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Google IOS Software Upgrades Apple Technology

Revamped Google Maps Finally Available On iOS 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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Revamped Google Maps Finally Available On iOS

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  • ontrack (Score:2, Informative)

    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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

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

      • 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.

        • by Thud457 ( 234763 )
          "Fucking Mapquest [voshy.com]^W IOS maps!"
          -- John McAfee
    • Re:ontrack (Score:5, Funny)

      by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:03AM (#42272069)
      It labeled the US as Australia in most views. What planet are you using it on?
    • by alen ( 225700 )

      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 (Score:5, Funny)

      by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:04AM (#42272083)
      You must only be using it to go between your house and the Apple PR department office then.
      • 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 (Score:4, Interesting)

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

    • If Apple Maps is working correctly, you must be holding it wrong because it's not supposed to work like that
  • by Andy Prough ( 2730467 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @09:58AM (#42272021)
    until this is the most-downloaded app in the store? One day? A few hours?
  • Apple Maps (Score:2, Interesting)

    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 the

    • Re:Apple Maps (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stranger_to_himself ( 1132241 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:13AM (#42272213) Journal

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

      Works out pretty well for the tobacco industry.

      • Works out pretty well for the tobacco industry.

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

        • Works out pretty well for the tobacco industry.

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

          Therefore it must be an improved product. This changes everything.

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

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

        Works out pretty well for the tobacco industry.

        Thats because making it hard for customers to stop using your product is good for business.

        Something Apple did learn from the tobacco industry.

    • 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 designe
    • 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.

  • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:03AM (#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."
    • per iPhone than per Android phone. Why WOULDN'T they want more iPhones to be sold?
    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 r

    • Open the new Google Maps app. Search for Denver. Now search for "Airport".

      See all those dots? Not one of them is Denver International Airport, the largest airport in Denver and the one you will be using flying domestic or international flights.

      With Apple Maps, a similar search at a similar zoom level not only shows DIA, but selects it as a featured choice [flickr.com].

      So how has Apple been hurt by improving search over Google? It's kind of funny that after so long at being tops in mapping, Google has been bested in

    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:15PM (#42275413)

      Look at the Google Maps SDK licensing terms [google.com].

      Until Apple switched over to Apple Maps, those were the terms that iOS developers had to live with using the mapping SDK. Apple offers unlimited geocoding queries, Google has a limit of 2500 per day across all instances of your application!

      Google also has higher limits if you pay them, but even those limits are way too low for a popular application.

      Also under the Google Map regime, developers COULD NOT provide turn my turn directions on top of Google Maps. Now that Apple is providing maps there is no restriction at all to what overlays a developer chooses to put on a map.

      In the end are not the users of a system served better by an endless variety of applications free to use maps in any way they like? It's not about any ONE application, it's about thousands of them.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

    • "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 t

      • by Tridus ( 79566 )

        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.

  • by RivenAleem ( 1590553 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:32AM (#42272441)

            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!

            Yes, my lord Baron.

    iOS leaves just as Google steps out of the shower.
    The Baron turns to him lovingly.
                    (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?

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Already found two point of interest location errors and reported them!
  • Wtf, Google? Why isn't this available in every iTunes store?

  • 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 swb ( 14022 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:33PM (#42274627)

    IMHO, the Apple maps app is far better than the media and the naysayers would have you believe.

    Every time I've used turn-by-turn, including in suburban areas with idiotic short streets and those are-they-roads-or-parking-lots near shopping centers, it's been spot-on.

    "What about transit info?" Transit info in the old Google maps app blew, at least as far as subway info in NYC went. Missing/mismarked entrances, etc. "iTransNYC" worked far, far better and there are similar apps for major city rail systems. Outside of that, how many people REALLY own iPhones and ride the bus? In most metro areas outside of those served by urban rail, the bus service blows. Everybody drives.

    I had plenty of mismarked locations with Google maps, not just 4 years ago, but in the last year. It was far from perfect, as have most standalone GPS devices I've used in rental cars.

    To me, this seems like resistance to change or just anti-Apple ranting. I downloaded the Google app to check it out, but IMHO I still like the Apple app better, especially visually.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:09PM (#42275311)

    The more interesting aspect of this story to me, is that Google also is offering an SDK for iOS developers. If Google really wants to keep collecting a lot of data, it seems like they would want to make it really attractive to use Google maps in an application over the built in Apple mapping framework.

    Looking over the licensing terms [google.com] though, it would seem the Google Maps SDK is kind of developer hostile. Not only do they have limited access to API keys at the moment, but look at the restrictions Google imposes on you as an app developer. Only 2500 requests per day for geocoding or directions - an absurdly low figure for any mapping application to be distributed to millions of people. Even the "business" plan (which I believe you have to pay Google for) as what I consider to be an overly low API request limit of 100k requests a day.

    As an iOS developer there is NO way I would replace the use of the iOS mapping framework (where geocoding requests are unlimited) with Google's SDK.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker