly on-map. ("Tap here for a discount on entry, today only!")

-- They can sell off preferential search results, preferential ratings, or retargeted advertising like Google and Yelp do.

-- They can do the opposite of that and proclaim that their maps and venue listings are of unimpeachable quality without gamed results

-- They can create a meta-venue datatype through Apple Connect that allows authorized entities to quickly whip up appealing micro-sites for their venues "Drop your menu .PDF here"

-- They can do anything they want with in-venue navigation, which is going to be massive now that the interior mapping tools are coming onto the market

With all this done:

-- They can API-ize this and create mini-sites or mini-apps wrapped in Yelp-y context that replace the entire idea of how you interact with a venue. For instance: "Thai Bistro" is now an App that tells you exactly what's going on with your favorite joint without consulting twitter, facebook, a webpage, and a mapping service.

In short, with this map platform they can now own the total experience of -leaving the house-. Google is years ahead of them on this, and it's unlikely Google's willing to share their advances with their frenemy.

Maps are foundational to representing the state of the civilization around you. It's the Webkit for Real World Experiences.

I don't think her point is that it's going to get used in lots of other projects but that it will grow to be a big success, and one that people will look back on and say "Apple was right to set off on this weird-seeming path back then." We'll see, of course.

(I say this as somebody that was shocked that Apple didn't build Safari 1.0 on top of Mozilla/Gecko. KHTML?!)

I mean, in that regard I hope she's right. I hope that Apple brings Google Maps some serious competition and obviously, for my iOS breathren, I hope that their maps experience continues to be enhanced.

But we all know that, right? Maybe this was just a response to "iOS Maps sux. Apple sux." type comments? I'm not sure. It's hard for me to believe how polar peoples' opinions still are on iOS and Android to have to have these silly conversations.

I'd say the 2005 open source release of WebKit was a necessary precondition for "Today its engine powers everything."

Is there any reason to expect a similar direction for Apple with maps?

Webkit was just Apple's fork of KHTML.

The KDE Linux desktop people should get way more credit for having written the engine the powers Android's browser, Safari and Chrome...

Besides it not being open source, etc?

Also, it seems very misguided to use "Safari was released. [Safari] became successful."...

to imply that "AnythingElse was released. AnythingElse will become successful."

Literally pick any product that has ever not become a rousing success and you have plenty of counter-examples as to why that logic is faulty at best.

I still also find it be evidence of pandering to go out of the way to say "Safari is a success" rather than "WebKit". The sentiment of the tweet isn't even remotely accurate for "Safari".

I've seen that response several times now, and it's incredibly bizarre. Why should a guess at the potential future impact evaluation of how the thing is right now?

Based on kbutler's response above, my other post detailing the two options I see and the fact that my "Uh, it's not open source?" comment is downvoted, I'm inclined to think that there are some here that believe "Apple release -> auto(eventual) success".

I mean, as you say, what other basis is there for even making such a strange comparison between two vastly different projects (an open source rendering engine and a proprietary data set gained through partnerships and manual data gathering?

That one is not that bad, I just take it to mean a humble start can become a fantastic product.

Now this one on the other hand, I can't figure out the state of mind leading to writing it and releasing that to the world:

> What’s missing from this conversation is that map usage is critical. […] Google’s maps are going to start degrading. Apple’s will get better. They’ll meet in the middle within 18 months.

Finally input type="file" (file uploading) is supported on iPhone/iPad/iTouch devices natively in mobile Safari.

About darn time - took how many years?

2012 - 2007 = 5

About 5?


Even Nintendo got this right, on the 3DS of all things.

It's less surprising when you consider Opera writes all of the browser software for Nintendo.

Actually, no. Since the 3DS at least, it's ACCESS Software's NetFront NX (WebKit, albeit outdated, not their custom rendering engine).

Much awaited "feature".

OS X 10.8.2: Adds an option to discard the changes in the original document when choosing Save As

Glad to see Apple finally address this issue!

Previous discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4339609

Edit: the problem with color profile on SSD drive with FileVault enabled[1] seems fixed also.

