I've been an avid iPhone user since the iPhone 4 and have bought every iPad so far. iOS 6 may mark a turning point to me such that the 4S that I have now may well be my last iPhone. My phone for me is probably beyond anything else a way of getting places (ie maps). Even more than phone calls, SMS or the Internet.
I sympathize with the position that Apple wants to control the entire experience but I really am dumbfounded that they've sacrificed user experience to do it. So much so that I don't think I want to update to iOS 6.
When compared to Android, the one remaining pillar for the iPhone for me is battery life. The 4S simply trumps any Android I've used or witnessed to date. I typically have to charge my phone only every 2-3 days. The Droid I have (which admittedly was a terrible phone) is lucky to last a day. The Galaxy S3 is better but still...
I look forward to the next Android phone running out-of-the-box 4.1 (or whatever the latest release is at that point).
For example, the first system update my phone had problems installing. It took two weeks of Googling and Verizon store visits to figure out that I had to do a factory reset for it to work. The second system update has been lingering on my phone for about 3 months. The install process simply never finishes, no matter what I do.
Second, apps simply stop working one by one. Flipboard doesn't manage to load images anymore. Wunderlist can't sync anymore. Installing Instagram breaks the built-in camera and gallery completely. Lots of random errors in other apps. The weather app stopped automatically refreshing. The alarm app doesn't go off anymore. Not to mention the application cache limitation to 150MB. So even though I have 500MB available storage, I can't install more apps, since they don't have room for temporary files. If that's full, apps simply stop working (only fix I found was a 1-hour phone-rooting process).
The touchscreen sometimes stops responding (off/on fixes that). Tapping a bookmark on my home screen loads the browser, but not the actual link. The phone randomly restarts at times. The unlock screen started misbehaving recently. And on and on.
In comparison, my 4 year old iPod Touch is more reliable and more fun to use than my 2-year old HTC. My 3.5 year old MacBook just upgraded to iOS6 and everything runs smooth as butter.
So my experience is that Android phones get worse over time, and Apple devices get better over time (or at least stay the same). Of course, your experience may differ, and maybe Android is more mature by now. But I'd highly recommend not to base a switch on a few features, but to take the overall service you will receive over two years into consideration.
Doing an OTA update on day one in fifteen minutes is a big factor. Nerds/tech crowd can get through Android updates but for the average user it's an utter clusterf* of a nightmare.
More work goes into figuring out IF your Android device will be updated than goes into the entire iOS update process...
(Yes, I'm saying "don't buy non-Nexus devices." Not like that's a hard one to grasp, though.)
"But I had to wait four days" is really just...really? And that gets you frothy?
But even a glance at what version of Android is being used: http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html shows that over 2/3 of all Android Users are still on 2.x or before, and it's very likely that many of them will never have an opportunity to upgrade.
That gets me frothy. iPhones get 3 to 3.5 years of updates, and Android devices averaged on whole are getting what, 1.5 to 2 years? Maybe less, considering how many aren't being updated?
The answer of "only buy a flagship" is bunk. If Google supported that answer, they should cut out the cruft. But Android is more than flagships.
So I installed cyanogenmod 9.1 and I fell in love with my phone again. It's not perfect though but I don't think I'll ever want to buy a non-stock Android phone again...
So being a rather passionate Android guy I do recognize that there are very annoying problems with some Android devices. And installing cyanogenmod is way above the skill level of the average phone user (even though it's rather easy).
Sometimes I wonder if iPhone people experience the same kind of disappointments ... and when they do it makes me feel a little warm inside. I know it's not nice but I guess we all need to justify our own purchasing decisions to ourselves every now and then :)
The iOS4 update on iPhone 3G was absolutely terrible, the phone became pretty much unusable. The 4.1 update made it less unusable, but the phone was never restored to its former snappiness (unless down-dated to iOS 3.1)
There's also the issue of updates being (at least somewhat) intentionally nerfed for older devices. Sometimes it's explainable by hardware or performance issues, even if a stretch, but other times it feels like complete arbitrary bullshit:
* for iOS3, 3G owners couldn't "view or create 'Invitees' on a Calendar event" while 3GS users could
* for iOS4 3G owners not only didn't get multitasking (acceptable considering the performance issues) but they didn't get the fast-switching UI and attached tools (orientation lock) or larger fonts in messaging applications (...) either
* for iOS4.2 3GS users didn't get the expanded set of text tones
* for iOS5, 3GS users didn't get location-based reminders (geofencing)
* for iOS6, neither 3GS nor 4 owners get turn-by-turn navigation or panorama mode; 3GS owners don't get offline reading lists
Oh, and to be honest as well, I don't hear many complaints from the iPhone crowd.
