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Revamped Google Maps Finally Available On iOS

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the no-more-billabong-diving dept.

Google 279

hcs_$reboot writes "After the disastrous Apple Maps replacement over Google Maps in September, Google has a Maps app on iOS approved and released by Apple today. The app includes turn-by-turn directions, vector-based graphics and live traffic data. It's available from the Apple Store for iPhone and iPod touch (and iPad — iPhone format)." Adds reader snowtigger: "It's a sharper looking, vector-based map that loads quickly and provides smooth tilting and rotating of 2D and 3D views. Google also released the Google Maps SDK for iOS, and a simple URL scheme to help developers use Google Maps when building their beautiful and innovative apps. The new Google Maps app is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen) iOS 5.1 and higher, in more than 40 countries and 29 languages." SlashCloud points out that Apple's own maps will be forced to improve as a consequence: "Directions will become more accurate, major towns and landmarks will appear in their proper places. But now that a free, standalone Google Maps app is available for download from Apple’s App Store, will iOS users even give those improving Apple Maps a chance?"

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ontrack (2, Informative)

Korruptionen (2647747) | about 2 years ago | (#42271943)

The Apple Maps app honestly never let me down. I know I've read reports of it causing people to go odd places... but cannot say it happened to me.

Re:ontrack (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272009)

Thanks for the useless anecdote.

Apple maps were obviously a large regression from Google maps, so it's good to have that finally fixed.

Re:ontrack (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272371)

It's not really a useless anecdote: apple maps led him to slashdot, tho he had asked to go to uselessanecdote.com.

Re:ontrack (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42272395)

Apple maps were obviously a large regression from Google maps, so it's good to have that finally fixed.

You must be using the Apple definition of "fixed", which is similar to the Apple definition of an "upgrade": You get a new one.

Re:ontrack (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 years ago | (#42272803)

"Fucking Mapquest [voshy.com] ^W IOS maps!"
-- John McAfee

Re:ontrack (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272909)

...typical Google spin view of the world. If Google would have bothered to keep the iOS version even close to what they offered in Android, they would not have been off the platform. By kicking them off, Google lost yet another data source for their primary business, so they needed to bring a version back to iOS, and they needed to add features to at least bring it back in parity with the Apple version.

The same result was achieved in kicking youtube, where Google did nothing to improve the app for years. Now that they need people to download it so they can collect data, they have started actually putting effort into it.

I am always amazed all the Google fans here fail to realize they are just like Microsoft and Apple. Without competition, they will cease updating and driving their products forward, much like Microsoft stopped IE development effectively for years until Firefox started taking their market share. Google had largely ignored many of their applications in iOS for years because they were pre-loaded, so no need to bother trying to get people to go the app store and download them.

I am glad the Google's solution is back. I have not had the problems others have had with Apple maps, so I will probably continue to use it over Google. But now I have more choice. I hope Apple, Google, and Microsoft all continue to be competitive so that we can have more choice and better solutions.

Re:ontrack (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42273157)

If Google would have bothered to keep the iOS version even close to what they offered in Android

Google never wrote the old Maps app for iOS. Google supplied map data and Apple wrote the app; that was the arrangement from the beginning. Ditto for the Youtube app: Google never even saw the source code for it, much less wrote any of it.

Re:ontrack (4, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42272069)

It labeled the US as Australia in most views. What planet are you using it on?

Re:ontrack (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42272071)

most of the complaints were from europe and outside the US. in the US it was pretty good mostly for turn by turn voice nav

the POI was worse than google along with the address parsing. you had to type in an address exactly the way it had it stored in its database

Re:ontrack (4, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42272083)

You must only be using it to go between your house and the Apple PR department office then.

Re:ontrack (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42272349)

You must only be using it to go between your house and the Apple PR department office then.

Apple's PR office isn't in Apple Maps. If he tried using it to get there, then that slashdot post was probably his last act on Earth.

Re:ontrack (1)

Korruptionen (2647747) | about 2 years ago | (#42272533)

Hah! As much as I use macs both personally and in my profession, far from the Apple fanboy status, I assure you.

Just was making an honest statement about my experiences with Apple Maps. I can aim to come up with something immediately more negative next time if you would like. :)

Re:ontrack (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272145)

The Apple Maps app honestly never let me down. I know I've read reports of it causing people to go odd places... but cannot say it happened to me.

Me either. The directions, including turn-by-turn, worked fine.

