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Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the gnomes-in-the-glass-garden dept.

Google 561

tlhIngan writes "So why did Apple decide to ditch the (working) iOS maps app with one based on their own data (despite having one more year to the contract)? It turns out to be turn-by-turn voice navigation. It wasn't a feature in the original Apple-Google licensing agreement, so Apple went back to Google to renegotiate what has become a top-tier feature on Android. Apple wanted it. In return, Google wanted increased branding in the maps app (Apple refused) or to integrate Latitude (Google's FourSquare competitor), to which Apple refused as well. As a result Apple was forced to seek other sources in order to obtain this feature." Eventually, iOS users who don't want to wait for Apple-Google parity will be able to download a native version of Google's maps (rather than a hacked version), but that could be a ways off.

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Here is more from John Gruber of Daring Fireball (5, Informative)

Tufriast (824996) | about 2 years ago | (#41479961)

This is probably the most accurate, and intelligent read on the topic. His sources are very close to Apple; VERY close indeed. http://daringfireball.net/2012/09/timing_of_apples_map_switch [daringfireball.net] You'll notice that he says it was all about timing, and how much time was left on the clock.

Re:Here is more from John Gruber of Daring Firebal (4, Insightful)

RedK (112790) | about 2 years ago | (#41480157)

Of course, John Gruber would never post anything negative about Apple or would never admit to them making a mistake. So we can pretty much discount his opinion and pure "damage control". That's what he always does anyhow. I don't know why people still defer to him, he's basically Apple's PR machine, along with AllThingsD.com.

Re:Here is more from John Gruber of Daring Firebal (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 2 years ago | (#41480299)

John Gruber would never post anything negative about Apple or would never admit to them making a mistake.

You don't actually read his site, do you?

-jcr

Re:Here is more from John Gruber of Daring Firebal (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480325)

You clearly don't read his blog regularly. He is frequently critical of Apple. He is on the record as saying the Apple "over promised, and under delivered" on Maps, and few people eviscerate iTunes on Mac more harshly than Gruber (which is saying something).

Re:Here is more from John Gruber of Daring Firebal (4, Informative)

Dhrakar (32366) | about 2 years ago | (#41480391)

Actually, no. John Gruber is often an Apple apologinista, but he has been more than willing to call out Apple when he thinks they have done something wrong. For example, he frequently runs a "WTF App Store?" article on some odd App store rejection or other.

Bias trumped by verified information (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41480547)

Of course, John Gruber would never post anything negative about Apple or would never admit to them making a mistake.

Actually he has; but let's say that's true.

So we can pretty much discount his opinion and pure "damage control".

I disagree. That's Apple's response, sure. But Gruber is really digging to find out what is going on, and he does as the OP says have very close sources. Even with the (valid) assumption the report comes through very Apple colored glasses, it still reads as probably quite accurate - can you find a flaw in his timing argument for example? That is a very well reasoned argument for why, if Apple was going to move from Google maps, they had to do so now instead of the exact end of the contract, for all the reasons he mentions.

Gruber being biased towards Apple does not change any of the facts Apple was up against in making the choices they made, which we are getting from multiple sources beyond just Gruber (like Maps contract expiring in a year). The pro-Apple view comes into play more in thinking about the choices Apple made being either good or bad ones, not as much about the facts themselves when we have corroboration from elsewhere.

Do not forget that BOTH companies are attempting spin control on this issue, not just Apple. Google for example wants to distract from Apple shipping 3D maps to consumers in an included map app first (yes they had Google Earth, but it was always more of a side project and not yet integrated into maps on mobile devices). Of course Nokia was ahead of both of them... it's interesting that no-one complained of similar 3D warping errors in that case.

Re:Here is more from John Gruber of Daring Firebal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480669)

His brother Hans is more militant, he didn't like the Nakatomi, and tried to blow it up. Imagine what he would to if he was let loose in Cuppertino...

Piss Frost (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41479967)

Piss Frost!

Competition (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41479975)

While in the short term, I think its a huge loss for Apple. I think it is good for consumers because it may create some competition in this space. There are no real competitors for Google Maps. Apple has a ton of cash and if they can get it done right, it may create a competitor in the space and spur innovation as they fight for market share.

Re:Competition (5, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | about 2 years ago | (#41480205)

There are no real competitors for Google Maps.

Other than Bing, MapQuest, TomTom, Garmin, iGo?

Re:Competition (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480209)

MapQuest is, by far, a better app than both Apple Maps and Google Maps combined.
 
Anyone who was seriously using their iPhone as a GPS wasn't using the default Maps app.