8 hours? What?
It probably goes without saying that iOS isn't for him.
My own anecdotal Nexus experience (I own the Google updated GSM version): no crashes (although there was a brief syncing outage last night), updates are smooth and fast, and the whole "it just works" thing applies.
But you're right about the error messages, when thing go wrong there are very few apps that will tell you about it.
I don't see a problem with just jumping back to the homescreen, most people will reopen the app right away anyway.
There's a lot of work to do in that field, and that's catching-up work more than improvements. It's much like discussing the Nexus One. Let's talk about it again in a year or two.
I would love something as dead simpel as an Iphone, but IOS is far too limited for my likes (especially lack of sideloading, intents and services).
On top of that, the UI design quirks are infuriating, and this is from a guy who's spent the better part of a decade mostly using a BlackBerry. (Trying iOS here, shortly. We'll see which sucks the least of the three...)
Android still hasn't lived up to its promise, and the software fit and finish is pretty lousy. Had I paid for this phone, it would certainly have gone back during the return window.
Every review I've read say that Samsung's UI isn't even particularly bad.
Also, the next Nexus (or nexuses, as rumored) is likely to arrive in October. Anybody with a GNex already has a good phone and can afford to wait a month or two.
I haven't rooted it, just used it as an average person would for Facebook/browser/weather/etc. It was very surprising to see the phone degrade so much over time.
Given that Macs don't run iOS, this casts a lot of the rest of what you say in a very strange light (and he gave you the chance to correct it were it a 'typo', but you doubled down). I was curious as to the problems you said you had with your Android devices but honestly I'm wondering now how much of it is user-inflicted for reasons other than "I installed Instagram".
And my Galaxy Nexus installed the 4.1 update by pressing one button on the device. Anecdotes are interesting that way.
Building a good maps service is miles outside of Apple’s core competency, so this is all very sad – but at the same time no surprise at all.
(Mind you, all this at best explains the bad maps experience, it does not excuse it.)
Google and Apple have been unfriending each other since Schmidt resigned from Apple's board three years ago. A jilted Apple is again "looking and feeling" for reasons to drag the ex who cheated on them into court. Heck, in Samsung, they are even treating one of their current "friends with benefits" like an ex.
TomTom's response, "We are a paid escort service, you can find us in the phonebook."
But Apple didn't want a relationship, just a one time cash transaction so that Apple can encroach on TomTom's business.
Part of me suspects that Apple got the worst possible data set TomTom could deliver and still plausibly argue they met the requirements of their agreement with Apple. There was no strategic advantage in doing otherwise.
Apple needs to move on. It was Google that did the cutting off.
I disagree. Even if they gave them a high quality data set, that set is going to be obsolete within a year (let's say). Now Apple can either choose to keep obsolete data (which will definitely impact customers) or buy updated data from TomTom.
TomTom's problem is that their devices only communicate one direction. A partnership with Apple could have allowed TomTom to collect realtime data directly in the same way as their major competitors.
In the next twelve months, Apple will probably have collected more useful data than TomTom in many respects. That doesn't mean they will be successful in using it to their advantage, but it does mean that there is little reason for Apple to purchase a new dataset.
Maybe my creativity is limited but I just don't see how Apple being able to collect data would help with getting updated maps. I think it could help with their directions since they know the most commonly taken routes and could actually even time people's routes to find which are truly the quickest, but I don't know how it would help with updating maps from road changes and the like.
I have fallen victim to this. I bought a new used car (it's new to me but a 2007 model) that has built in navigation. Between the date of manufacture of the nav disk and current date, an interstate was added/modified near me. Now everytime I go by that area my GPS says I'm in the middle of a field. In reality, I can't see a customer filing a ticket with Apple to get that road in the GPS system. Even if they do, Apple would most likely need coordinates. This construction of new roads is what TomTom has a temporary strategic advantage over Apple (only temporary since Apple could get a department together to monitor all new roads).
The other thing you ignore is that people want their local data to be correct in the maps they use, for practical reasons. I too reported new construction around my home everywhere I could, because it's, among other things, in my best interest to have my address easy to find (by guests or postal drivers, for example) on any GPS out there.
Nokia has hardware and maps; Microsoft brings in its OS. That either is win-win, or lose-lose, but there is little reason for either party to be suspicious of the other at the moment.
On the other hand, Apple has good reasons to be suspicious of Google. Collaboration with google can be a win-loose combination, with Apple at the losing end: Google wins if iPhone fails.
The relationship with Google came apart when Apple would not allow Google Voice on the iPhone.
Also, Apple-Twitter and Apple-Facebook are, I think, good complementary fits, too, and that only because their own attempts at social networking have been 'less successful'. I do not see that changing anytime, if only because one cannot expect that all one's friends use Apple hardware, and I do not see Apple develop e.g. FaceTime and Messages for Windows.
I do wonder why Apple chose to build its own mapping solution. I think the only logical follow-up to that would be that they went their own way for search, too.
That's more or less what they did, the maps are coming from TomTom and Waze. The main issue with the iOS 6 maps application appears not to be with the map data itself, but with the (lack of) points-of-interest and their accuracy, which cripples the search functions. A company like TomTom is mainly concerned with maps and points-of-interest for car navigation, much less with finding individual shops, landmarks or other places you find by other means than street address. Probably you won't have any problems finding gas stations, motels or roadside restaurants and such with iOS 6 maps, but good luck finding all widget shops in New York. TomTom's navigation units do have some points-of-interest outside of what you'd expect from a satnav, but it's a far, far cry from the amount of data Google has.
As it stands, I don't think there is any single party besides Google that has so much diverse geographically indexed data. There simply is no company that Apple could have bought to fill that gap. It will probably take them years to gather even half of the data Google Maps already provides.
If you compare the first example image from the article  with the TomTom data  you can see the minor roads are present in TomTom's data, present in Google's data, but absent in the screenshot of Apple's software.
This may well indicate a problem with Apple's software.
Vector slippy maps run on bounding box searches - if I look at New York, my client says to the server "Tell me all the roads within this square" with the latitude and longitude of wherever I'm looking.
There's a lot of data - too much to store on one server - and the data doesn't all shard naturally. You can divide the world up into squares and store different squares on different servers, but long roads cross many squares, big objects like country borders belong in many squares, and when you're zoomed out your view covers many squares.
The server also has to be clever; I don't actually want every road in New York or the data would take forever to load. I only want the major roads when I'm zoomed out.
All these problems are solvable - spatial databases like PostGIS have been able to perform bounding box queries for years - but I don't know of anyone using PostGIS to support the millions of users Google have. It's well known that for regular data Google has things like BigTable, fancy NoSQL stuff that's supposed to scale well; I assume they have a geospatial database along similar lines. It's possible Apple decided to develop something similar.
My guess as to how  came about is that the user started zoomed out, so they only got sent major roads, then when they zoomed in some hiccup prevented loading the minor roads. This could have been as simple as the user's wifi going down, or it could that Apple's database servers are overloaded or have bugs.
No wonder it's so terrible. I have Waze but I see it as nothing more than a navigation toy. It has turn by turn but otherwise it's pretty terrible compared to google maps.
I'm downgrading back to 5.1.1.
That may sound flip, but I'm very serious. Their app commits the cardinal sin of going out of its way to distract people who are driving a ton of metal and plastic at high speeds (what the hell is a mapping application doing with "pick-ups" on the road and why the hell is it beeping at me for it?!). It's the most irresponsible app I've seen on a phone. I don't call many companies "evil" but Waze seems maliciously so.
I am not sure they could have done things much quicker to be honest.
As far as Google giving them turn-by-turn capabilities-- that's really the special sauce that sets Android apart. It was probably available, but at a price that Apple didn't want to pay. Plus, Apple probably didn't like that they weren't getting their 30% on the revenue from local search in the Google Maps app.
So, in the long run this will work out for Apple. Sure, the users will be affected in the short term and it may never actually be as good as Google Maps.... but hey look, shiny pictures of 3D buildings
Before Google Maps, digital maps were HORRIBLE. Even the first iterations of Google Maps were better than just about everything, save for a Thomas Guide. Everyone has gotten used to putting data into a map application and being returned a reasonalbly correct set of instructions or representation of data.
This is inexcusable today. As far as horrible changes you can make to a smartphone, this ranks way up there (short of having a dialer that doesn't work).
Ultimately I imagine that Apple will get Maps solid eventually, but not delivering a solid product initially will cost them.
Incidentally they did buy a couple of companies related to mapping, so they've got some in-house knowledge of mapping but a poor dataset will always be poor no matter how many smart people are sat looking at it.
One statement contradicts my statement, and the other supports it.
The Maps application probably does have some flaws, but it seems a lot of the flaws are coming from it's mapping data that's stored. This is why buying TomTom wouldn't improve the situation, as the data set itself is where the issue is. In response to ZeroGravitas' statement that TomTom would have noticed before it does depend entirely on how the data set from TomTom is being used but that doesn't necessarily mean that the application is flawed, it could indicate that the data points they've been supplied with aren't consistent for what the application is trying to do.
Apple has made a mistake though, ZeroGravitas is bang on about the buck stopping there. In the UK however we're seeing all sorts of mapping data glitches causing the issues, rather than anything on an application specific level. But it's still Apple's fault, but I stand by the point of them buying TomTom not helping the bail out the boat they're in.
They're using Tomtom's dataset, it's not like buying the company would improve the quality of the dataset.
"User experience fully depends on the choices these manufacturers make."
"We are confident about our map quality, as selling 65 million portable navigation devices across the world and more than 1.4m TomTom apps for iPhone in the past two years reaffirms this quality."
I can think of plenty of things that Apple did that everybody hated on day 1 because they caused immediate pain, but in the long run were for the best. The decision to drop almost all existing connectors for USB. Mac OS X (which was just unusably bad for a year or two, if your apps even ran on it yet). The Intel transition.
The complaints continue today: the Macbook Retina display means half my apps look bad, and the Lightning connector is a slap in the face to everyone with 30-pin docks. And Maps version 1 is terrible (even though they look better than Google's first Maps release, to me).
No surprise at all that Apple wants to be in full control of every app they ship on iOS. The last time I remember them doing that on the Mac was perhaps Internet Explorer. Can you remember how bad Safari 1.0 was?
There are good reasons for Apple to have their own mapping that will eventually lead to a better experience. Think about how many Apple apps already need some kind of geolocation (Find iPhone, Find Friends, location based reminders), there are lots of potential synergies there. It just takes a while to catch up on the half a decade of experience Google has had in doing it.
That being said, my Nexus S tends to run out after about 10 hours now, which is intensely frustrating.
It's a major issue when traveling, which is when you want your fancy smartphone mapping features the most. If you want to be able to use it later in the day, you have to be careful not to use it too much earlier.
I've been pleasantly surprised with the Galaxy Nexus battery life though, which usually lasts me just about two days.
God help you if you took pictures or used your map application much during the actual course of the day.
The day smartphones can allow a user to use every core application heavily (maps, email, voice, camera) all day from the time they leave their bed in the morning till the time they return to it will be a great day imho. It isn't every day that you're travelling for business, but it's these users and these situations that feel the pain points of battery life the most. It happens to millions of people all the time, every day.
Just because you don't think you need x amount of hours of battery doesn't make it useless for everyone else.
Also, people who question why do you need more? Because you can do more things. Our usage of smartphones is increasing in many ways and improved battery life should not be counted in terms of how many hours of talktime it will give you, but how many hours of <insert heavy battery eating application here> use it will give you.
Wait. Are you saying I missed an expression of sarcasm on the internet? Sorry manaskarekar, but that's impossible.
But even when not travelling, I will sometimes forget to plug my phone in one night. It's really frustrating when it dies the next morning before I have a chance to recharge it again.
* fair amount of web browsing
* little or no media or games
* heavy twitter, fairly heavy facebook
* 50+ SMS/gvoice messages per day
* 50+ emails a day
* ~1-2 hours of phone
* ~30 mins of tethering a day
coming from an iphone myself i was worried about battery life on the nexus, but it actually does better than my iphone did.
Maps suck for me because....
- google map links found in google search and almost every website are useless. I click these links weekly and now with ios6 when clicked these once very useful links take me no where useful( I know it's a google map link but...)
- plugging ios6 into my car via USB renders turn by turn useless...UNLESS I am listening to something on iTunes or spotify then I will hear Siri speak turn by turn?
- Millions and millions of iPhone owners now have to buy more power cords after ten years of using the same one? Why not go with wireless charging?
The moment Samsung or someone came out with a beautiful, fast Android phone with great hardware and a decent manageable size (S3 is too big) I'd buy it in a heartbeat. The software itself is pretty great - especially the camera app on the S3 for example.
Daft name, but high resolution screen, jelly bean (android 4.1) pre-installed, and fantastic battery life compared to most smart phones
Also, FYI, the previous Maps app did use Google Maps, but the app itself was written by Apple. I once was at a Google event and asked a Googler who works on Maps about it. They have been frustrated for years that they could not update that app when they added new features to Google Maps. I expect within a short time we will see an iOS Google Maps that is on par with the Android app.
