iOS Maps will be great for Apple (and Android users too)
0. phoneArena 27 Sep 2012, 17:13 posted on
We’ve all had a good laugh over the past week after seeing the troubles that users have had with Apple’s new Maps app in iOS. But, we just want to say one more thing on the topic, because Apple's decision will be great for the company, and may be great for you too (even if you're an Android or Windows Phone user)...
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1. sprockkets (Posts: 653; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
i'm sure Google needed apple to build a map app to force them to make theirs better...
2. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Sorry. Clarified that, there are tons of products outside of Maps that benefit, or exist because of the data collected from Maps. The competition pushes more innovative ways of using the location data to give us cool services, not just making Maps better.
19. MeoCao (unregistered)
since when a "great move" can have so many errors?
I guess what you want to say is this was "inevitable move"? It looks like you try to turn this ill-will move by Apple into something great.
This is not poor QA, Apple knew very well that their maps was very bad (how they not when such landmark buildings like Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower are missing?) and still released it as a complete and GREAT product,
This was bad faith at the very least.
22. MartyK (Posts: 651; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
I agree with you 100%.
One thing Michael and Apple need to tally this:
Assign a few employees to tweak Google map to fit iOS. (let Google do the heavy lifting) or,
Assign several employee to maintain and update the mapping system 24/7 (Apple do the heavy lifting)
It just make good business sense to allow Google to do the heavy lifting.
Think about, Auto-maker can make their own tires if they want, but why should they spend the resource to do so?.
23. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
First thing first: I said it *will be* a great move for Apple. I didn't say it is a great move *right now*. Over time the errors will be fixed.
Apple had to decide if it thought it could fix the errors in-house, or if it would be faster and more efficient to fix the issues with the help of user input. Apple chose the second, even though it comes with bad press.
As I said, there were better choices to make in presenting that choice, but I'm not going to judge the future success of a product like Maps by version 1, it's too big.
43. remixfa (Posts: 13882; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
One thing Apple needs to do on a wide scale is stop being so insane on the profit margins and take a chunk of that and put it into development. They have one of the smallest R&D budgets in the industry between the major players and they have by far the highest margins.
Had they not been so damn money hungry (and this is coming from a capitalist) they could have hired on extra people a year ago that had map experience and made a much more compelling/complete/less buggy/more accurate project.
It's Apple's love of low cost that hurt them. They were expecting the masses to just glaze over all the defects because its "Apple" and they are used to a certain level of infatuation from their customers. Had this been like iOS4 or maybe even iOS5, I think that would have held true. The mobile tech world is a much different beast then it was even 1 or 2 years ago.
I think a lot of the negative press is what some of us have been waiting for.. for a good while. The generalized "pro apple" press block waking up from their fruity slumber and realizing Apple isnt some all purpose, perfect, shiny tech god. Once you start seeing the chinks in the armor, you cant stop.
44. flipjzn (Posts: 58; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)
Google maps is awesome but then again, I like the idea of having many options.
You know when you travel, some might not be listed on the other map but is on the other map.
Right now Apple maps is awful but I'm sure it will improve either way people will always find fault to justify why they like the other.
iphone haters will always hate the fact that apple users get both maps, apps etc.
Good luck to catching up, it will take a while.
Google has now underwater view :)
71. maxican16 (Posts: 361; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)
IMO, this is another case of apple's arrogance and "do no wrong" feeling towards itself that led to a poorer user experience. In other words, apple isn't concerned about you, only your money.
Even the 4s has a hard time running the app. If you have an ip4 or less, or live outside the US, well, you're SOL on the key feature this new maps app provides... turn-by-turn nav.
72. maxican16 (Posts: 361; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)
I have to give credit where credit is due. Tim Cook just apologized for the maps app and showed a character trait I thought was absent from apple as a company: humility. +1 to you sir.
3. brkshr (Posts: 9; Member since: 22 May 2012)
I'm sure Apple wanted control over Maps & YouTube, & that's why they chose to build them, themselves. So as a result, Apple screwed everyone out of updated apps. There is no doubt in my mind that Google would have been more than willing to develop those apps themselves & thus provide updates for them as often as is needed. When you choose to be close-sourced, then you take responsibility for keeping your closed source apps updated.
So the end of the Google maps monopoly ends? But the start of the Apple maps monopoly begins for iphone users. Gee, good trade-off huh?
5. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Hard to say if it's a good trade-off right now. Let's see what happens when iOS Maps matures, and the off-shoot apps start coming that capitalize on the data Apple gets from its Maps.
Right now, no one would really choose Apple's Maps over Google, but over time, that may change. It's like if someone called Gmail a failure at launch because it was behind Hotmail as far as features. Or if you were to assume Android was going to stay at the level of Cupcake and never get better. Things change and get better over time.
It took Google Maps 7 years of improvements to get where it is now.
11. brkshr (Posts: 9; Member since: 22 May 2012)
My problem with Apple Maps IS NOT because there are some bugs. My problem with Apple Maps IS because they are eliminating choices for Apple users.
If Apple allows Google to submit Google Maps to the Apple Store & give it's users a choice, I would be happy & wish Apple the best of luck.
As I see it, Apple is limiting everyone to Apple services only more & more. Which, by all means, is their right, with their closed-source software. I just don't agree with that way of business though.
Edit: Google Maps in Apples Store & Apple Maps in Googles Store, is where true innovation would come into play.
13. biophone (Posts: 1877; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
You can still use google maps on ios just go to google.com and click maps. Plus apple will almost defintley allow google maps on ios app store. However apple doesn't make money on ads like google does so they won't realase there app on the google store. It wouldn't make sense. Google wouldn't want apple maps on their store anyway. They want everyones location data.
15. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
There are already a number of maps/navigation apps in the App Store. How is putting its own Maps app on the device any more limiting to choice than only having Google Maps on there? Either way there's only one Maps app preinstalled on the device.
18. brkshr (Posts: 9; Member since: 22 May 2012)
I just don't see them letting Google put their Maps app in the store. I guess time will tell.
25. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Apple won't have a choice. It will be forced to allow it, either by public outcry, or government intervention (like with Google Voice).
4. RubiksGuy (Posts: 9; Member since: 26 Jun 2012)
I think after reading this article I ended up more confused than the iphone users trying to find their way on their maps application.
6. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1040; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)
Google Maps and its add-on services are way evolved for Apple Maps.
Nonetheless it is always a good move, not a great one, but just good for any company to make its own stuff considering they have the expertise which Apple clearly didn't.
Now the move went from being good to foolish when Apple actually didn't take advantage of the one full year they had left with Google Maps to take cues for developing its own.
This shows the attitude of Apple isn't right because by jumping into Maps they just exhibit how proud they are by giving their Maps to their loyal Sheep...but what they didn't expect was negative feedback which is a long overdue nice hard kick in their grapefruits :)
12. biophone (Posts: 1877; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
Apple had to get this product out on the market asap. They couldn't keep letting their competitor's product linquish on their os. Waiting an extra year wouldn't have been all that beneficial. its way better for them to get the product out there and work with it as they go. As michael pointed out it took 7 years for google to get where they are at. An extra year underwraps isn't going to help out. Getting the product out there finding the mistakes and correcting as they go is the right path to take. It will continue to get stroger and eventual rival google's maps. During the time it takes for maps to get better apple can give there users features they didn't have before on a useable app. Thats a plus also.
7. Pyoung0560 (Posts: 25; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
Michael H., You should be hired by apple as one of their spokesman, because you have all the excuses why apple put out a bad product. Apple should have told everyone at the announcement on what to expect from their maps app, No but they chose to demo their Flyover and annonce it like all is well in Apple land. All they could say was " the more people use it , it will get better" like if you use it it will magically fit itself.You reveiwer are really something else, if Samsung or anyone else had a product like this Iphone5 with all it defects, 7 and counting, you guy would be talking so bad about their phone and recommending no one buys thems until if was fixed. but not all mighty Apple who could do no wrong. Thats why Android will ruled in the very near future and you will have no choice but to give them their credit.
9. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Could you please point out where I'm "excusing" Apple's problems? I flat out say it is a mess, it's got a lot of problems, and Apple would have been wise to label it as a Beta product rather than give its normal "magical" intro.
That said, maybe you should try to realize that no app this big launches fully formed. It takes time and effort. It took Google 7 years to build the Maps you use today, so why expect Apple to pull it off in a first try?
8. biophone (Posts: 1877; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
Great article michael. I was just having this discussion on the other thread but with a more user centered bias then company. However you hit the nail on the head. Hopefully everyone reads this an understands apple's move.
10. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Thanks! Always nice to hear comments like that.
14. Slammer (Posts: 672; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)
Marketshare plays a huge role in whether Apple's implementation will succeed. The internet is a very large place. A place that Google has a huge reign on. The sole reason smartphones and other mobile devices exist is because of the internet and its ingredients. The devices are shells to house this service. Since Google has an abundance of partner manufacturers and growing at their dispense, Apple is slowly losing ground in marketshare world wide to Android. As data and the internet are shared collectively through one platform, the compatibility and adaptation of the platform helps consumers interchange from one Android device to another more effectively. Apple trying to remain even more proprietary to their ecosystem, will be even more limited than it is now. Every excuse in the book is understandable but, Apple is once again turning their backs on the very people that helped make them rise to power. I fear history will repeat itself once again.
16. mudguts (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Sep 2012)
"Let’s just get one thing straight: it was a great move by Apple to release Maps."
What utter rubbish. Apple cynically and knowingly released a defective mapping product with their latest hardware platform. Coincidence? In addition they simultaneously removed the existing satisfactory mapping service.
Since when did making paying customers become beta testers become a "great move"? Since when did feature regression become "a great move"?
This is one of the most moronic articles I've read recently, and on the innernut that's quite an achievement.
27. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Thanks for catching that typo!
Should have read, "it *will be* a great move", not is.
Bad execution on the release, but one that could pay great dividends in data for Apple in the future.
30. MartyK (Posts: 651; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
Apple release this because they knew they can do it and get away with it (the G-complex).
Trust me, they knew the news outlet would say, "oh it's okay, it will get better".
But you did do a great job of bring up a good debate; but, Apple is doing this because of the Arrogance/G-Complex, nothing more, nothing less.
47. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
It probably only has a little to do with "arrogance" or a "g-complex". Location data is huge and offers a lot of opportunities for companies to offer different services.
Also, word has it that Google wouldn't allow Apple to use turn-by-turn voice navigation or vector maps because Google wanted to keep a competative advantage with Android.
75. epdm2be (Posts: 139; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)
Dear Mr. Heller
You wrote "Location data is huge "
May I inform you that the "location data" that Apple Maps uses, is from TomTom (and harvested by former Teleatlas). Apple ONLY build a frontend to utilise this data.
In fact some (US) websites wrongly stated that the new maps app was from TomTom which is untrue. This simply adds more to the confusion.
They could have licenced the actuall TomTom front-end which has been avialable on iOS for several years now and which works very well.
It's the frontend that is the mess not the data itself.
In similar vein Nokia created a new frontend for WP7 on their Lumia devices for their NavTeq-location-data (which is also free to obtain by everybody) which looked similar to their Symbian frontend but which unfortunately had less features upon release. Nonetheless WP7 Maps & drive have a correctly working core functionality. And just like Apple's efforts this was also their "first try".
Does that mean, that despites Nokia's financial trouble, they STILL can deliver a better software product then Apple? Thus are Apple engineers incompetent? Thus should we en masse ditch our iProducts?
Also since Apple still had 1 year license from Google Maps they could have included Google Maps and indeed as you say, offer the Apple Maps as a beta software. Considering Apple's supposedly 'high standards' I simply cannot understand why they made such a mess.
I understand that Google prefers Android Google Maps and hence develop more features for that platform while deliberately neglecting other platforms with new features. From a consumer viewpoint, I don't like this either and thus understands Apple desire to counteract this.
But perhaps they should have thought of another party to do this if they aren't competent to do it themselves. I understand that the software teams had to a lot more with iOS 6 then simply create a map-frontend. Perhaps they could have asked Nokia to port their Map & Drive to iOS?