Re:Competition (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 years ago | (#41480333)

If MapQuest is so great, then why didn't Apple use them for their default mapping app?

Re:Competition (4, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#41480461)

I suspect he refers to terrain and road map data, but not POI. Google has a very good POI database, seemingly the best of all that I've tried, and for typical smartphone scenarios (like quickly finding a decent restaurant nearby) this is more important. On the other hand, if you "use your phone as GPS", by which I suspect he meant navigation, you want quality maps.

Either way... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#41480671)

I suspect he refers to terrain and road map data, but not POI. Google has a very good POI database, seemingly the best of all that I've tried, and for typical smartphone scenarios (like quickly finding a decent restaurant nearby) this is more important. On the other hand, if you "use your phone as GPS", by which I suspect he meant navigation, you want quality maps.

Well, what it means for me is...I'm not letting my iPhone "upgrade" to the next version of IOS....so I can keep my googlemaps app.....

Mixed bag, gave bad search result in test (4, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41480411)

MapQuest is, by far, a better app than both Apple Maps and Google Maps combined.

It has some nice features and the map looks nice BUT....

For one thing it's ad supported. That occurs in a few different ways in the UI, in traditional banner ads but also branded searching tabs at the bottom.

The bigger issue is the first search I did, it gave me a result with a store that is actually across town but it placed within a mile of me... that's exactly the kind of thing Apple caught flack for, and rightfully so when it happens. For me Apple Maps has not failed to correctly locate a local place or business, so the fact that Mapquest did not makes me wonder if it might not have the same issues and not really be a good alternative.

I don't see any way to give feedback in the Mapquest app, at least with the Apple maps if it gets something wrong I can tell it so.

Re:Competition (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 2 years ago | (#41480511)

There are some decent mapping apps out there.

I've had great luck with ATT's navigation app which uses Telenav for maps. Turn by turn, ATT's offering has done quite well, especially finding places in deep banjo country with the offline maps loaded and dealing with spotty signal quality.

Re:Competition (2, Informative)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | about 2 years ago | (#41480513)

I'm really not sure. From a user's perspective, turn-by-turn voice navigation on my Android is about the best I could ask for. It hasn't steered me wrong yet, it pronounces street names pretty accurately and the map info is up-to-date. From a programmer's perspective, I've written an Android app that uses parts of the APIs from both Google Maps and Mapquest...As I say "parts" of the APIs, I'm not sure what either is fully capable of. Mapquest seems to have an undocumented API for gasprices.mapquest.com...I've also used MQ's geolocation API.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480607)

Yeah, MapQuest on iPhone does turn by turn voice as well. It seems that the Fandroids aren't keeping up. Another common bit of FUD that floats among the Fandroids that hasn't been true in a long time.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480223)

While in the short term, I think its a huge loss for Apple. I think it is good for consumers because it may create some competition in this space. There are no real competitors for Google Maps. Apple has a ton of cash and if they can get it done right, it may create a competitor in the space and spur innovation as they fight for market share.

Yeah competition inside the walled garden ... hey, Apple Maps are free to use*.

*But we will have to vet the application that uses them. And the language has to be Objective-C ... oh, and only on iOS and OSX. OH and what ever we want to put in this space in the future: ___________.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480313)

Most of the other map apps are free to use too. Another post loaded with lies from the Apple-hating FUD brigade.

Re:Competition (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41480635)

My issue though is the stuff Apple is leaving up to third parties because of this.
Google Maps was integrated with many metro services, for my city the new Apple Maps do not have that service and instead direct me to a set of rather poorly reviewed map apps in the store.

It's squarely on Apple that they chose not to include the same degree of integration and as a fix are asking me to buy a piss poor alternative.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480681)

While in the short term, I think its a huge loss for Apple. I think it is good for consumers because it may create some competition in this space. There are no real competitors for Google Maps. Apple has a ton of cash and if they can get it done right, it may create a competitor in the space and spur innovation as they fight for market share.

Unless Apple brings their own Maps anywhere close to what Google did AND THEN make an Android version which, in turn Google allows on the Play store, they will never be competitors to Google Maps ... period.

Just goes to show what happens (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41479981)

When you let a bunch of fagets^H^H^H^H^H^H morons run your phone company,

They're really playing for keeps, aren't they? (4, Insightful)

Rob Y. (110975) | about 2 years ago | (#41479991)

You'd think Google could've gotten Apple to agree to patent detente in exchange for full map support with turn-by-turn and the works. Whether branded or not, Google would still get the search terms to use to improve their systems. I wonder whether this was even discussed. Then again, maybe both sides were so concerned about branding that they lost track of the bigger picture.