That right there is, to me, the biggest miss in iOS and why I am quite ready to move to Android entirely: it is very convenient to be able to share data between apps. Take a picture with the camera, share it out of the gallery into an editor, then just the same share it out of the editor into an SMS, Twitter status, an Evernote, or anything else that registered itself for that filetype. I love it so much I actually miss the functionality on all the desktop operating systems. iOS, by comparison, forces one to use either the predefined list of sharing services, or to keep saving things and opening them in each app one by one.
I can see that Apple has noticed the omission, judging by the 'arrow out of the square' share buttons showing up everywhere from desktop Safari to Mail.app, but it's still very limited and by comparison.
However, the number one feature I wish I had on my iPhone is the Android intents system. It is seriously great. I'd love to be able to set the default application for different actions. When I tell my Nexus 7 to play a particular song it will now launch Spotify to play the song I requested. I should be able to do this with Siri. This would be a huge feature for me.
I wonder if Google will do that. Surely they want people to use Android, and "better maps on Android", would be a nice selling point.
The more difficult problem will be getting the app past Apple when it so clearly 'duplicates functionality in iOS.' My understanding is that one of the main drivers behind the change on Apple's part is that they wanted to collect user location data (and deprive Google of it), which doesn't do the job if 95% of the user base switches to the Google app straight away.
I think they'll definitely allow a Maps app from Google if they submit one. I also think that Google very likely wanted more updates and possibly more money for their map data. Apple likely viewed this as something that was always going to be painful but something they needed to just do and get behind them. I also wonder/hope/suspect that they may already be adding more data based on reports of landmarks that weren't appearing, now appearing.
This is also a nice point: http://blog.lumatic.com/post/31863865686/ive-been-using-ios-... Usage data is what improves maps, which they'll now have a lot of. Though I am surprised they haven't picked a better provider then just TomTom, perhaps that's also in the works.
There are two basic attitudes a company can have. A) We exist to create value for our customers. B) Our customers are our property and exist for our benefit.
Basically, the company's there either to serve or to exploit. Most businesses are of the former sort. Many monopolists and oligopolists hold the later view. E.g., cable companies and cellphone carriers.
If Apple were smart and user focused about this, they would have launched their own maps in beta as an add-on. Then they would have revved it until it was just as good as Google Maps for most people. Only then would have they turned dickish and kicked Google Maps off the platform.
There's no reason it wouldn't be allowed in if Google complies with the guidelines...
Maps is expected to be the key monetization engine in mobile, sharing mobile ads with Google is anathema.
Maps 'replicates substantially similar content' in IOS. This one has been used quite a few times.
Apple can be pretty arbitrary about apps as we've seen but by and large from a business perspective its one of their core capabilities they will want to own.
Of course I could be completely wrong here, we'll see as this plays out of course.
Personally, StreetView down every little single-lane road in Ireland is a big deal for me (landscape photography) whereas 3D flyovers are like the Coverflow of mapping (looks pretty but ultimately not very useful)
And you have to shell out $50 for it, last I checked.
Google's offering is better in every way.
Jobs would never have allowed such an atrocity to occur. The sub-par Gmail integration is another pain point.
Roger McNamee expressed the same misgivings on Bloomberg the other day. He said Apple is starting to act like a bad monopolist.
> Jobs would never have allowed such an atrocity to occur
On the other hand I don't give a damn about "odd" dimensions. There is nothing odd in them for me.
Yes and no. Jobs may have signed on to the idea of replacing the maps with an in-house solution, but the implementation wouldn't have been finished until shortly before launch. And when it turned out to be as bad as it seems to be then he might very reasonably have reverted to the previous maps app for at least this version of iOS (if not scrapping the idea entirely).
There is nothing in the dimensions of the iPhone 5 that make it inherently a better viewing experience over a wider configuration.
If Apple had convinced itself to be less parsimonious and obtained larger (width wise) screens at better margins I'm sure they would have made that one of their USPs. Instead they cheap-ed out on the acreage.
That screen is dumb and in a sea of larger and similarly fabulous screens (including the upcoming Nokia Lumia 920
which incidentally has some stellar mapping alongside other great features) it just doesn't cut it.
Tim Cook and his core team seem to be a bunch of frugal zealots. He bungled the layoffs at the Apple stores too.
Upon a backlash he had to hire some of them back. This launch is probably the first one where nearly every detail leaked well ahead of time.
The screen, the connector, the no-NFC, the LTE and several other parts.
It certainly is all down-hill from here. There is no longer that halo around the Apple experience.