17. paulyyd (Posts: 316; Member since: 08 Jan 2011)
fanboys are having a heart attack reading this article right now Lol
21. wendygarett (unregistered)
I don't have heart attack, instead I think this article is awesome...
I almost forget all of my downloaded apps since ios6 because I'm too busy too play Apple map tho :)
35. wendygarett (unregistered)
hey how can you change the comment...
20. medicci37 (Posts: 530; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)
Biased much ? This article reads like 1 long apology 4 Apple's decision to replace Google Maps.
56. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
An explanation of motives and reasoning is not an apology, it's an attempt to show the whole picture.
24. speckledapple (Posts: 871; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)
Good article. In the end it comes down to data, which is the real goldmine for any company in the future. Google has been doing an amazing job collecting data of all types with its search, map, and mobile os services. It is at the backbone of their business. The service or application that ties into it just goes towards collecting more data. Apple, with Siri and its map service, has sought to get control of its ecosystem and the data that is generated. It was a smart move from them. I imagine that the game going forward, with Microsoft and its services, Apple, and Google, Nokia, even RIM, this will be a very interesting time to be a consumer generating all the data.
26. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)
i also think too! too tired to read the article but the tittle i agree!
it is good for iOS to have their own services now! but as long as apple update it and be par to what google and nokia maps are offering!
28. epdm2be (Posts: 139; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)
"Google has competition, and that’s a very good thing."
Bulls**t! Google had competition before Google Maps was in existance. PNA have been around for longer than Google Maps. And are (stil) far better.
Google Maps is STILL not a true off-line navigation system. Apple Maps is also NOT a full off-line navigation system. Stop deluding people by assuming it is a full navigation system like a regular PNA which uses offl-ine maps as a primary source while Google and Apple maps do the oposite!
The only build in smartphone navigation app that comes close to a true PNA is Nokia Maps! And this is only build into Nokia devices (Symbian, Harmattan and WP7/8).
Again stop giving the wrong information! Be honest. Apple maps suck! Just as Google maps suck. Google only adds more 'services' that require your device to be online and thus require expensive dataplans!
Which is what end users want to avoid. They buy an expensive smartphone WITH an navigation app to avoid paying for an additional PNA!
50. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I never mentioned traditional GPS devices because it's not relevant to the topic. Constantly online maps/navigation systems found on smartphones are a completely different thing than a TomTom or Garmin that you'll find in a car. Maps systems like Google Maps or iOS are used far more often for simple tasks like finding a place to eat, rather than actual navigation, which changes the dynamic.
Not to mention, smartphone maps can be constantly updated without a need to update software like on a traditional offline device. No one is saying Google Maps is a true offline navigation system, nor is it trying to be. Navigation is a great feature, but there is so much more that can be done with smartphone maps than just that.
29. Fuego84 (Posts: 213; Member since: 13 May 2012)
This article sounded like it was written by a blinded ifanboy. Okay Apple's failed maps is still great because it was made by Apple. Bullshot!
48. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Ugh. There is nothing worse than commenters who apparently don't even read the article.
I never once said that the product was great, or even good. All I said was that it's a first generation product that will likely get better, and that it will be very valuable to Apple because of the data it will mine from users.
31. jimjam (Posts: 225; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)
It is funny how whatever apple do it ends up being thought of as great
49. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I'll just point you to what I've said in response to everyone else who has taken the same biased reading of the article.
33. jimjam (Posts: 225; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)
Apple should replace google maps - yes good idea
Apple creates own map app - bad idea
36. bayusuputra (Posts: 931; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)
As usual, great article Michael.. Your style of writing is really distinctive..
Well, I have to agree that apple really needs its own map, and that will ultimately only drives innovation for the rest of the players (if and only if there is no patent war again in this field).
But on the other hand, I have to say that I'm baffled by the rushed move. They still have a year of contract, why not better it (the map) while waiting for the contract to end? Or, why not include it as a separate app, so that users can try it without having to be led to a wrong direction by the current Maps?
Great article, Michael..
57. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Seems Apple may have been limited in the improvements it could bring to the Google Maps app because Google wouldn't allow use of turn-by-turn or vector maps.
37. theBankRobber (Posts: 631; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)
Everything Apple is a Beta. Siri, Maps, both have issues and Apple says, its in beta stage. I say it again, why advertise it if its in beta and have bugs and issues? Not just hey heres these services in beta, want to try them out? No they make ads about these features knowing it doesnt work as advertised.
38. Savage (Posts: 431; Member since: 28 Jul 2012)
Basically the bottom line is every mapping application will get better. Google and the rest will take inspiration from Apple's features and improve their products. I don't see that happening for some time now. You don't just get a mapping app right in 1 year. At this point, Apple is in no position to compete Google and Nokia Maps so it'll have to wait. Going by Apple's previous habit for providing small updates (Siri takes a year to learn about movies and sports, still can't do everything you ask it.) their maps app will take atleast 5-10 years to match Google and Nokia.
However, this might be an exception as a majority of people are more dependent on Maps rather than Siri so Apple might be providing bigger updates than usual. So we have no idea of how big that update will be. Maps to get fully better next year? No sir. It'll have to wait. Till that happens, Google and Nokia maps are the best alternative Apple users have.
And anyways, Google's already bringing out new features (Recently Ocean View) and continuing to refine their product. They don't need motivation from Apple to better their Maps. I mean, I don't see Google bringing Flyover. Its a useless feature and they already have street view which is enough.
39. Alistaire (Posts: 132; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
All great, but will the consumer care it's a beta? And have the patience to wait? Sure it will be great "for the future".
When I need to rely on a map, you pretty much need it "NOW". Seems more likely that people will download better maps apps for now.
58. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Customers seem to have quite a bit of patience with Google's beta products. Also, customers may not outwardly care about a beta tag, but it does help forgive a lot of bugs.
Really, I think the best option for Apple would have been to call it a beta, and only release it to a certain set of users in order to help find the biggest issues.
40. JunkCreek (Posts: 371; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
we pay for beta release since windows phone 7.
yes, we could happy with these days competition, but someone at something on someday in someway playing anti competitive by suing everyone at everything on everywhere.
closed big great wall we face from the "leader of the world".
so, untill this ridiculous stubborn patents wars ends, i'd still doubt about fair competition. and we all know, who start the troll with so vaguely patents.
42. someones4 (Posts: 607; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)
Well, i prefer to have Google monoplize things rather than Apple.
59. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
So do I, which is why I use Android.
45. taz89 (Posts: 1765; Member since: 03 May 2011)
great article as usual...know i will always get an unbiased view from you..Personally I thinkGoogle maps is almost perfect and can't imagine what else they can add to make it even better... like you said though with more competition from apple(not competition yet far from) Google maps will only get better and due to the huge amount of data Google has iI think no matter what Google in the maps area will always be ahead... Lol also who do you think will be the 1st to sue over some function in maps... my bet is apple
46. AlexYouOC (Posts: 46; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
Everythings sweet until Apple somehow finds a way to patent Maps and then tries to sue Google.... i can already see it coming smh
52. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Please guys. Please, for me, can we just leave behind the damn "Apple will sue over _____" remarks? It's getting really tiring to see them on every single article we post regardless of the article topic.
Feel free to give Apple crap when it does sue over something stupid. But in the meantime, the comment is so overused, it's just annoying at this point.
53. mcart123 (Posts: 7; Member since: 03 Aug 2012)
Well they do sue everyone.
I think they deserve all the crap they get. I mean a rectangle with Uniformly round corners? Wow. I have seen rectangular man holes in the street that fit that description.
60. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2568; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Yeah great, so give them crap when it makes sense. Comment all you want about rounded corners, because that is ridiculous. But popping up on every single article with "Oh no! Apple's going to patent birds and sue Rovio!" or some such nonsense is just annoying and stupid.
55. eisenbricher (Posts: 919; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)
As a writer I know your pain... Your articles are decent man and you know it. Just don't care abt the comments. Internet is full of trolls and fanboys. We all have certain 'bias' and love to hit the others where it hurts. But yeah, sue comment is now being overused.