Re:They're really playing for keeps, aren't they? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480119)

If Apple wouldn't agree to the essentially no-cost, no risk concession of more prominent branding why on earth would they render some portion of their patent arsenal worthless vis-a-vis their largest mobile OS rival?

Re:They're really playing for keeps, aren't they? (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41480677)

Yea, would more branding have impacted it much?
They had no competing service and as a result are having to make one from scratch. Just let Google put their logo off in a corner and avoid all this hassle.

Re:They're really playing for keeps, aren't they? (4, Interesting)

quacking duck (607555) | about 2 years ago | (#41480137)

You pretty much hit on why Apple probably decided *not* to continue using GMaps. As part of its long-term strategy Apple is trying to remove from the core iOS and apps, anything that might help Google. This includes search terms to improve Google's systems (information denial), as well as any ad click-throughs on map search results (revenue denial).

Re:They're really playing for keeps, aren't they? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480533)

The iOS maps app was written by Apple using Google's map data. Google didn't get any ad clicks out of it. There were no ads. They could track what tiles you requested and perhaps serve better ads to you later but, again, there are no map ads.

Re:They're really playing for keeps, aren't they? (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 2 years ago | (#41480343)

Apple had a couple of very harsh lessons in the past about letting a competitor control features that are strategically important. Google was dragging their feet on turn-by-turn navigation, so they had to go.

-jcr

Re:They're really playing for keeps, aren't they? (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 2 years ago | (#41480429)

Exactly iOS maps wasn't updated feature wise since the original iPhone in 2007.

Google and apple couldn't come to terms and as a result iOS mapping suffered.

Intelligent people don't buy only from one company. You diversify as much as possible to prevent the vendor from strangling you. Doesn't matter if it is apple, google ,Msft ,dell or sco.

Re:They're really playing for keeps, aren't they? (2)

Applekid (993327) | about 2 years ago | (#41480559)

Intelligent people don't buy only from one company. You diversify as much as possible to prevent the vendor from strangling you. Doesn't matter if it is apple, google ,Msft ,dell or sco.

Yet Apple's response was not to approach alternative mappers like Mapquest, Bing Maps, Garmin, etc. They're response was to build their own.

"Not Invented Here Syndrome" is a pretty prominent anti-pattern.

Re:They're really playing for keeps, aren't they? (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 years ago | (#41480545)

Google was dragging their feet on turn-by-turn navigation, so they had to go.

It's not just turn-by-turn, it's the very basic ability to rotate a map. I gives tours of New York to relatives once or twice a year and I use Google Maps to plan our route and find things.

If you pull up Manhattan, you will see that the streets do not align with N/S or E/W. So if you want to print a map of the location, the streets are diagonal and you have to fiddle with things to get the right size and resolution to print what you want.

After searching, on Google no less, I found this idea has been asked for since at least 4 years ago. Maybe I'm missing something, but I fail to see how it can be so difficult to allow a person to rotate a map clock or counter-clock wise.

Re:They're really playing for keeps, aren't they? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41480641)

Maybe I'm missing something, but I fail to see how it can be so difficult to allow a person to rotate a map clock or counter-clock wise.

Maybe I'm missing the problem here. If I print out a map and the streets don't quite line up the way I want, I can rotate the printout, with my arms. What problem are you trying to solve?

Re:They're really playing for keeps, aren't they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480385)

No, actually I don't think Google could've gotten Apple to agree to patent detente.

Re:They're really playing for keeps, aren't they? (1, Flamebait)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 years ago | (#41480675)

maybe both sides were so concerned about branding that they lost track of the bigger picture.

Right... Google wanted their branding on a mature mapping and navigation feature that worked, while Apple decided instead to have their branding all over a piece of crap that doesn't work...

Apple passed on the "bad" option, and instead chose the "terrible" option. Yay Apple! What's worse is that this has really taken the shine off Apple (pardon the pun), as even fanbois are asking what happened to Apple's SINGLE selling point, making products that are highly polished and "just work".

If Apple fixes their maps and navigation, and doesn't make any more stupid mistakes in the near future, it might just be forgotten, but if the situation gets worse, or if they make some other major mistake while people still have this one in the back of their minds, Apple's image could really be hurt, with sales taking a big hit.

What's worse about all this is simply the fact that there are numerous other providers of maps and navigation products for smartphones. Mapquest's version is already free for iOS, so Apple would have been able to preinstall theirs for free, or nearly so. Other providers would have charged a small fee to provide the entire service, and given Apple full control over whatever branding they wanted.

Apple going to sh!t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41479997)

Usually starts with ego and greed.

Re:Apple going to sh!t (1)

I_am_Jack (1116205) | about 2 years ago | (#41480591)

It'll never go to shit. Apple will go to middling or mediocre. I'm sure there are shrewd business people who will be able to skim some of Apple's market share when that occurs with something new, shiny and just waiting to be adopted by fan-bois and hipsters. But just like with Microsoft, there's always going to be a core group of consumers who'll buy nothing else, or figure any other product will be suspect, so better to stay with the devil you know.

Summary reads like a business case study. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480003)

Business. Legal. Branding.

Yawn.

I'm a geek with a MBA. I come here for the geek news because business news is reported MUCH better elsewhere.

-just bitch'in.

Apple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480015)

Very good article about Apple [apple.com] and IOS
Thanks

FL Man Arrested For Having Sex w/ Miniature Donkey (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480023)

http://www.inquisitr.com/335943/florida-man-arrested-for-having-sex-with-miniature-donkey/

"During his exchange with Doodle, Romero stated that his genitals âoemay have come in contact with the donkeyâ(TM)s vagina by accident and his semen may have splattered inside the donkey by accident.â"

Re:FL Man Arrested For Having Sex w/ Miniature Don (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480383)

Wow, what's fucking incredible here is that he got arrested for this. And that they are spending tax dollars to investigate the ass's vagina. Complete with DNA testing. What a fucking waste.

The ass could have kicked the shit out of him if she didn't want it. This was consensual by every measure and is another example of the government meddling in private affairs.

Hey Remember When ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480035)

Hey there Google. Remember when I fucked your boy Samsung? Yeah? You do? I'm fucking him right now as we speak. So now that that's out of the way I want to know -- and feel free to say "no" to this -- if I can get better maps shit from you? What? I can't? Wait, don't tell me this is about me fucking your boy Samsung and uploading it to YouTube. Oh come on, don't be like that! Listen, you can fuck one of my guy's ... um ... Microsoft. I've been doing a lot with Microsoft lately, you want to fuck them? Yeah, I know he's bald and fat but still he ... Okay. Okay fine. Well, I know where I can get other maps. You got that?! I don't need you, I don't need anybody. Goodbye!

"Apple was forced"? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480037)

Google wanted increased branding in the maps app (Apple refused) or to integrate Lattitude (Google's FourSquare competitor), to which Apple refused as well. As a result Apple decided to seek other sources in order to obtain this feature.

FTFY.

Win for Google (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480049)

You don't help your enemy when he's digging his own hole. I'm sure Google is loving this, and is in no rush to release their Maps app.

Google gains nothing by delay (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41480129)

You don't help your enemy when he's digging his own hole.

The first part of that, "you don't help your own enemy", is exactly why Apple needed to stop using Google for maps...

But if they were smart they would be eager to release an app. After all, from this point on Apple is going to start using the maps feedback to improve the map. Now while so many people are criticizing the Apple maps is the time for Google to stand up an alternative map app for people to get used to using; if they did so they might not switch back to using Apple for maps for some time, and Google could continue gathering valuable information about map use.

If Google could actually kill Apple by not giving map support that would be one thing. But that's not going to happen, so it would be better to do something that helps Google more even if it helps Apple a bit also.

Re:Google gains nothing by delay (1)

quacking duck (607555) | about 2 years ago | (#41480315)

It boggles my mind that Google was supposedly caught flat-footed, and was unable, after several months (since iOS6 was previewed), to either develop and submit a maps app, nor have a mobile web version with a key feature that Apple's maps lacks: Street View. Initially Apple was accused of deliberately holding up or denying approval of an actual app, but word from Google's top exec is that they're far from even being ready to submit an app.

It's a lost opportunity for Google, not being able to grab angry iOS users right away. After a few weeks, many issues will probably be fixed, or iOS users will have learned to live with others.

Worse for Google, a lot of iOS users were totally unaware that the old Maps app even had Street View, so to them it's not a lost feature at all.

Re:Google gains nothing by delay (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#41480493)

They do want to grab angry iOS users. But they want to do so by switching them to Android instead. And, quite possibly, for the users to accumulate some ill will towards Apple even if they won't switch just yet.

Re:Google gains nothing by delay (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 2 years ago | (#41480663)

I use Google's GV app on my iPad. We're on the 3rd iteration of the iPad and the 4th major OS release (3.2 -> 6.0), and it's still not a Universal app. Google doesn't give a shit about their iOS apps, or they are incredibly incompetent. Or both.

