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Google IOS Software Upgrades Apple Technology

Revamped Google Maps Finally Available On iOS 279

Posted by timothy
from the no-more-billabong-diving dept.
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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Revamped Google Maps Finally Available On iOS

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  • ontrack (Score:2, Informative)

    by Korruptionen (2647747) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @09:51AM (#42271943) Journal
    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 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @09:57AM (#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:How long (Score:5, Informative)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:09AM (#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.

  • by mungtor (306258) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:37AM (#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.

  • by Comboman (895500) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:37AM (#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.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:49AM (#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.

  • by Plumpaquatsch (2701653) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:51AM (#42272767) Journal

    "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:ontrack (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:16AM (#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.

  • by Guspaz (556486) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:47AM (#42273815)

    Apple maps is missing transit directions, streetview, most information, and has inaccurate destinations, but turn-by-turn actually does work pretty well. I was particularly happy with how it works when it has no internet connection.

    I took a trip to the US not long ago, and my data plan stops working when I cross the border. However, it turns out that Apple Maps will continue providing turn-by-turn directions without issue so long as it had an Internet connection when you started; it will cache the entire route, and enough site-routes to accommodate a bit of rerouting.

    When using Apple Maps turn-by-turn in a foreign country, you can get your phone on the hotel wifi, enter your destination, give it a few seconds to download all the data it requires, and then leave the hotel (and wifi coverage) without issue.

    I don't yet know if Google Maps has similar behaviour. I hope it does, because Apple Maps seems useless for anything but driving directions, and I don't have a car. Whatever possessed them to remove public transit directions is beyond me. They took out all the features I used, and put in features I either don't use or use extremely infrequently.

  • by shellbeach (610559) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:21PM (#42275515)

    Google doesn't outsell Apple 3:1 -- Google is barely involved in hardware at all. And the Android OS itself they give away for free.

  • Re:ontrack (Score:4, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:57PM (#42276207) Journal

    Google refused to renew the license without adding all kinds of tracking into iOS, which Apple refused to allow

    "Adding all kinds of tracking" sounds ominous, but in reality Google asked for Latitude to be included. This is an opt-in service that enables people to publish their location to each other, either manually or automatically. So it's not like Google wanted some spyware to be installed into iOS that would keep tabs on every single user - only those who specifically ask for it get it.

    And it mostly succeeded. It's hard to argue that the new map imagery isn't way, way better than what Google previously licensed Apple. Map imagery is crisper, faster, caches better, and is generally more readable.

    Except for the areas where Apple map imagery is some ancient crappy black-and-white satellite photos. Or where the entire area is covered by clouds (including some major cities). And so on.

    So, yes, it's very easy to argue that the new map imagery is not in any noticeable way better than what Google offered, and in many areas, it's actually worse.

  • Re:Opportunity (Score:4, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Thursday December 13, 2012 @02:19PM (#42276633) Homepage

    Google will not be able to keep as under-featured as before.

    It wasn't Google keeping you under-featured, it was Apple. Google wanted to add navigation etc. but Apple was insisting that they provide it for free. Now Google has provided it and added the extra branding it wanted.

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