The reason I'm getting the Google version is for public transportation directions, which the Apple app doesn't do. (Navigating strange public transportation systems when you've just landed in a strange city and don't have a car is pretty high on the list for smartphone use cases in my opinion.)

Re:ontrack (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272363)

The Apple Maps app honestly never let me down. I know I've read reports of it causing people to go odd places... but cannot say it happened to me.

So, because it supposed to sound like it works for you, means that all other reports about it not working has no bearing at all? No idea why anyone would mod your post insightful.

Opportunity (0)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 2 years ago | (#42272017)

If I were Apple, I would push out a patch today that scraps Apple Maps and replaces it with Google. Apple is a company that makes its money selling hardware with a proprietary OS, not homegrowing competitive and complex applications. They stretched themselves outside their realm of competency, and this is a good time to fix it.

Honestly, I don't get why they didn't support or help Google from the start. I would have thought that if they wanted to develop, they could have more easily come up with a frontend to several MS Office replacements and avoid all the BS with Office 365.

Re:Opportunity (1)

ipquickly (1562169) | about 2 years ago | (#42272073)

I was hoping for Nokia to somehow be acquired by Apple.
That would probably solve the map issue and put Nokia out of its misery.

Re:Opportunity (1)

dingen (958134) | about 2 years ago | (#42272175)

Apparently some investors are thinking the same thing about Apple acquiring TomTom. I heard Robeco/Rabobank is very seriously considering this option.

Re:Opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42273025)

You do not acquire, or for that matter do business with, TomTom if you want accurate up-to-date maps. I would think that Garmin would be a much better choice based on my experiences with TomTom and Garmin stand alone GPS devices.

Re:Opportunity (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42272361)

nokia already has a free mapping/nav app on iOS. there is also navigon which uses navteq maps and has full offline capability

Re:Opportunity (1)

boristdog (133725) | about 2 years ago | (#42272093)

Maybe Apple just likes the taste of crow?

Re:Opportunity (4, Interesting)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#42272099)

...a patch today that scraps Apple Maps and replaces it with Google.

This whole exercise demonstrated maps are a critical service and relying on a direct competitor for a critical service is a problem. As a result of Apple's actions, they have their own map service they are improving and Google's map service with features previously withheld. Win win for Apple, there is no going back.

Re:Opportunity (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42272351)

I would more say this was a win-win for Google. They made demands of Apple, Apple said 'no, we can do this without you', Apple took a huge PR hit for pushing out a sub-par application that did not have Google's data anymore... and now Google has swept in to save the day with their own branded application instead...

Google ends up looking good, Apple takes pretty much all the PR damage.. and Google gets to remind Apple who is more powerful.

Re:Opportunity (-1, Troll)

falcon5768 (629591) | about 2 years ago | (#42272475)

"Google ends up looking good, Apple takes pretty much all the PR damage.. and Google gets to remind Apple who is more powerful." You know whats worse than a Apple Fanboi? A Google one.

Re:Opportunity (0)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | about 2 years ago | (#42273049)

Apple's system will pay dividends of its own--their integrated map system is something you can leverage as a developer, whereas before this whole kerfuffle, there was no API to interact with the Google system. Now that Google's been punted, they're coming back AND they're opening up their own API; what a surprise.

Sometimes change is good. Sometimes change that initially looks bad is also good. Apple is coming out ahead on this one--their maps application may not be the best, but it's questionable whether or not that's relevant, since they still have access to the best maps application in the mobile space, thoughtfully provided by their supposed competitor.

I think Google is wising up to the fact that they just need to be in every pocket, regardless of OS. They win with every sale of iOS AND Android that way.

Re:Opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272377)

...a patch today that scraps Apple Maps and replaces it with Google.

This whole exercise demonstrated maps are a critical service and relying on a direct competitor for a critical service is a problem. As a result of Apple's actions, they have their own map service they are improving and Google's map service with features previously withheld. Win win for Apple, there is no going back.

As a result of Apple's actions, they have their own map service THAT THEY HUMONGOUSLY SUCK AT and Google's map service with features previously withheld.

There, FTFY.

Re:Opportunity (1)

degeneratemonkey (1405019) | about 2 years ago | (#42272109)

Most likely a combination of internal politics and an ambitious project manager.