Re:Google gains nothing by delay (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | about 2 years ago | (#41480661)

After all, from this point on Apple is going to start using the maps feedback to improve the map.

I agree that, if you're going to decide to create a new map, you're going to have to release it in a state where it's full of errors. It's just not possible to carefully go through every bit of the map and ensure the data is 100% accurate.

When Google Maps was first released, it had some pretty hilarious accuracy problems. Points of interest were somethings nowhere near the thing they represented or were for things that didn't exist any more. Street numbers were sometimes comically wrong. But they fixed this by crowd sourcing the data and making it easy for people to fix problems. They created most of the 3D buildings by crowd sourcing that.

So, how is Apple taking feedback? You can't just go to the map, click on a POI, and say "edit." If you go to maps.google.com, there's a handy "report a problem" link on the bottom left corner. No such link in Apple Maps.

Maybe that can be a new feature in iOS 7. "One more thing. You know how our maps frequently send you through houses or other obstacles, thinking there are roads in the way? Now you can easily report those errors! With our new 'Map Correction App,' complete with Siri support..."

Re:Win for Google (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 2 years ago | (#41480623)

Considering how much money Google makes from ads shown on iOS devices (probably overall more profitable for Google than Android ads, to date), I doubt they are loving this.

Try using maps; but other options also exist (5, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41480055)

First of all, start out by trying to use the new map. In your area it may be fine; it has been for me so far. It seems like Europe and other areas the data may be more wonky at the moment.

But if you really find you cannot use Apple maps, there are other alternatives:

1) Just use maps.google.com in a browser, you can also save the direct link to your home screen.
2) Use the Bing app which includes Bing maps.
3) Use an app based on Open Street Maps which generally have good maps in highly populated areas - Waze is free and also does crowdsourced traffic/hazard/police reports.
4) Use any of the offline mapping solutions like Navigon.
5) The Yelp app can help you find businesses in an area if you feel like Apple's Maps is not listing them.
6) There are apps that display StreetView images if you still rely on that.
7) Look and see what Apple Maps offers you for transit maps in the area as they can also be useful for finding other things or just getting around town.

Re:Try using maps; but other options also exist (1, Insightful)

ericdano (113424) | about 2 years ago | (#41480195)

Exactly. I don't see what the problem is. Where was the outrage when Apple dumped YouTube?

If anything, Google should be the one to blame. Why didn't it have an app ready to replace Maps like it did for YouTube?

Apple's Maps app will work for a lot of people right now, and it will get better. Most all the people I know who have upgraded to iOS 6 and/or have a new iPhone 5 don't care about it not being Google.

Re:Try using maps; but other options also exist (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#41480521)

Exactly. I don't see what the problem is. Where was the outrage when Apple dumped YouTube?

There wasn't any outrage, because YouTube app is really something that should have been a web app from the get go. It wasn't probably because HTML5 video wasn't fully realized back then, but today you can just go to youtube.com in Mobile Safari and it all just works. Heck, even YouTube videos embedded in other pages work.

Maps are somewhat different. Sure, you can also go to the website, but Maps require smooth scrolling and other such stuff that really works better on a native app (at least until Mobile Safari implements WebGL).

Re:Try using maps; but other options also exist (0)

Scowler (667000) | about 2 years ago | (#41480311)

Agreed, there are already plenty of choices, especially if using Safari links. I've been using the iOS TomTom app for over two years, works perfectly well for navigating to unfamiliar places.

This whole criticism of the new maps app sounds too much like the overblown criticism when iPhone 4 came out... "You're holding it wrong". I bought an early iPhone 4, and I could never even figure out how to hold it wrong... I TRIED to force it to drop a call and couldn't do it. Similarly, I suspect the number of "wrong results" is being overstated, probably mostly by Android partisans.

Re:Try using maps; but other options also exist (1)

quacking duck (607555) | about 2 years ago | (#41480503)

You were fine up til the "probably by Android partisan."

Negative stories about Apple are not "mostly" driven by Android partisans, any more than positive stories about Apple are "mostly" driven by Apple fanbois. There's a huge and fickle middle ground that just follows the trend.

Re:Try using maps; but other options also exist (1)

tsa (15680) | about 2 years ago | (#41480341)

On my iPad with iOS6, Street View doesn't work in Google Maps on Safari. I tried Opera, but when I try to go to maps.google.com it opens Safari. Same with YouTube. Very annoying.

