The killer feature in mobile mapping is turn-by-turn directions; Google for Android has had it for three years(1). This issue has been brewing ever since and Jobs didn't magically fix it when he was at the helm. In the fall of 2009 as Google was releasing turn by turn on Android, Apple bought a mapping company(2). It's pretty clear why Apple bought the company at this point, they bought a company to build maps from the ground up because the terms to get turn-by-turn into iOS were not acceptable to Steve Jobs.Fast forward three years later. Apple has been working on maps for 3 years solid, their contract with Google is expiring sometime this year. Terms for extending the contract are discussed and not surprisingly, the terms which Steve Jobs found unacceptable three years ago, Tim Cook finds unacceptable. The maps app is good but the data has issues. What is Cook supposed to do? Cave to Google on the same issue Jobs stood fast on?Take a moment here to realistically assess this from Google's point of view. They have a killer product which is essential to iOS. They know Apple is working on a replacement (Apple bought two fairly large mapping companies... it's not as if this were a secret) for the existing Maps App. Google executives *know* there is no chance Apple's replacement is ready (Google has had a lot of PhD's working no their for 12 years, they know maps) and Google management also has a long list of things they need from Apple. Essentially, Google has Apple in a very uncomfortable place(3) and they have the opportunity to force a major competitor to agree to some tough terms or release a 'half-baked' mapping app. To suggest that Google executives didn't force this choice is to assume they are incompetent (or maybe people forget that Apple and Google are competitors?). Tim Cook is taking a ridiculous amount of flack for essentially acting in the best interests of Apple with the resources he had. He's executing the plan Jobs put together 3 years ago about as well as can be expected. Would Steve Jobs have caved on terms to Google or would he have released the Maps App as it is? My bet is he'd have made the same call Cook did. Jobs has shown repeatedly that he is capable of inflicting short term pain on customers for the long term benefit of the company(4) and that is exactly what is going on here. Portraying this as if it's some colosal mistake Cook made last week is ignoring the history of the event, the involvement of Jobs from go, the competence of the opposition, and the fact that maps are a *really* hard problem to solve. Cook is still playing the hand he was dealt and it's unlikely things would have played out too differently if Jobs were at the helm... Well maybe a little differently, it's unlikely Jobs would have ever issued an apology for this. The only way this could have ended significantly differently is if Apple had never agreed to use Google Maps to begin with and that decision was made 5 years ago.1) http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/announcing-google-map... 2) http://9to5mac.com/2009/09/30/apple-buys-a-mapping-company-c...3) Not in the back of a Volkswagon4) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF-tKLISfPE
Tim Cook is taking a ridiculous amount of flack for essentially acting in the best interests of Apple with the resources he had.Whatever terms Google was demanding for, say, a two-year extension of the contract, I think it's unlikely that they would have been more disadvantageous for Apple than the current situation, in particular because Apple is likely to have to meet Google's terms now anyway. It seems to me that Apple simply underestimated the resources required from the get-go.This is apparent from the fact that they're now scrambling to hire Google map experts. The time to do that was three years ago.
their contract with Google is expiring sometime this year. Terms for extending the contract... Tim Cook finds unacceptable. What is Cook supposed to do? Cave?A myth seems to be emerging that Apple was up against a wall with time running out and that's why they had to release crap now.That doesn't seem to square with the NY Times' investigation of MappleGate. They explain it as Apple's focus on hardware leaving it too careless about internet software/services:Apple appears to have rushed its map service out prematurely, even though it could have continued to rely on Google until next year.While Google knew that Apple eventually wanted to build its own maps, there had been no indication that it would do so this year, since there was about a year left on the contract between the two companies... So Google was blindsided when Apple announced in June that it would replace Google’s maps with its own.Mr. Jobs set out to build Apple’s own map service in 2009, with the acquisition of a start-up called Placebase. Later, Apple bought two other start-ups focused on 3-D mapping technologies.The outcry shows how map services, which Apple treated as an afterthought when it built the first iPhone, have become critical tools for millions of people. And the company’s stumble fits in with its pattern of bungling services that rely heavily on the Internet.Apple has a reputation for obsessive attention to detail in its hardware and software products, down to the beveled edges of the iPhone 5 and the shade of the icons on its screen. But it has stubbed its toe again and again when it comes to releasing reliable, well-designed Internet services.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/29/technology/apple-apologize...The whole article is well worth reading, lotsa insight from Apple employees/ex-employees.The echo of careless neglect of internet services is a little too close-for-comfort reminder of how Microsoft began tipping over, by falling behind on the internet.Steve does not go untarnished, but Tim has the reins - and the responsibility - now.