Re:Opportunity (3, Insightful)

d3vi1 (710592) | about 2 years ago | (#42272151)

If you were Apple, you wouldn't have survived the 90's.
While the Apple maps data is not the best in some places, I can say that they're doing a much better job improving than everyone else. It took Google a few years to have any roads listed in most European countries. Apple started with complete maps. I've compared the coverage of Apple, Google, Nokia, Bing and OSM on quite a few occasions and OSM is the only one better than the rest. Google, Apple, Nokia and Bing are not showing one third of the motorways in Romania. I'm not talking about a forgotten secondary road somewhere up in the mountains, I'm talking about (albeit a few) hundreds of kilometers of motorways.
The application isn't bad at all. It's still superior to Google's, at least for now. The data might be flawed in some places, but you should give them a few months to get it right. I'm quite sure that when Google Maps first appeared, their data wasn't optimal either. Their maps are now much better due to community effort in apps like mapmaker.
In case you're an idiot and couldn't figure this out by yourself, I'm going to spell it out: it makes perfect business sense to build your own maps application if your biggest competitors (Google, Microsoft, Nokia) all have their own solutions. What do you think the licensing costs would be if Apple attempted to license a maps solution from Nokia's Navteq or from Microsoft's Bing?

LOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272665)

It is great driving in Eastern Europe. You are on this beautiful 6 lane highway speeding towards your destination, when all of a sudden you drive 140km/h into a 2-lane country road (sometimes backed up for kilometers), because the country ran out of finances (probably because of corruption) to complete the highway. So the highway literally just "ends". Slightly offtopic, but lets not even get started on the gypsys living along the Hungarian motorways. I think they live in the forests or something. They can also be had at a bargain.

Re:LOL (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about 2 years ago | (#42272993)

Gypsies at a bargain?

That IS tempting!

Re:Opportunity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272173)

... Apple is a company that makes its money selling hardware with a proprietary OS, not homegrowing competitive and complex applications. They stretched themselves outside their realm of competency...

Honestly, I don't get why they didn't support or help Google from the start. I would have thought that if they wanted to develop, they could have more easily come up with a frontend to several MS Office replacements and avoid all the BS with Office 365.

Apple did support & help Google from the very start - how exactly do you think Google maps got so good? However, Google refused to allow vector maps support or turn-by-turn directions with voice-over on iOS preferring to keep it an Android exclusive. So Apple went out and started creating their own vector maps & turn-by-turn directions (which are very, very good but they're NOT yet as good as Google maps).

So Google has been FORCED to give Apple & iOS exactly what Apple wanted all along; a vector map app with turn-by-turn directions albeit with a hit to Apple's reputation. If Apple continue to commit to maps, Mapping will soon be an Apple area of competency and so Google had better stop being so lazy and start supporting iOS properly (i.e. Android / iOS feature parity, supporting iPads etc...).

Note that some of the Apple Maps API (i.e. POI & places) won't arrive until iOS 6.1 (which has yet to be released) and so Google's API has beaten Apple to this which may help them cement a strong position in the iOS maps marketplace.

Re:Opportunity (0)

d3vi1 (710592) | about 2 years ago | (#42272181)

P.S.: Have you noticed how Google managed to come up with a decent Maps app in only 6 months? They completely neglected the iOS distributed app for years and only improved on Android until Apple kicked their arse back to work. I find that kind of competition to be healthy!

Re:Opportunity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272323)

No, this was part of the deal the whole time. Apple would use Google's map data to put together a maps app (the old Google Maps app itself was written by Apple), and Google wouldn't produce a competing Maps app for the platform. Then the deal expired, and we now have an Apple Maps app with crappy map data and a Google-written Google Maps app that looks a lot like the (fantastic) app they have for Android.

Maps was always an Apple app (5, Informative)

Comboman (895500) | about 2 years ago | (#42272571)

P.S.: Have you noticed how Google managed to come up with a decent Maps app in only 6 months? They completely neglected the iOS distributed app for years and only improved on Android until Apple kicked their arse back to work.

The iPhone "Maps" app has always been an Apple developed product which is part of the iOS core, Google only provided the map data via a licensing agreement. The big sticking point on renewing the licensing agreement was not (as many people think) either cost or exclusive features (like turn-by-turn); it was branding. Google wanted it's name and logo clearly shown on the app ("Google Maps", not "Maps"). but Apple refused (and would not approve a separate iOS Google Maps app since that would "duplicate" core OS functionality). Now, not only does Google get to be the hero by rescuing iOS users from failed Apple Maps, it gets to control the branding on its iOS maps app.

Re:Maps was always an Apple app (2, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#42272729)

The big sticking point on renewing the licensing agreement was not (as many people think) either cost or exclusive features (like turn-by-turn); it was branding.

All three of those are issues, and there are others such as Google wanting location data from users. You are not in a position to say which were the crucial issues in the company negotiations. They were not public. You're just going on media and blog speculation.