Unless of course people want to accessorize their attire with glass-slab jewelry which the iPhone 5 has been likened to. The first-on-iPhone apps are the only draw.
It's not a coincidence that the top selling Android phones have gradually been ones with larger and larger screens.
They don't appear to be interested in doing the obvious right thing here.
I don't want to gloss over how much the basics suck on this app, they suck profoundly. The bookmarks is the worst loss though. I have an iPhone for work but I'm very glad I no longer am under a personal iPhone contract because with the lack of features in IOS 6, I don't see how I'd ever go back to using an Apple phone full time.
The first debacle with their Maps app (not crediting OpenStreetMap.org) gave me the feeling that Apple doesn't really have experience with software and data at the scale upon which they are currently operating. Sometimes it looks as if they are using too many interns to write important code.
What is a concern is that there seems to be no grasp of the difference in responsibility a developer must recognize between GarageBand and a mapping application. Sure it is irritating if one's remix of Call me Maybe doesn't come out quite the intended way. But an appendicitis sufferer may die if they wind up five miles from the hospital.
Obviously, I fall into a specific class of Maps user:
* Using directions primarily when I'm driving
* In a major city
But that's a big class of users and, so far, Maps is better for that use case. The Maps app from 10.5 was unusable for driving.
Thank you, you've written a more useful summary review of the new maps app than anything else I've read lately.
I've tried driving with the previous Maps app - with a borrowed iPhone, I don't yet own one - and was really surprised at how unusable it was. I was left thinking that not a single person on that project could have attempted to drive on their own with it, otherwise how else could it be so bad?
The new 3d looks good, the map tiles need work but they just look DIFFERENT and not necessarily "worse" to me. This is in SOMA San Francisco.
That's how every directions' app is working. You are seriously impressed about that?
Most of us know what it is like to have to launch something. Launching something is never easy. We frequently talk about the MVP here on HN as well. Apple has done the difficult work of launching their MVP. Now they can make it better. It may never be as good as Google Maps, but that doesn't mean it will always be terrible.
We are simply stating a fact - that iOS6 feels handicapped if you're going to rely on maps. And maybe this is a non-issue in the USA, but for most of the rest of the world… it is. Specially for those of us who rely on google map's transport directions to navigate our city, or new cities. Gone were the days that I needed help to get to a designated location in a city I was visiting… until iOS6 came. So I'm not upgrading.
And we're not going to care how awesome Apple is for distributing a useless upgrade to millions of devices, no matter how complicated the logistics, no matter how much of a point they can prove with it.
-Google almost certainly knows Apple wants to get off of Google Maps.
-Apple's brand loyalty is going to give Apple a decent amount of time to fix their new Maps product before a significant number of people begin to bail. Relatively few people are likely to not buy an iPhone because Maps are crap; even in this thread you see a few fanboys saying "just find a workaround, they'll fix it."
-Google likes money.
To me, it seems pretty implausible that Google would say "no, you have to do [stupid thing X] to use our maps." I'd be stunned if they didn't know Apple was making their own maps product, and that Apple would be willing to say "okay, fine, we'll use ours instead" if Google's terms were too onerous. I think the idea that Google would turn down a sizable amount of money to not-really-actually-harm iOS6 and the iPhone 5 at all.
Consider also Apple's recent behavior--basically, and I hate saying this because it strikes me as facile, but it does line up--since Jobs died. The hasty and ill-conceived layoffs at Apple Stores, the prodigious number of leaks related to the iPhone 5, and the more traditionally corporate behaviors of Apple's upper management (i.e., Cook and the shareholders' meetings, which he seems to regard as being much more important to his job than Jobs ever did) all point to a more market-share-focused rather than product-focused company, and I have no trouble whatsoever believing that Apple decided that they wouldn't lose enough users because of a terrifyingly bad Maps product that they should pay Google for continued use.
And I think most reasonable people would concede that's no less likely than "licensing problems". It may not be accurate, but your claim of "more likely" reads as fanboyism to me.
That's just a made up timeline. They may have been working on a maps replacement for years.
Also maybe I live in a weird place (Minneapolis) but I've been using the new maps since WWDC everyday and honestly have no complaints, the turn by turn is quite good as I just used it non stop in New Orleans.
Apple took data from 3rd parties (Yelp, TomTom, and many others) and integrated it all together with their own Maps app.
Google has a lot more features than Apple right now, and a large part of their data is sourced from their own works. Streetview gives them good road data. Local gives them all the data that yelp has (and then some).
Apple's Maps is probably where goole was with maps back in 2007 or 2008.
Apple didn't offer their mapping solution as an option in the App Store to judge interest; they forced anyone who buys new or upgrades for any reason to use it.
Sure among technology wonks, it's a good discussion.
But that in no way excuses releasing a major component that is broken for many users.
Overall (at least in Turkey) the legends appear to come from an old, low quality source.
Point is, you can download an app that works better for you if you're not happy with Maps anymore, just like you could with all of the other built in Apple software. I think Apple really needed to control their own destiny with the Maps software, and most non-geeks are probably not going to notice that their Maps app is getting it's data from somewhere else now. They probably didn't realize it was coming from Google Maps in the first place.
Unless it “duplicate features that come with the iPhone” (http://m.techcrunch.com/2009/07/27/apple-is-growing-rotten-t...) or requires its own rendering engine (http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2008/11/02/opera_m...) or competes with a profitable arm of Apple (http://m.lifehacker.com/5614752/grooveshark-iphone-app-pulle...)
Say Google releases a maps app for iPhone. Every time you get an address in a text, email, Facebook, Yelp, etc it's going to open up in Apple Maps requiring you to manually copy/paste everything in another app.
The web interface for Google Maps certainly works on Safari, but it's certainly not as slick or as fast as the app. Maybe this is due to connection speed, not browser speed, but the bottom line is the user experience is worse (though the features are much better).
So far it seems no worse around the city than Google Maps but only time will tell if that's the case.
That sounds a lot nicer than "it's not our problem"...
Next up, Apple will get their own direct source of satellite imagery, then they will drive/fly around major towns getting direct information about local restrictions, then they will build a system which does nothing more than cross-connect and correlate GIS data from various sources and test for sanity. Perhaps they will create a crowd sourced tool for directly feeding map errors into the system to triage the worst areas.
Its a big undertaking.
I've been using iOS6 since the first beta and saw the backlash coming. I think "Street View" is Google Maps' killer feature and no amount of "3D View" is going to replace the ability to virtually drive your route (or see the storefront, the turn you need to make, etc.).
On the other hand, Google has a habit of releasing amazingly disruptive products (maps, gmail, etc.) and then the pace of innovation of each app slows dramatically. What was the last "innovation" gmail did? Priority inbox? Buying Sparrow?
I'm optimistic this is the start of an arms race in the mapping area (Apple: please tackle email next); this needed to occur sooner rather than later. We don't know the circumstances of the switch (it seems equally likely that Google precipitated the change as Apple did) but given Apple's knack for taking a MVP and continually, doggedly improving it, I think the future is bright for iOS Mapping.
On iOS devices? Absolutely.
Sure, there are a few things you can do with the UI, but ultimately the new "wraparound" feature when you go around a corner in Apple Maps is worthless when you're driving, since your eyes should be on the road. But ultimately, creating a good maps product requires year after year of intense data collection and sorting, something that you can't just rush through.
> On the other hand, Google has a habit of releasing amazingly disruptive products (maps, gmail, etc.) and then the pace of innovation of each app slows dramatically. What was the last "innovation" gmail did? Priority inbox? Buying Sparrow?
Sounds a bit like everyone's favorite mobile OS from Cupertino. What was the last "innovation" in iOS?
Siri? Barely works in real life, regardless of what they might claim in TV ads.
Notifications that actually work? That was in Android for years before Apple copied it whole hog.
Copy and paste? Are you shitting me?
This particular bit of sour grapes over Google is going to bite them in the arse.
The mapping must be updated OTA so won't require IOS refreshes to improve the quality. But for now this app is like the stereotypical bimbo, quite pretty to look at but also pretty useless.
As I'm mostly a pedestrian -- I have a car, but live in the centre of a dense city where parking is a nightmare, so I walk rather than driving if at all possible -- from my point of view, this is a major regression.
Gotta admire people's willingness to stretch here :) But seriously I think Google will just release a Maps app for iOS sooner or later. They've done that with most of their apps - it may not be as good and functional as Android one but it doesn't have to - the bar has been lowered.
I don't mind that they are working on their own maps, but I can't believe they couldn't have licensed Google maps for at least another year until their solution matured or offered some sort of advantage. The first iPhone brought the best mobile maps experience. The latest iPhone brings the worst.
To me, the real test is whether Apple will allow a map application from Google to coexist on the iPhone. I'm hoping they do. It's the right thing to do.
Windows Phone with Nokia Maps / Nokia Drive is actually really good and it's not about to disappear overnight.
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. But, alas, no Street View.
I asked my wife if I could upgrade her phone to the new OS, but that the map app has changed for the worse and 'You may not like it... How often do you use it?' 'A few times a week'.
She's not a geek whatsoever. Has never installed an app and barely touched a preferences setting. Loves listening to the podcasts I subscribe to for her and tell her which app to use.
So I hand her the 'upgraded' phone and ask her to check out the new map app. She does a search for the office she's working in tomorrow and it pinmarks the completely wrong end of the street.
I felt bad about 'upgrading' her phone, but a minute later she hands it back to me.
She's moved the Apple map app onto the second screen and replaced it with a weblink to the Google maps site.
Clever girl ;]
A huge swathe of the south east has no aerial photography whatsoever beyond a satellite level where contrails are clearly visible.
I tried requesting a route from my current location to a nearby train station and it gave me a route to a random pub in the next town over - this was for a search term that worked reliably in the old maps app.
Maps themselves show much less information than the equivalent google maps view. There's a fraction of the POI's available and those that are available are often 100m+ off from their actual location.
I've got a cafe that seems to have appeared three doors down from me in a residential street, and if I search for public transport it suggests the best app for me to get to work on is one for the Paris Metro.
I am a big Apple fan, and although I've also got a Galaxy SII (for work), I've pretty much never felt the need to use that ahead of my iPhone so far. It's just become my go-to phone for mapping though.
I develop iOS apps for a living, and I really like the platform. I've also been using the beta for about three months, and frequently I've had to pull my Galaxy S2 out to use the Android maps app. Most people won't have that luxury.
One minor gripe with turn-by-turn. If I'm playing music/podcasts, I would have expected the volume to mute on the other media when driving directions are announced. Not so, it just turns into a garbled mess.
The compression on Siri kind of sucks too.
I don't really sue turn-by-turn but from what I understand it's supposed to lower the volume of other media playing when announcing directions and then bring the volume back when done. Might be something you can change in the settings.
To the people talking about this is a sign of Steve Jobs being gone. I'm sure he had his hand in wanting to get away from Google Maps. These types of things were still part of his plan. AppleTV (the none hobby version) is part of his plan. We haven't seen that. There is still a trail that Steve laid down we are walking on. It's more 5-10 years from now I imagine that will lack the touch. Maybe it is fading. It's still there though. imho.
Problem is, I don't see what they are supposed to do except throwing massive amounts of money and manpower at the problem - but even that will take a long time to fix the major issues that are in iOS6 Maps.
It will be very interesting to see how they react to this problem.
Maybe not as feature rich as some of the alternatives, but what do you expect in a v1? They will iterate, though the yearly releases means it will take time but it will get there. In the mean time the app store provides a lot of options for users to replace lost functionality.
The only thing that is wrong with Apple doing this is that they didn't release as "beta" and make a big deal about how users can turn on the "beta" switch to test the cool new things, or the "alpha" switch and get shit that might break their phone but gives them superpowers no other geek has.
Perhaps Google forced their hand or Google pulled the plug knowing that Apple would dump them eventually but weren't ready to do so quite yet. If so, then don't expect Google to offer a maps app for some time yet because it is to their advantage to let Apple stew.
Siri --> Address --> iOS nav via street address
From a twitter account called @fake_iOS6maps ? Seriously, BBC?
--Satalite images obcured by clouds. TomTom=WTF.
First, I get an address on Broadway in Bayonne. Okay, almost plausible, since I was in Hoboken. I append 'New York, NY' to the address. Now I get an address in Brooklyn. Completely ridiculous. I append 'Manhattan, NY' to the address. Still Brooklyn.
At that point I added Google Maps to my home screen. If someone posts a clear guide to jailbreaking iOS 6 and re-adding the native Google Maps app, I'll probably do it.
Whereas in iOS6, I swear, the search is wrong more often than it's right. It will take me across state lines, across the country, and sometimes even across the ocean for a search that Google has no problems comprehending.
This isn't a data issue, this is a technology issue.
That's the level of expectation that I'm giving it.
On the serious note, I guess this sucks most for US users. In other parts of the world transit data was not available anyway, so nobody cares.
This isn't the place for childish digs at competitors. Apple removed maps and replaced it with an inferior version for millions of their customers. As a result, the poor quality of these maps has made front page news.
Trying to invoke "Android isn't up to date" is childish and uninformed. Maps is distributed via the Play Store. You are wrong in every substantial respect.
To compare this to the iOS6 (released just a couple of days ago) is left as an exercise for you :)
At least understand the platform you are criticising before assuming it operates in the same restrictive way as others.