Here's the street view app link (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41480637)

Should have included this in my original message, but here it is now:

Live Street View App [livestreetviewapp.com]

You should try the 3D + Satellite view though. When there is actually 3D data, I find it better than Street View for getting context on where something is. On flat areas it's not useful in that way, but can give you terrain hints at least...

Re:Try using maps; but other options also exist (4, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | about 2 years ago | (#41480557)

or get and Android Phone. That is what I am going to do.

iOS maps should have started as an App (5, Insightful)

Steve1952 (651150) | about 2 years ago | (#41480077)

In retrospect, Apple should have kept Google maps in iOS for another year, and rolled out iOS maps first as an app. That way they would have had time to debug, and get a more graceful market introduction. I suspect that the problem is that Apple did not do enough iOS maps testing in advance, and was blindsided by all of the post-launch problems. Given that this is a safety issue, this is actually a pretty big fail.

Re:iOS maps should have started as an App (2)

Bigby (659157) | about 2 years ago | (#41480475)

But Apple relies on release-time shock factor. If they pre-release anything, then it will remove that. Look at Sirii marketing. They want to explode onto the scene with their new product...not trickle.

Re:iOS maps should have started as an App (1)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 years ago | (#41480691)

Exactly. However, for me this brings up another question; why is it taking so long to convert it to an "app" now? Does the "embedded" version of Google Maps use a bunch of private APIs or something? This should be a simple repackaging of the binary, and I'm sure Google has known for many months that their maps would no longer be packaged with the devices by default.

Oh (0)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#41480093)

Well that makes sense then.

Thanks for clearing this up for everyone... ...

Works (0, Troll)

ericdano (113424) | about 2 years ago | (#41480139)

Honestly, Google Maps wasn't all that great. Sure, the current version of Apple Maps isn't quite as good, but it works just fine. Of course I live in the SF bay area so..

Google Maps for iOS 6? Ha! (4, Insightful)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 2 years ago | (#41480143)

Eventually, iOS users who don't want to wait for Apple-Google parity will be able to download native a native version of Google's maps

You mean an application that duplicates the functionality of a built-in app?

You really think Apple is going to allow this in the iOS store?

Re:Google Maps for iOS 6? Ha! (2)

Scowler (667000) | about 2 years ago | (#41480221)

Yes, I think they are going to allow it. Next question?

Re:Google Maps for iOS 6? Ha! (2, Insightful)

serbanp (139486) | about 2 years ago | (#41480437)

You mean an application that duplicates the functionality of a built-in app?

You really think Apple is going to allow this in the iOS store?

I'm wondering about the legality of such a rule. Back in the day, Microsoft got a lot of flak just for having IE built in the OS; imagine what would have happened if they would have said: "sorry, Win95 has a built-in web browser, there is no need for an alternative browser, such as Netscape, and we won't allow it!"...

Re:Google Maps for iOS 6? Ha! (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#41480451)

There's other ones like Bing Maps already allowed. Apple's rules are so arbitrary that you never really know what they'll do.

Re:Google Maps for iOS 6? Ha! (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 2 years ago | (#41480561)

There's other ones like Bing Maps already allowed. Apple's rules are so arbitrary that you never really know what they'll do.

Yeah, its almost as if these "rules" were made up by Apple Haters.

Re:Google Maps for iOS 6? Ha! (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 2 years ago | (#41480543)

Eventually, iOS users who don't want to wait for Apple-Google parity will be able to download native a native version of Google's maps

You mean an application that duplicates the functionality of a built-in app?

You really think Apple is going to allow this in the iOS store?

No, he means a Google powered solution with turn by turn. And better China covering, etc.

Try WAZE (1)

TheRealChris (2665589) | about 2 years ago | (#41480169)

I won't promise it is as good as Google Maps, but the turn by turn and the social (read: speed zone warning) aspect make it AWESOME.

Re:Try WAZE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480367)

waze is one of the data sources for apple maps, according to http://gspsa21.ls.apple.com/html/attribution.html

Not so awesome in rural areas (1)

toadlife (301863) | about 2 years ago | (#41480483)

I love the concept of Waze. I was an area manager and made several hundred major fixes to the maps in my area (including building a missing 15 mile stretch of highway from scratch), but because my area is rural the social aspects of it were just not there. Also the routing engine was terrible when it came to my daily commute. There are two possible routes; one is 40 miles and the other is 43 miles. Both take about the same time. Waze would NOT route over one of the routes no matter how many times I drove it.

If I lived in an urban area I think my waze experience would have been better.