Re:Opportunity (0)

Goaway (82658) | about 2 years ago | (#42272185)

The whole reason they dropped Google Maps was that their contract with Google was up, and Google wouldn't renew it on terms acceptable by Apple. It wasn't about "supporting" or "helping" Google, it was entirely about what Google was asking in return for letting them use Google Maps.

Re:Opportunity (1)

Cigarra (652458) | about 2 years ago | (#42272343)

Why is Google the villain? What if we put it this way?

"The whole reason they dropped Google Maps was that their contract with Google was up, and Apple wouldn't renew it on terms acceptable by Google. It wasn't about "supporting" or "helping" Google, it was entirely about what Apple was asking in return for allowing Google Maps in their OS"

Re:Opportunity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272639)

Because that fits your agenda and isn't what happened.

Re:Opportunity (4, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#42273071)

Why is Google the villain?

No one said Google was the villain. No one has to be a villain. 2 companies simply failed to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. That doesn't make either of them wrong.

Re:Opportunity (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 2 years ago | (#42272217)

If I were Apple, I would push out a patch today that scraps Apple Maps and replaces it with Google. Apple is a company that makes its money selling hardware with a proprietary OS, not homegrowing competitive and complex applications. They stretched themselves outside their realm of competency, and this is a good time to fix it.

Honestly, I don't get why they didn't support or help Google from the start. I would have thought that if they wanted to develop, they could have more easily come up with a frontend to several MS Office replacements and avoid all the BS with Office 365.

Because allegedly Google wanted Apple to wallpaper the new iOS mapping app with the Google logo and integrate one of Google's social networking systems as a preconditions for allowing Apple to pay for the privilege of integrating new Google Maps features with iOS. How much of that is true I don't know but if even only half of it is true I would have said no too. Mind you, I would definitely have tried to find a better replacement maps provider than TomTom, like, say... Garmin or even Microsoft/Nokia. The Nokia maps are basic but accurate and so are Garmin's and you can fix things like satellite view. Features like transit directions take longer. I tried using a TomTom device for a few weeks in the UK this summer and TomTom quite frankly just sucks...

Re:Opportunity (4, Insightful)

EMN13 (11493) | about 2 years ago | (#42272877)

That's not a reasonable position for Apple to take; not at all. They could have simply left the old gmaps app since their license had not *yet* expired, and at least avoided this debacle. Furthermore, you present "plastering" google's logo all over the app as if its certain this was something truly terrible - when that's not sure at all; it's not unreasonable to claim credit for an app you made so a logo might be reasonable.

All in all - if both parties had wanted this to work out they would have made it work. It's certain apple wasn't being reasonable, and quite believable Google wasn't either (but we really only have Apple's word for that). In any case - it's Apple's device; they're Apple customers, and that makes it Apple's responsibility to come up with a solution that doesn't suck - whether that solution involves using an old-fashioned app for another year, or a different provider, or kowtowing to Google isn't really important.

Regardless of who else is involved, Apple chose to harm their customers, probably intentionally, because that fit their strategic aims better. Given apple's dealings with samsung (and others), Apple doesn't come across as a very open-minded company: does it really surprise anyone they played hardball even if doing so cost them something?

Put it this way: if you blame some third party for a seller's failure to provide quality goods, that's not exactly a great incentive for said seller to be fair with you the next time - why bother? Defending Apple for their abuse of their customers reminds me a little too much of the stockholm syndrome for comfort.

I don't think these power-fights are good for customers.

Re:Opportunity (4, Funny)

Psiren (6145) | about 2 years ago | (#42272957)

I tried using a TomTom device for a few weeks in the UK this summer and TomTom quite frankly just sucks...

This is clearly made up nonsense. We didn't have a summer in the UK this year.

Re:Opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272293)

If I were Apple, I would push out a patch today that scraps Apple Maps and replaces it with Google.

Well, knowing it takes Apple at least two weeks to change some text on their own website, we know that is not going to happen...

Re:Opportunity (1)

Fr33z0r (621949) | about 2 years ago | (#42272405)

Apple is a company that makes its money selling hardware with a proprietary OS, not homegrowing competitive and complex applications.

There's noting on any rival mobile platform which is remotely competitive with Garageband or iMovie on iOS.

Maps was a huge mistake, but to say they're incapable of making competitive apps is selling them short.

Re:Opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272511)

If I were Apple, I would push out a patch today that scraps Apple Maps and replaces it with Google.

