How is Apple Maps any different from the Android G1?
As we all know by now, Apple decided to get rid of Google Maps and create its own Maps app for iOS. We have also seen that the iOS Maps app has been... disappointing, to be extremely kind about it. We have tried a number of times to impress upon our readership that this is the first iteration of an app that will be around for years and years to come, and that the first generation of a product as big as mapping the entire world is bound to have problems. It's not like Google Maps was borne into this world as complete as it is today, that took 7 years of hard work. And, Apple wasn't trying to recreate Google Maps on the first try, it was more likely just trying to build something that was "good enough" for users, and depending on where you live, it missed that mark with iOS Maps.
Of course, Apple doesn't get that sort of benefit of the doubt. It's understandable, because Apple has always been a company that not only held back software until it was more matured, but Apple tends to use only superlatives when introducing new products. And, Apple haters can't seem to grasp that what is essentially nothing more than a marketing tool (the superlative) is not necessarily the benchmark for judging a product.
a reasonable audience shouldn't actually get any useful meaning from the words used at an Apple announcement. If you describe a product the same way you've described every product for the past 10 years, how do the words even really mean anything anymore? Still, people find a way to get so angry about it that they have to fill up our comment threads with their bile.
What's interesting is that, if you notice, Apple uses all of its superlatives in the announcement for a product, but when it comes to the actual advertising for the product, the phrasing always changes to "the best iPhone yet", or "the most magical iPad yet". Everything becomes compared only to Apple devices, not to anything else, because there are those silly things like the "Code of Advertising", which states that superlatives can only be based on objective data, like sales figures. So, the superlatives are couched in context in Apple ads, but are free to describe anything during a product announcement.
Still, there is no such thing as perspective when it comes to a fanboy, especially one that is so dead set on hating Apple. And, that brings us back to our original question: why does Google always get credit for trying something new? We know that Google has been far more well known for the "try and fail" approach to product development, as well as its liberal use of the Beta tag. Google has released plenty of products that have been killed off, or stayed in beta for as long as 5 years (Gmail). Google has released plenty of products that started out just as rocky as Apple Maps, but became successful (you know, like Android.)
Times have changed though. Android has grown and evolved, while iOS has made more moderate changes, and Android has become the dominant platform, if not the best mobile platform around. Of course, if you ask any Apple fanboy, they will likely still pull adjectives that described Android 1.5 as a way to put down the platform, calling it "laggy" or "prone to crash", even though those adjectives don't apply anymore, and some studies have shown that Android is actually less prone to crashes than Apple. The same is happening right now with Apple Maps. It launched as a disappointment, and a mess of an app, so as far as anti-Apple fanboys are concerned, that's how it will always be.
Sure, Apple Maps is not a great product right now. Its data set is woefully small, its satellite imagery is patchwork, and its navigation can have problems. The thing is, Apple isn't giving up on this. The product will continue to be improved, and it will continue to be a central part of all iOS products from here on out. Just take a look at a G1 running Android 1.5 compared to a Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.1, and think about how that change happened over the course of just 4 years. Now, try to imagine what Apple Maps will look like 4 years from now.
It still may not have caught up with Google Maps, but it will certainly have progressed to the point where iOS users are no longer running to the iTunes App Store to download an alternative maps app. That's how Apple is looking at this, and that's how Google is looking at it as it decides how to react and what to do next. Knee-jerk reactions do nothing but put people in the mindset to not accept any new information on a subject. But, on a long enough timeline, everything changes, especially in the world of tech. If you're planning to make up your mind about a product and never revisit that judgement, the world is most surely going to pass you by.
1. bloodline (Posts: 691; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
Your missing a big point here, apple removed one of the best mapping services available in replace of an awful one and gave u no real choice to get it back. That's why people complained, its not rocket science Michael
6. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3213; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
No one is stopping google from making an app. Excuses are always made despite the obvious.
20. serious9010 (Posts: 254; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Apple ditch Google Maps because Google wouldn't make their maps on iOS as good as the ones on Android? I mean, if Google kept some functions like turn-by-turn navigation for itself it's only logical that Apple took a separate path...
23. darkkjedii (Posts: 10079; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Now that's the point of the day. And that's exactly what happened.
47. MeoCao (unregistered)
That's not the point, no 1 accuses Apple for ditching Google maps, people are angry at Apple b-c they did it when their maps were far from ready, and this was not minor errors we are talking about.
125. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2647; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Apple could have just chosen that it could update Maps far faster if it were public than just working on it in house. Releasing it gives them a potential for millions of beta testers. Of course, the problem there is that Apple never said this was a beta app...
145. someones4 (Posts: 618; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)
There! Michael said it. The problem is apple. There won't be riots if apple weren't such a gigantic snob and called some beta app a 'work of art'. Should apple become like google which portrays itself as a provider instead of some elitist corporation, no one would have cared that imaps sucks
150. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3213; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
No the problem is ignorance. If Google did the same thing no one would complain.
149. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3213; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
Why would they need to call it beta? Google never called Android beta and it has problems all the time. It's only logical that Apple wanted to go with its own maps solution than rely on Google and allow them to profit off their data. Google didn't even want to provide some of the features Android maps has.
For what it's worth, Apple Maps actually look and function better than Google Maps when it came out. Apple has plenty of resources to make it better. Make it better they will.
171. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 845; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
No but Google Maps was in beta for years. In fact every application that they made was beta sometimes annoyingly long but it let people use them with the honesty that it might not be 100%, hell it might even suck. Its the hubris that Apple has that pisses people off but at the same time has them lining up at launch.
You can't have one without the other. Android fan boys give Apple too much crap and nitpick but Apple fan boys fogive too much.
87. dmckay12 (Posts: 243; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)
Google didn't hold back on the app. Apple would not update it. Apple would have to spend its money to make a competitors product better. Same thing with the Youtube app. Apps on the iPhone cannot be integrated in IOS unless they come with the device and Apple thought Maps and Youtube needed to be integrated which meant updating them would require a firmware update. Apples accountants believed that it would not be worth the investment to update the apps.
166. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2647; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Not true. Google wouldn't allow Apple use of turn-by-turn navigation or vector maps. Apple could have updated the app, but it really only would have added public transit and indoor maps.
151. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3213; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
Corrected. Google was profiting off the data provided by iOS users through their maps. Obviously Apple wasn't going to sit well with that in addition to not wanting to update Maps like they do on Android.
80. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)
Google (any one) can NOT create integrated map fo iOS due to iOS limits ;)
And iOS will be in 5 years (maybe sooner) where Google maps are now....great :-D
37. ahomad (Posts: 138; Member since: 15 May 2012)
the main issue is not with new mapping service and not with google, the problem is with apple and their marketing. when they released the new map and called it "the most powerful mapping service yet" the same goes with iOs where they call it the most advance mobile operating system. I have never heard such markiting scam from google. this way they attract non-tech people to buy there products which cost alot more and offer alot less.
this is the problem with the new mapping service by apple which has nothing to do with google.
43. darkkjedii (Posts: 10079; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Definitely not the smartest marking approach with an unproven product.
48. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
I agree. I also think the issue is that Apple is not supposed to ever look bad. Everything they make, create, innovate is supposed to be the best ever, perfect, flawless.
2 products by Apple or Apple had a hand in creating: The Pippen and Newton....huge failures when they launched. I think its just that Apple failures, mis steps get as much attention as their successes now a days. I didnt know about the marketing for the G1. But outside of the Galaxy S and Droid series...most Android phones and tablets dont get alot of ads, marketing.
56. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Its not so much Google isnt making a map app for iOS. Apple wanted the iOS version to have all the features of the Android version.
Some may not like what Google did, but I see no problem with it. Is iTunes available for Android? Is any Apple service or app available for any other company? If it is...its few.
67. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2384; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)
ho ho ho.......they dont wanna hear that man! tell it too em straight :)
66. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5430; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
"Excuses are always made despite the obvious."
Have tried to apply this rule for your self?
103. dudeyoureabarista (Posts: 16; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)
"Apple tries something new, and doesn't come out with a perfect first attempt, it is deemed an utter failure?" Well first off, Apple is am utter failure, sorry Apple fans, but let's face it, they're behind the competition. And secondly, you forgot to mention when Apple does release something the majority believe they invented it. Like Siri, voice recognition was on android way before apple. And even this it's a fail, it never even works.
104. dudeyoureabarista (Posts: 16; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)
And when Android releases something they had for a long time and after the iPhone comes out with it, poof! Android copied apple. Like seriously whenever somebody mentions a voice recognition software they say they did that in order to compete to Siri or something like that.
146. someones4 (Posts: 618; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)
I agree. They believe that apple is the centre of everything
154. yoomy (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)
You guys are missing the point. The point is that the G1 was built in 2009. We expect better and more modern maps from Apple.
9. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)
There are other options. Tim Cook said it himself, he's encouraging iOS users to try out other maps.
12. Hafiz (Posts: 78; Member since: 20 Dec 2011)
but he removed google maps which is still the best map app out there!!
38. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)
Yeah I'm with you on that. Google maps is the best (I prefer nokia maps though).
But Apple did not remove google maps, they just don't want to use google's mapping info anymore. it's not apple's fault that there's no google maps for iOS6.
55. sniper1087 (Posts: 331; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)
That is incorrect google submitted the map app and it was never approved by apple.
92. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)
Ok, I haven't read anything saying Google submitted a map app to apple. What you're saying is just speculations.
77. Whateverman (Posts: 3187; Member since: 17 May 2009)
Apple removed Google Maps themselves, so how is it not their fault. They were under contract with Google for another year when they removed it from iOS. this is 100% Apples fault.
95. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)
Apple had over a year left on it's Google maps contract. That means they CAN still use Google maps but is not required to do so. Because of this contract Apple can include Google Maps as an integral part of iOS. But they chose to have their own map app that's why there is no Google Maps that comes bundled with iOS6. But it's not Apple's fault that there's no native google map app for iOS6.
68. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)
Arguably for the USA, with its terrific search, but only if you have excellent network coverage and a decent/unlimited data plan. On a global basis no one comes close to Nokia Maps. Nokia's Navteq powers 80% of the car manufacturer's nav systems. It also provides mapping data for Garmin, Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo and now Oracle. On top of this, Nokia Navigation suite for its devices offers free turn by turn nav in over 120 countries...PLUS it has the capability to navigate fully OFF line. The whole free package includes public transport in most major cities, plus City Lens 3D augmented reality, weather, and City Guides.
93. lyndon420 (Posts: 1686; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
Maybe nokia will start selling some products in the states and canada again soon. I would possibly consider buying one if it ran Android.
118. tuminatr (Posts: 656; Member since: 23 Feb 2009)
I think a better comparison would be the origonal Iphone. no 3g, no video camera, no picture messageing, dropped calls, and the list goes on.
11. darkkjedii (Posts: 10079; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
They didn't replace it with an awful one, they replaced it with one that's new from the ground up and one that's incomplete. Saying its awful due to it being new, and incomplete is like saying a new born baby is awful. Like the baby apple maps is newborn and will grow, and mature. What they should've done however is leave google maps on for the rest of the contract, until apple maps was way more mature. That was their mistake. Now let them have time to fix it like google did.
15. Hafiz (Posts: 78; Member since: 20 Dec 2011)
If its incomplete then why did they remove google maps!!
19. darkkjedii (Posts: 10079; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
I'm still asking myself y they removed google maps early? But I don't work at apple, so one thing I won't do is sit on my couch and make stupid comments about y they did what they did.
57. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
I agree with this.
Main problem....the way Apple marketed it and it shoulda had a beta label on it. I mean they did that with Siri if I remember correctly. And Siri was a more complete product when Apple bought it from that company.
119. dmckay12 (Posts: 243; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)
It was a complete product when they bought it. Apple did change the interface and bid bake it into the OS, but many people including Steve Wozniak have said that it was better as an app (pre-Apple form).
81. JonBjSig (Posts: 176; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)
"...and one that's incomplete", yes, that's exactly why they shouldn't have released it yet, their contract with Google for maps was still good for another year, a year they could have used to finish their maps application.
83. Pdubb (Posts: 239; Member since: 08 Aug 2011)
I like that analogy with the baby. But let me put a different angle to it. Say your job is to fly around the world and you need a good pilot. The one you have is decent not great but he gets the you where you need to be mostly on time just without a lot of fanfare. Now say they replace this pilot with a new inexperienced pilot. He is hit or miss with his destinations and you never know if he will be anywhere on time. Is it ok to call the new pilot awul? or should you just grin and bear it while it gets better? You can call anyone awful if they cannot do the job you expect them to do.
96. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1549; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
Exactly, it's not awful because its NEW its awful because its not the best when the best was and could still be available
24. sandysingh252 (Posts: 19; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
Don't worry Sir, Mr. Michael H. is just trying to defend his favorite fruit company again by searching for some excuses, I think I've never seen this person, wasting his time on writing about Android or Windows Phone. Clearly an iFan, consolidating himself by fantasizing of future updates, which may fix Apple Maps in 5 years maybe!!!!
40. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)
You should read more of Michael's articles. You don't know what you're saying man.
59. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
If you take the time to actually read each n every writer's articles...Micheal is more open minded, unbiased than at least one other I wont name...lol.
They do a pretty good job here covering tech. I just cant see Micheal as an iFan. An iFan is one of the most irrational, closed mined ppl on the planet.
Judging by your comment....this must be your fist time here...or are fairly new here....lol. Micheal writes about more than Apple....and gets accused of being an Android lover...lol.
126. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2647; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Accused and accepted. I'm never giving up my Nexus devices. That doesn't mean I can't see things from other perspectives.
62. Hemlocke (unregistered)
That is where you are wrong. The mapping system was always Apple's, but the data set was Google's. Google wouldn't provide the data needed for turn-by-turn and other standard features on Android Maps without stipulations that would greatly benefit Google, such as branding and advertising. The previous Maps experience was not very good, at all. There are bumps with the new Apple Maps, but the application is worlds better than the old one.
As for Google Maps, the gap between Apple and Google is closer than the gap between Google and Nokia, who is well out in front of Google when it comes to mapping data.
69. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)
The problem with a nice app is that it can't make up for crap data. Navigation is one of those things where crap data is eventually noticed...usually at the worst possible moment for the user. This is why Apple knows it has a big problem. It can certainly ask for patience...it has the consumer loyalty to do this. However, if you read the Atlantic article on Nokia Maps you will begin to appreciate the long road Apple has embarked upon. Sure, it has the cash to buy more nav companies. But the integration takes time. In many cases, the acquisitions will not be possible due to anti-trust. In essence, Apple has a lot of catching up to do in this strategic area. It has the money...but time in this case is not simply money.
Do I think Apple is right to part ways with Google. Yes, it's in its long term strategic interest. However, the timing is poor. Apple should've been quietly moving data in this area three years ago. Clearly this was a calculated risk taken by Jobs, and later Cook. I'm sure they have a good idea how far they can push the user base before there is a revolt.
70. Hammerfest (Posts: 360; Member since: 12 May 2012)
Not to mention:
"Have you ever noticed that Google always gets the benefit of the doubt simply for trying something new, but if Apple tries something new, and doesn't come out with a perfect first attempt, it is deemed an utter failure?"
When has Google tried something new and gotten the benefit of the doubt when it came to an offering they provided, that they wanted to replace with their own?
This article reaks of Apple Care (TM).
Now if Android had been powered by Amazon or some other app store, and then they swapped it out for Android Market, YES you can bet your arse they would be deemed FAIL, however, this is not, and to my own experiance in the last 10 years, EVER been the case when it comes to Google.
If you can find a case where Google had an already in place solution bundled in, then swapped it out for their own, use that, instead of the random nonsense that your entire article turned out to be (I lost braincells reading it)
112. Droiddoes (unregistered)
You're forgetting micheals HEAVY apple bias.
OMG micheal h defending apples never ending blunders and slamming Android/Google, fresh AND new!
127. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2647; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Question: how is it defending Apple to say that Apple released a bad Maps app, and probably should have at least labeled Maps as a beta app if not held it back to work on it more, but may have had business reasons to release it now?
2. darkkjedii (Posts: 10079; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Very well written, and though out article. I had the mytouch 3G running 1.5, and google maps was definitely a work in progress but it got there, and is now the mobile standard. Apple maps will get there too, just needs time and updates to mature. Apple is very good about giving updates to their OS so in time it'll be on par with google. Turn by turn works fantastic in iOS 6 though. Let the thumb downs begin!!!
3. CivicSi89 (Posts: 348; Member since: 23 Jul 2011)
Still doesnt change the fact that in todays day and age, With the competition being Google Maps, Apple didnt try harder at this. I can understand the comparison test of this vs 1.5. yes. but this is suppose to be compared to the latest version of google maps and it falls short. completely. i dont care if they are gonna improve on it or not. the fact that apple is so arrogant that they would rather create their own maps and be proud of this mess than use google maps which are FAR more superior shows how far apple as a company has really come. Using the gimmicks like "The best" this and "the most technologically advanced" that is marketing at its best. Apple are arrogant. And i hope this is a slap in the face to them to let them know "Hey. We F'ed up. Maybe we need to start actually listening to the consumers and trying to compete to be truly different instead of trying to make whats essentially a cult designed for people who worship the word 'Shiny' "
22. darkkjedii (Posts: 10079; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Well your rite about the comparison to google maps, but how do u know they didn't try hard. Remember this is new and its the entire world we're talking about here. Everything has a beginning bro. That's the writers point.
29. CivicSi89 (Posts: 348; Member since: 23 Jul 2011)
your right. everything has a beginning. but if your out to compete then you have to study your enemy so to speak. Which apple has no problem doing in court. but Google Maps is the benchmark. So they had no excuse. It could have been better. It feels like it was an afterthaught just to get google maps off the device.
36. darkkjedii (Posts: 10079; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
I'm not gonna argue when neither if us work for apple, or google nor do we design maps. At least I don't, I can't speak about what u do... I'll just continue to use and enjoy my device, and watch the improvements come over time. These debates r pointless when one seeks to make a valid point and one seeks to bash and insult. Not saying that's what ur doing, cuz ur not ur points are in fact good
86. CivicSi89 (Posts: 348; Member since: 23 Jul 2011)
i have an iphone 4S. had android before it. And going back to it. Honestly. the iPhone 5. With the addition of LTE which is nice. Just doesnt seem like its worth an "upgrade". The 4S does pretty much everything the 5 does. And is compatible with everything in my house because of the dock connector. And i regret upgrading to IOS6. Wifi is shoddy. Maps suck. and it just feels like a botched job. As i said. Apple had tons of time to develop this stuff. And im defenately not saying that anything apple makes is bad. But saying things like "most advanced this" and "Best 'that' in the world". Thats my issue. If you are gonna launch something in a closed ecosystem without putting out a Beta to work out your bugs and call something "Revolutionary" then you obviously have delusions of grandeur and you need to look at your company and what mistakes your making. Is apple to good to release a Beta? or call something Beta? Google does it. and they learn from it.