A little bit optimistic? (1)

yacc143 (975862) | about 2 years ago | (#41480177)

| Eventually, iOS users who don't want to wait for Apple-Google parity will be able to download native a native version of Google's maps (rather than a hacked version),
| but that could be a ways off.

That's not a given. Normally Apps that replicate builtin functionality in the iPhone are banned from iTunes. So Google might be working behind the scenes, although I'd guess that will be the more general applicable merging of Google Earth/Maps data sets, but till Apple commits to allow Google Maps, Google will not say in public if there will be a Google Maps for iOS app.

Apple is probably currently evaluating how big the shit storm versus time to fix Maps data is. The question here is mostly how big they assume fixing the Maps data is. (It's probably bigger than huge, according to Geodata experts for a number of reasons, but it will probably include setting up a big part of the Maps data creation processes from scratch.) When they realize that they'll have iOS7 before the Maps data will be fixed (we are talking outside the US, e.g. in the EU, they've got complete towns missing, misplaced by dozens/hundreds of miles, data that is clearly over a decade out of date, and developing countries seem to be even worse.), Apple will probably allow Google Maps into the store.

Re:A little bit optimistic? (1)

ToastedRhino (2015614) | about 2 years ago | (#41480537)

That's not a given. Normally Apps that replicate builtin functionality in the iPhone are banned from iTunes.

People keep saying this in reference to the current Maps brouhaha, but it completely ignores the facts that a) Maps have been included in iOS for a really long time and b) there are already many, many other mapping apps available on the App Store despite this fact.

That being said I can't tell if these commenters are just ignorant or actively spreading FUD.

Apple killed Open Street Map in the process (0, Troll)

Shompol (1690084) | about 2 years ago | (#41480219)

So Steve did what he was doing from the start: took an Open Source map (OSM) and gave gave it to himself, without an obligation to share back the updates. Unfortunally, OSM licence prohibited such treatment, so It appears he talked to OSM management and they changed the license, loosing roughly 30% of map data in the process! And before you can say "conspiracy theory", let me point out that both Apple decision to source OSM and the license change happened in 2010.
Fortunately, OSM got forked, and the fork I found is called FOSM. It does need some work, though.

isn't it time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480231)

this site was renamed 'appledot', or maybe 'slashapple'?

Sue them, then ask for help? (1)

Dunge (922521) | about 2 years ago | (#41480243)

They sued Samsung over the Google Android OS and now they want to use their applications? HAHAHA

Maps Talks Crashed Over Voice Navigation (0)

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) | about 2 years ago | (#41480259)

John Paczkowski writes that a disagreement over a key feature - voice-guided turn-by-turn driving directions [allthingsd.com] - led Apple to decide it had no choice but to replace Google Maps with its own poorly received home-brewed replacement [slashdot.org] . 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. 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. 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. "There were a number of issues inflaming negotiations, but voice navigation was the biggest," says one source familiar with Apple and Google's negotiations. "Ultimately, it was a deal-breaker." Still Apple is not the only company to be bruised by this rough transition. Google suffered a blow when Apple ended the pair's deal and is scrambling to roll out a standalone mapping application for iOS [nytimes.com] . Google Maps were used by a large portion of iPhone owners, especially in the US and to abruptly lose that user base, particularly one on a rival mobile platform, is a blow. As one geolocation executive observed, "A hundred million devices upgraded is a big body drop" for Google.

Israel is freaking out (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480275)

Israel is freaking out because Jerusalem isn't rightfully put as their capital, they haven't annexed it nor does anyone including U.S. accept it as their capital which actually is Tel Aviv.

So in other words (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#41480277)

It's Google's fault you don't have decent maps because they wouldn't give Apple what they wanted.

Apple does not like software dependencies (1)

Dhrakar (32366) | about 2 years ago | (#41480285)

I dunno, it seems pretty straightforward to me. Apple does not like having their OS and user experience dependent on some other company's timetable (see also: Flash). They also like to have alternatives (see also: Pages, Keynote, etc). So it is not at all surprising that Apple would migrate away from Google's maps once Google and Apple started down their separate roads. They have been acquiring mapping companies and expertise for a couple of years now so this can't have been a surprise to Google either. The only surprise for Google is probably that Google could not get Apple to knuckle under to their demands and that Apple decided to release iOS maps as-is (warts and all).

Am I the only one that likes the new maps better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480291)

I've got a an iphone 4 and I upgraded to iOS 6 the day it was offered.

The app itself is a lot faster and more responsive. Everything is a LOT more clearly labeled and a lot easier to read. Finding places and routes works as well as the old app does. Overall the experience is a whole lot better for me.