If you were Apple, you would have sold the company to IBM in the '80s. Would have made a lot of sense.
If you were Apple, you would have dropped the Mac OS and become a Windows PC vendor in the '90s. Would have made a lot of sense.
If you were Apple, you would have given up on developing your own platform and focused on the iPod and internet music in the '00s. Would have made a lot of sense.

Re:Opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42273107)

That's a whole bunch of non-sequiturs you got there.

How long (2)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#42272021)

until this is the most-downloaded app in the store? One day? A few hours?

Re:How long (4, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42272149)

until this is the most-downloaded app in the store? One day? A few hours?

Try "the moment it showed up [apple.com] ." It hasn't even been available for 8 hours yet and it already has tens of thousands of downloads. People haven't even gotten out of bed yet, and it's the most downloaded app of the day.

Hahaha - check out this funny review on iTunes (4, Funny)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#42272277)

"I almost died in Australia, thank god this is out." - 5 stars from Reed Morse

Re:Hahaha - check out this funny review on iTunes (3, Informative)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 2 years ago | (#42272767)

"I almost died in Australia, thank god this is out." - 5 stars from Reed Morse

Australian Police warn of safety concerns from Google Maps [yahoo.com]

Re:Hahaha - check out this funny review on iTunes (3, Insightful)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#42272815)

I saw that - gmaps sending people head-on into oncoming traffic - more dangerous than being led into a desert!

Re:How long (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#42272913)

Interestingly it's not even in the top 10 on the UK App Store.

Perhaps they are only recalculated periodically and it hasn't kicked in yet.

Either than, or other people in the UK have as good an experience of Apple Maps as I have. I couldn't find a single error around my area.

The former is probably more likely than the latter though.

first p.. damn. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272023)

This would have been the first post, but because of my reliance on Apples poorly implemented turn by turn navigation, it took me 3 minutes extra to navigate here.

Downloading the app as I write this. At least I didn't end up in a paywall.

Live traffic data. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272025)

Where do these folks get live traffic data?

And not just this app, but everyone else: TomTom, Garmin, etc ....

I have a GPS with traffic, and I don't see how they're getting the data from me or anyone else with these things.

Re:Live traffic data. (2)

mungtor (306258) | about 2 years ago | (#42272105)

That's part of the EULA and the "anonymous statistics" I believe. When you use Google Maps it uploads your position periodically, from which it can deduce your average velocity. It correlates that with other reports from other users in geographically similar areas and creates congestion maps.

I don't think stand-alone GPS (like Garmin) upload any data, so they probably purchase it from Google. That's most likely why it's a subscription or ad-based service on those devices.

Re:Live traffic data. (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#42272195)

Can you cite this? I didn't realize that Google was (apparently) literally tracking my movements every time I used Navigation.

Re:Live traffic data. (4, Informative)

mungtor (306258) | about 2 years ago | (#42272561)

In the Google Privacy Policy on my phone, in the Service section it says:

"Location information
When you use a location-enabled Google service,we may collect and process information about your actual location,like GPS signals sent by a mobile device. We may also use various technologies to determine location,such as sensor data from your device that may,for example,provide information on nearby Wi-Fi access points and cell towers."

That's one of the things I'm assuming they're using it for.

Re:Live traffic data. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272417)

That's part of the EULA and the "anonymous statistics" I believe. When you use Google Maps it uploads your position periodically, from which it can deduce your average velocity. It correlates that with other reports from other users in geographically similar areas and creates congestion maps.

I don't think stand-alone GPS (like Garmin) upload any data, so they probably purchase it from Google. That's most likely why it's a subscription or ad-based service on those devices.

Standalone navigation units usually use something like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_message_channel [wikipedia.org] to get traffic data. I know mine does, including TMC pro.

Re:Live traffic data. (2)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42272219)

apple maps, google and waze keep track of your speed and location. along with others using the apps. 10mph on a 60mph highway means traffic

Re:Live traffic data. (1)

Mushdot (943219) | about 2 years ago | (#42272839)

I've been told two things, neither of which may be true, but 1) seems the most likely:

1. TomTom Traffic and others have a 3G connection. They talk to the local mobile masts and Tom Tom can use the location data to estimate traffic volume.

2. TomTom buys mobile phone location data from mobile phone companies to estimate congestion based on the number of phones moving between base stations.

Vector rendered maps carry less information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272029)

Its a good thing iOS has Google great map content back! However, the vector based rendering seems to have problems putting the same amount of information on the screen as the tile bases maps did.

Another thing I have noticed so far: If you do a routing right after a search (using the button in the bottom corner), the route is not shown on the map, all you get is the list view of the route. Weird.

But its so good to see even map competition on iOS, if someone could only show me a great OpenStreetMap based app...

Re:Vector rendered maps carry less information (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42272187)

really?

iOS has Waze and 20 other free and paid maps apps. had them for years. iOS even has true offline maps apps and not the hacked up offline that google maps has.

if i'm going to drive somewhere with weak or no signal i'll just install my Navigon again, download the states i need and go.

beautiful and innovative (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272035)

Can't wait, oh maybe I can.

Apple Maps (1, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42272055)

Yeah. Apparently Apple has finally figured out that killing your customers isn't good business. /snark This is the first time Apple has had to swallow its pride and admit that something they made failed so disasterously that even the Reality Distortion Field created by thousands of spin doctors and lawyers collapsed. They'll probably fix that problem though when they switch to 16nm fabrication though for their chip plants. Battery life and minaturization of lawyers has always been a major shortcoming of their product line.

Re:Apple Maps (5, Insightful)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | about 2 years ago | (#42272213)

Yeah. Apparently Apple has finally figured out that killing your customers isn't good business. /snark =

Works out pretty well for the tobacco industry.

Re:Apple Maps (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42272831)

Works out pretty well for the tobacco industry.

Tobacco takes 30 years to kill people. Apple's product takes mere hours.

Since when is this the first time? (1)

junkgoof (607894) | about 2 years ago | (#42272811)

Hmm, the Apple 3, the Lisa (debatable), the Newton, initial iCloud release, near irrelevance before Jobs came back... I'm sure there are others. I expect them to be more frequent now that Steve Jobs is not around to flip out and shred poor designs and implementations. It is definitely not the first major Apple flameout.

I have an iphone and I like my iphone but I expect my next phone to be an android both because rooted linux should improve and because Apple will go downhill without Jobs (great designer, great QA, lousy manager; too bad mediocre managers are using his autobio to control freak for mediocrity).

Re:Apple Maps (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#42273031)

This is the first time Apple has had to swallow its pride and admit that something they made failed

You're some way out of date with the news. Tim Cook sent out the letter admitting their mistakes with Apple Maps back on the 28th September, a mere 11 days after Apple Maps was released.

And contrary to your claim, it's not the first time Apple have admitted their mistakes. For example Steve Jobs admitted they messed up with the launch of MobileMe.

It's not that Apple don't admit their mistakes when they make them. It's that they don't often make serious mistakes.

WTF were they thinking?! (3, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42272061)

Seriously, what were they thinking? Everyone had a solid, universal reason to not buy an iPhone 5 and Google, maker of Android, ruined it. Is a couple thousand dollars in app money really worth failing to crush Apple even worse? Well, regardless, Apple has less than a year left on their lease their maps database and interface. I don't know if a 3rd party app like this counts or not but regardless, this is beyond stupid. I bet their contract didn't say they had to design an entirely new app for them. I certainly would have left them hanging. That or made a total troll map app where the third direction is always "Lol @ Apple, we're only getting you this far. Try Apple maps for the rest of the directions. Try not to drive off a cliff into the ocean."

Google probably makes more ad money (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#42272167)

per iPhone than per Android phone. Why WOULDN'T they want more iPhones to be sold?

Google are much more than just Android (2)

accessbob (962147) | about 2 years ago | (#42272179)

They've more than made their point, there is nothing to be gained from losing all brand visibility on one of the most important mobile product ranges.

Brand visibility matters.

Re:WTF were they thinking?! (1)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#42272189)

From what I've read before, the previous Apple Maps app was also made by Apple, just using the Google API. The new app is all Google. I don't think Google really cares about iPhones and iPads. iPhone and iPad users still use Google services and see Google ads.

Re:WTF were they thinking?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272253)

The goal of Android, for Google, is to have people using Google's services.

What would worry Google more than people using iPhone over Android, is people using Apple Maps over Google Maps.

My guess is that they held off the release as long as they could, with the risk of Apple releasing updates that brought their maps into a "good enough" state that would make it hard to move iPhone users to Google maps. Releasing it just after a big news story about Apple maps getting people lost, is pretty good timing. Getting people to switch, and leaving a bad taste in their mouth, is a pretty good way to keep Apple's maps saddled with a poor reputation.