[1]: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1401741

Google, if you're reading this: _Please_ release your maps app for iOS. I can't upgrade to iOS 6 until you do, and switching to Android isn't an option!

We are now finally able to set a song as an alarm ringtone!

That's a bit of an antifeature. You grow to loathe the song you set as your alarm ringtone.

Is this link US only or something? It only brings me to the unspectacular regular support page: http://i.imgur.com/g6fFz.png

Is there another, better, link available?

Here's the link to the OS X Update: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5460

On iOS you can update by going to Settings > General > Software Update

OS X users can go to App Store > Updates

I'm in the US and I get the same thing. No update available for me for OS X or for iOS. I'm guessing they do a rolling update...?

I'm in the UK and currently downloading the update for both iOS and OS X.

For those wondering, this update seems to run just fine on 3GS. The new maps app works smoothly, and Safari loads pages either the same or else just slightly faster than before.

(Similar results not guaranteed.)

I updated my 3GS to use iOS5 when it came out, and my phone has been horrendously slow. Even just scrolling from the home screen to the search bar(all the way to the left) would result in a 10-second delay, and sometimes the whole phone seems to stall when I click a text field to bring up the keyboard.

Did anyone else have a similar experience? Is it better on iOS6?

Updating to 10.8.2 has broken virtualbox for me. The error I'm getting is: "VT-x is being used by another hypervisor". I'd be careful updating if you use virtualbox for development.

I see the same thing.

I tried reinstalling/updating to the latest version of VirtualBox, but it did not help.

Update: I managed to disable VT-x by following the procedure described at http://tech.techteam.gr/virtualbox-vt-x-problem-cannot-disab... and starting the virutal machine with VBoxHeadless. However, this immediately made my host machine completely lock up, so I cannot recommend it :)

I was told in virtualboxes's irc to check back tomorrow for an update. apparently the devs aren't around right now.

Just had a mini panic.

Both Windows 7 guest (blech) and Linux 2.6.18 (aka Oracle Developer Days) guest just launched on OSX 10.8.2, VirtualBox 4.1.20r80170, no problems.

Oracle just release VirtualBox 4.2. Release notes mention Mountain Lion support.


Happy Hunting!

have you tried updating VirtualBox to 4.2? this seems to have fixed the problems with the 10.8.2 update.

no luck. Seems like the problem occurs only for newer macbooks. https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=51331&...

Im on a iMac late 2010. So yes, the issue is with Macbooks and Macbook Air.

Mac 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 OSX 10.8.2 and VirtualBox 4.2.0 r80737

Same Error. mayday

Changelog for OSX 10.8.2


Looks like iMessages finally supports messages sent to iPhone.

It always did. However, now it supports messages sent to your phone number in addition to email addresses.

Still no update for wi-fi on macbooks and crazy fans on Airs :/ OK the fans are a little bit more sane now since the last update, but still no in the tolerable range. And the wi-fi seems, at least to me, to have gotten worse with the last update. I'll update and see if it is fixed and they just didn't bother to mention it in the announcement.

1) Go to maps.google.com in Safari on your iPhone or iPad

2) Hit Yes when it wants to know your location

3) Hit Yes when it pesters you to add it as an icon (for once, it's not bothering me). The icon is snazzy.

4) Enjoy your almost-as-good-as-the-app-was mobile Google Maps experience. Complete with transit directions.

Didn't see any word on battery life fixes in 10.8.2 - any notes on this?

Yes. According to various news outlets, battery life improves significantly with 10.8.2.

Thanks. Might we get back to Snow Leopard levels? I'm still on SL, and have been wary of upgrading due to the reported significant battery life drops in Lion, then ML.

Apparently, yes. This test includes 10.6.8 numbers:


Here, let me Google that for you. The first Google result was this article, "OS X 10.8.2 Restores Notebook Battery Life to OS X Lion Levels."


In the future, if we're not around to look things up for you - give it a try sometime. http://google.com

Sweet, except

a) i only went and bothered to look at some mac sites, not the all powerful everything in my life revolves around google


b) nothing was on the mac sites when I looked except "hey this new stuff is out" - nothing specifically on the battery life changes


c) I was actually sort of hoping someone who's not dependent on being pro-apple and ad revenue on their site might have real life experience to share.

oh, and finally

d) that link is nowhere near the 'first result' for all google searches on that topic. the fact that it was number 1 for whatever particular phrase you searched for doesn't mean it's "#1" for everyone all the time. Most of what I found was "Apple says they're going to release something that will improve the battery life", but no hard experience.

tl;dr - your google search results aren't everyone's, and not everyone googles for everything all the time as their default life mode.

I was downvoted, but not the guy asking easily-Googleable questions. Right.

So, I guess it's clear: we want more people asking stuff that can be answered by the first Google search result... by the article title itself.

Got it.

It's not what you said, it's the way you said it.

Non-rhetorical question: How do we say "Please, perform a cursory Google search before posting questions like that."

That's less snarky, but still pretty snarky. It's hard to sugarcoat the fact that the parent poster literally didn't read the title of the first Google result.

I guess maybe something like "I did a Google search for 'x y z', and it turned up the following relevant-looking results: ..."?

I think anybody can get the subtext "and it wouldn't be hard for you to do the same" out of that :)

I am not an iPhone user. Can someone explain "Do Not Disturb"? I think I am missing something, I thought that was what the switch was on the side of the old iphones?

The DND feature silently declines alerts and calls when enabled. I haven't used it yet, but I am assuming the alerts and calls that have been declined due to DND mode will be available whenever you turn it off/check the notification center.

You can also schedule DND mode to go on and turn off at certain times.

You can whitelist contacts, too. There is also an option to allow calls through that happen in rapid succession (something like >1 of the same call in >=3m).

The switch on the side of the phone was just a "silencer," without any fine-grained control. "Do Not Disturb" is a more intelligent kind of silencer -- it silences emails, texts, and any sort of app notifications, but you can let it selectively allow phone calls through (either "Everybody," "All my contacts," or just your "Favorites"), and it has a feature to allow repeated calls through (if someone calls you, then calls back a couple minutes later).

My iPhone is my only phone, so I want it to ring whenever somebody calls me, but I don't want my phone beeping with emails and texts all night. Previously, the only way to accomplish this would have been either to set all sounds except the ringtone to "Silent" (manually changing every sound) or to leave all sounds happening, but plug in a pair of headphones at night (which makes all notification sounds except the ringtone go through the headphones). I've been doing this for months, but it's obviously a pain.

"Do Not Disturb" is the solution I've been looking for.

Whenever I think it is finally time to ditch my Blackberry and get an android/iphone I see something like this and it makes me change my mind. I would really enjoy a lot of the features that the iphone/android have but for the most part I really only use my phone for calls, emails and light web surfing.

Please tell me that Android has a similar feature?

The slide switch is for muting audio. The do not disturb mode allows you to automatically silence notifications (both audibly and visually) during the night, though you can also whitelist your favourite phone numbers if you wish.

"Adds an option to discard the changes in the original document when choosing Save As"

Well, that solves one problem that everyone here on HN was complaining about.

How might I upgrade from iOS 6 beta to iOS 6 release? My phone says "up to date", even though I'm positive it isn't.

I don't think the betas let you do OTA upgrades. You have to jump into Xcode or iTunes to get the released iOS 6. Of course the GM really is what was release today so no need to update if you're running that.

Anyone know when XCode 4.5 will be out?

The GM SDK and accompanying XCode came out the same day as they announced the new device but it was only available through the developer program afaik (i.e. not through App Store).

I checked this morning. It's on the developer website, but still in preview mode.

It's showing up in the Mac App Store now for me.

It already is.

I'm excited to finally have the Yelp! maps integration.

  > Apple made this maps change despite its shortcomings
  > because they put their own priorities for corporate
  > strategy ahead of user experience. 
So Anil knows what was going on between Google and Apple (Google license for maps expired this year) to claim this?

maps.google.com and saved to home screen works pretty well. its almost like the old maps app.

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