I live in northern California and I haven't had any issues with map quality. (But I understand that many areas do have issues)
I also have "the new" ipad and the experience was similar.

Re:Am I the only one that likes the new maps bette (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 2 years ago | (#41480419)

iPhone 4 cannot handle 3d vector drawn aspects of new map app, so it's a little more limited on that device. I agree with you about responsiveness and better labeling. Apple always cares greatly about aesthetics, and it shows in this app, as the cartography just overall looks nicer and more polished.

Re:Am I the only one that likes the new maps bette (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#41480489)

If you live in an area where the data is actually accurate, it's probably alright.

The first time you discover it's put a city in the wrong place, you might not think the same way.

Re:Am I the only one that likes the new maps bette (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480625)

Yes, you are the only one.

Why would Apple allow a Google maps app? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 2 years ago | (#41480317)

I thought Apple had a policy that you cannot create apps that compete with their existing apps. Didn't Slashdot cover some rejections of email apps and browsers that were rejected for this reason? I bet Apple would not be happy about people using a Google maps app on the iPhone since Apple now considers Google a competitor.

Re:Why would Apple allow a Google maps app? (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 2 years ago | (#41480485)

Google provides many apps for iOS, including many that overlap with iOS functionality already (like gmail).

In addition, the google maps app has some functionality that the iOS app doesn't have, such as street view and navigation by public transit.

Cant imagine apple has dibbs (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 2 years ago | (#41480357)

Cant imagine apple has dibbs on any map patents would this be willful patent infringement? Someone has to have this patented one way or another lol

Just ditch that bad old diePhone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480379)

Just ditch that bad old diePhone, and get a shiny new Galaxy S3. Suuper Schmantzy. More features than that diePhone, lower cost, better performance. Oh, and maps that work and don't look like cheese melted for too long over the pizza. Ya know, unless you have way too much money burning a hole in your pocket. I'd rather my money on more apps (lots more apps).

Re:Just ditch that bad old diePhone (1)

yacc143 (975862) | about 2 years ago | (#41480449)

Well, actually, forget the Samsung brainwashing too, there are a number of devices that can compete with the S3 easily enough that cost half of it, e.g. the Nexus.

Re:Just ditch that bad old diePhone (1)

toadlife (301863) | about 2 years ago | (#41480577)

forget the Samsung brainwashin...there are a number of devices that can compete with the S3 easily enough that cost half of it, e.g. the Nexus.

If you are referring to the Galaxy Nexus, that's made by Samsung too.

Re:Just ditch that bad old diePhone (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 2 years ago | (#41480569)

I notice that when you type in Google search box "Samsung Galaxy S3" that "Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean" is the 2nd suggestion. Wow, that's some distressed deployment there... how long has Nexus had it again?

every time i hear iOS (5, Funny)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about 2 years ago | (#41480389)

i still think of Cisco.

A Few Key Points (5, Insightful)

organgtool (966989) | about 2 years ago | (#41480397)

From the summary:

As a result Apple was forced to seek other sources in order to obtain this feature.

Apple was not forced to do anything. They chose to seek other sources because they wanted full control.

From the article:

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.

Apple had plenty of opportunities to improve their navigation app without Google's help. For starters, they could have made it so that the phone wouldn't lock itself when in navigation mode. I can't count the number of seconds I had to take my eyes off of the road to enter my password. Apple: people use this app while operating a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds - I thought you were the guys that put thought into the user experience of your software. I hope for everyone's safety that this "feature" has been fixed.

And finally, I'm not trying to troll here, but I can't help but wonder how all of this would be playing out if Google had patented every trivial feature of their map and navigation software like Apple does for all of its apps. That would certainly have made this scenario a hell of a lot more interesting.

Re:A Few Key Points (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480657)

I can't count the number of seconds I had to take my eyes off of the road to enter my password.

Since you're being pedantic about coercion, note that you didn't have to take your eyes off the road.

Re:A Few Key Points (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480697)

I hope for everyone's safety that this "feature" has been fixed.

Sounds like it's working as intended. Many people who use Apple products are willing to die for them.

fa6oRz (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480465)

Slashdot Redesign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480527)

I tried to open this page and got redirected here: http://slashdot.org/topic/cloud/google-maps-app-for-ios-whens-it-coming/

Quite a change.

Want Turn By Turn Nav and better apps on iPhone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480567)

Download the free Telenav GPS app. Screw Apple and Google.

maps? thats it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41480683)

If you think apple maps is the worst thing to come to IOS6, then you haven't messed with the podcast app or tried the new panorama camera features.

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