Re:WTF were they thinking?! (1)

brian_tanner (1022773) | about 2 years ago | (#42272959)

Probably they were thinking carefully with a room full of smart people considering more than short term one-upmanship on their mobile platform. Google is not Android, it's much bigger than that. They have to fiercely defend their reputation for playing nice on many/all platforms, because many of us started using their service for that very reason. Google is supposed to be better than petty BS, they are supposed to be that more-agnostic omnipresent service that is available everywhere. IMHO anyway.

Re:WTF were they thinking?! (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#42273101)

Apple fans would still buy the iPhone X if the staff spat in your face when you walked into the store. Google are just increasing their market and exposure, like any good company would.

Re:WTF were they thinking?! (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 2 years ago | (#42273109)

Momentum.

What good is convincing a very small sliver of people to come to Android if the end result is that everyone else who doesn't starts getting used to an alternate product?

Consider it like a gateway drug. In the case of Google, they already own the market (with regard to email, maps, etc) They don't want people to get used to using alternate products.

It isn't even 'evil' per say, in any business, you always want people seeing, using, remembering, and promoting your brand. At least with Google, we reap the benefit in a true competitive situation since Google MUST put out a better product. Could you imagine what would happen if the Apple Maps was a better product than Google's? Habits are formed, and people don't think about Google when running their maps/searches/etc.

If Google tried to win this by restricting their services to people only using Android, they would have never have reached the position they are currently in. On the internet, loyalty can be extremely ephemeral.

Why do I use google services? Because they work better for me than Yahoo. Do you know how hard it would be to switch to another service provider for email/maps/search?

Email I can just setup an autoresponder (added bonus that spambots don't pick up my new address and are left behind.) Maps? Simple as typing a new address. Search? Just as simple.

Re:WTF were they thinking?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42273111)

The reason is that on mobile devices the maps are becoming the gateway for advertising, sort of like the google.com for your phone. Traditional browser advertising doesn't really work on mobile devices but you can expect location based ads to become more and prevalent. For example, the maps let you find out things like where the nearest Starbucks is or the closest hardware store. If Apple can fulfill queries like these without going through Google search then Google is set to lose a huge amount of revenue. Why they ever let Apple get to the point where they built their own maps is just mind boggling! Android may be growing but there are still hundreds of millions of iOS devices out there and they can't ignore that market. That's why they had to release their own map application. I am really surprised that Apple approved the app though. The good news though is that all this competition should lead to better maps all around.

Re:WTF were they thinking?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42273115)

Apple is expected to sell 45 million iPhone 5 in Q4 this year. I don't think the apple maps app is turning very many people off the phone.

How much data does it use? (1)

hackertourist (2202674) | about 2 years ago | (#42272125)

When I see mapping applications on a mobile phone I always wonder how much it costs when you use it on a regular basis.

My 2003 Palm TX has most of Europe stored on a 1GB SD card so it'll work without a data connection, but I see Google Maps will download the required data every time.

Re:How much data does it use? (1)

nogginthenog (582552) | about 2 years ago | (#42272917)

Google maps on Android can download map data for offline use. No idea about the iPhone version.

This took too long (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272183)

I am now a faithful Waze user. I can contribute by editing, or alerting people to road problems and speed traps. I can have meaningless traffic conversations with people nearby. It's just easier to feel a part of something.

The only reason to use the Google maps app is when it was automatically launched when another program asked for location. Google is now just another third party app like everyone else.

They had to... (1)

Ronin Developer (67677) | about 2 years ago | (#42272209)

In the interests of public safety, Apple really had to approve this app.

GPS Navigation tools frequently have outdated maps which can lead us astray. And, there is always a horror story of someone getting lost in the desert beause they followed their GPS. Google, if I recall correctly, was sued by a woman when their maps told her to take a pedestrian route that didn't have sidewalks and she was hit by a car.

At the very least, Apple can now deflect such litigeous action to Google. And, by approving it, it shows they "care".

I just personally can not stand iApple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272281)

"... to help developers use Google Maps when building their beautiful and innovative apps."

*bleargh*

Re:I just personally can not stand iApple (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | about 2 years ago | (#42273119)

Except that Apple didn't say that.

Dangerous app... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272329)

Google Maps Leads Australian Drivers Down Dangerous One Way Road [inquisitr.com]

Based on how widely stories of dangerously erroneous Australian data in other, unnamed mapping applications were reported, I expect this story will be widely publicized soon.

Re:Dangerous app... (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#42272635)

Good point. TFA says gmaps are sending people the wrong way into oncoming traffic in Australia. Probably more dangerous than being led into a desert.

Wonder if they'll update for 1st iPad ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#42272391)

I wonder if this means an update to the Google map application which came with the original iPad.

Since the iOS 6 doesn't support that, those devices never lost the original Google app.

Of course, that doesn't help the fact that you won't be getting any real OS updates anymore.

Re:Wonder if they'll update for 1st iPad ... (1)

Goldenhawk (242867) | about 2 years ago | (#42272483)

"Original iPad"? This app still doesn't support *ANY* iPad directly. It's an iPhone-native app, that can be 2x scaled to show on the iPad also. Looks horrible at full size.

Okay, I get it - Google wanted to get *something* out there as quickly as possible. But it cannot be THAT hard to set up a native iPad resolution - it's just a bigger screen. Come on already, Google. Finish the job quickly, please.

I'm really happy this is out, as it proves Apple is willing to allow Google to create a new iOS mapping app that directly competes with their own. But I'll be a lot happier when it also looks good on my iPad.

Re:Wonder if they'll update for 1st iPad ... (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#42272907)

Google's apps always follow this pattern. The first g+ app was iPhone only. The first Youtube app not bundled in iOS was iPhone only. Both of them got iPad support in the next version.

There's no doubt that Maps will get the same treatment, but they want to get it out there and working first.

I've seen this before. (3, Funny)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 2 years ago | (#42272441)

BARON
        iOS, iOS... I place you in charge
        of Maps. It's yours to squeeze, as I
        promised. I want you to squeeze and
        squeeze and squeeze.
                (massaging in rhythm)
        Give me spice! Drive them into utter
        submission. You must not show the
        slightest pity or mercy... as only you
        can... Never stop!
                (releasing him)
        Go.... Show no mercy!

                iOS
        Yes, my lord Baron.

iOS leaves just as Google steps out of the shower.
The Baron turns to him lovingly.
--
                        BARON
                (to Google)
        And when we've crushed these people enough
        I'll send in you Google... they'll cheer you
        as a rescuer... lovely Google... really a
        lovely boy.
                (suddenly he smiles and screams)
        Where's my doctor?

Sandy Island (1)

troon (724114) | about 2 years ago | (#42272485)

...is still there as a white blob at various scales between Australia & New Caledonia...

FINALLY??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272673)

Finally? Really? The title is pretty biased.

What happened to the conspiracy theories that Apple was holding the app hostage and wouldn't approve it even when Google said it hadn't been submitted? Where are those people admitting they were wrong? They've moved on to the next anti-Apple trolling meme like people 'dying' in Australia because the maps were so bad.

Google maps getting a similar warning in another part of Australia? [yahoo.com] *crickets*

iPhone size (1)

amunter (313014) | about 2 years ago | (#42272785)

The posting mentions this, but the app is designed for iPhone displays, not iPad. So you have to do the terrible zoom to get it to not be tiny on your iPad.

5th out of 333 in App Store (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about 2 years ago | (#42272787)

Searched for "Google Maps" in the app store and it came up 5th in the search results. Now they just need to implement Google Search in the store and we'll be set.

Apple maps obsolete forever (1)

wardk (3037) | about 2 years ago | (#42272859)

Apple should give up and just pay google. their effort sucked, their product is utter shit, and their credibility is shot because of this idiocy.

of course, you cannot delete the apple maps abomination, the best you can do it stuff it into a folder where you don't have to look at anymore.

never thought I would need a folder named "Shit Apps" on such a nice device, but there it is.

nice work google, and thanks.

I'm happy (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about 2 years ago | (#42272881)

I was just about to ditch my iPhone for an Android due primarily to the terrible Apple Maps app. I only like the iPhone for the accuracy of its on screen keyboard. Otherwise, I prefer Android.

ad revenue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42272929)

I assume most folks will opt for Google maps, and therefore Google can charge more for ads which is the name of the game.

Yay, I'll exist again (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#42272935)

According to Apple Maps, my neighborhood doesn't exist at all. It's also got some ugly, low resolution greyscale (!) imagery for the area that is hopelessly out of date.

Google Maps on the other hand actually knows about my area, and has high resolution color imagery.

The gap in data quality between the two is enormous.

No support for contacts!? (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | about 2 years ago | (#42272967)

While I'm extremely glad to have Google Transit directions back, I'm honestly shocked at the lack of integration with iOS contacts. Typing in your friend's name for directions to their place is a pretty basic use case.

Has its own errors (1)

markdj (691222) | about 2 years ago | (#42273145)

Already found two point of interest location errors and reported them!
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