I have to laugh at all these analyses of how Apple got stuck in this predicament. It's blindingly obvious that there are at least four or five things we don't know about that could blow all this second-guessing to bits.
Apple needed turn-by-turn. Waiting another year would have meant another year of serving up Googles table leavings while simultaneously feeding them important customer data.Its been a glaring feature omission for three years already, how many years should Apple have continued running last years technology when Google has lapped them on their own platform?When your biggest competitor holds all the strings on a critical piece of software is that in a 'bind'?
Ogre I particularly like that last link. If it was a cartoon you would be able to see a balloon of mental gears turning over when Steve Jobs pauses to formulate his answer.The iMaps are not putting the customer experience first. Or at least so it seems on first look. Longer term maybe it is helping the consumer by publicizing the fact that there are in fact lots of choices with maps. If you don't like one, use another, Google is not the only game in town.I agree that Apple has no choice but to separate itself as much as possible from Google. Fortunately Apple has the cash available to do this. Apple may need Google less than Google needs Apple. In a couple years the Mapgate issue will be forgotten by most, and the critics will be focusing on the new iPhone 7.4G LTE and a decent battery life are the real combo killer feature of the new iPhone. Or at least it's supposed to. My 5 seems to drain the battery quicker than my old 4. I'm not the only onehttps://discussions.apple.com/message/19800858#19800858
Is continuing to crank out five year old mapping technology "putting the customer experience first"? Google maps on iOS is crusty and has been out of date for three years.They went from a dated app with good data backing it to a modern app with spotty data. The difference between the two less than ideal solutions is they have a way to FIX the data issues, they had no reasonable way to fix the issues with Google Maps.
Ogre:Waiting another year would have meant another year of serving up Googles table leavings while simultaneously feeding them important customer data.Mauser:They went from a dated app with good data backing it to a modern app with spotty data. The difference between the two less than ideal solutions is they have a way to FIX the data issues, they had no reasonable way to fix the issues with Google Maps.They've been working on it for 3 years, according to NY times. If you had fifty to a hundred billion dollars and three years, do you think you might be motivated to get the job done well?If that ain't enough, you could make it nearly four years, since apparently the contract with Google extends to June 2013 (this is what I understood fron the Times article).And if four years and your hundred billion aren't enough, there was yet a third option. The one they used with Siri. Release it as a beta and explain to customers that you need their help to improve the database.Not only would that have lowered expectations to prevent disappointment with & criticism of a key product; it would have enlisted the loyal Apple masses, for free, in a quest to help.Why Apple didn't do any of these is a mystery, but the fact is, they didn't. Nor did Tim Cook take the opportunity in his apology to turn the fiasco positive by changing course to a beta strategy.Why some here can't admit Apple screwed up royally when the CEO of Apple did admit it, is another mystery. Shrouded, perhaps in a reality distortion field.
Apple is likely to have to meet Google's terms now anyway.Apple will not meet Google's terms. Far more likely, Google releases a standalone app which is popular but nowhere near as pervasive as Apple's map app. This is apparent from the fact that they're now scrambling to hire Google map experts. The time to do that was three years ago."Last minute" hires don't indicate anything. Apple was going from hundreds or maybe thousands of people giving feedback to tens of millions of people. Regardless of the readiness of the mapping tool, they were going to need more staff to process the massive increase in feedback. If everything had gone off perfectly, they would have still needed more people.
The one they used with Siri. Release it as a beta and explain to customers that you need their help to improve the database.Signal to noise is high, but occasionally this guy makes sense.Yeah, I tend to agree that it should have been released as Beta and the old app kept around. My feeling is they underestimated how tolerant people would be of the 1% issues.
...their contract with Google is expiring sometime this year.Actually, not quite true. The contract expires near June of 2013, about nine months from now. While the changeover to Maps may seem to some as too early, it's never to early to begin to remove the Apple provided oxygen to the Google ecosystem.http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/25/3407614/apple-over-a-year-...
"Last minute" hires don't indicate anything. I think it's pretty obvious that until recently, Apple underestimated the amount of resources required to create something like what Google has by one or two orders of magnitude.
The contract expires near June of 2013, Yeah... poorly worded, what I was trying to get was is during the next 12 months or so.
Signal to noise is highHigh signal per unit noise. Thanks for the compliment.
Why some here can't admit Apple screwed up royally when the CEO of Apple did admit it, is another mystery."Screwed up royally" is perhaps overstating things a bit. I've had iOS 6 on my 4S since release. I don't use maps that much, since I've lived in the Scottsdale area for 20 years, and most of the time, I know where I'm going. Last night I had to drop my daughter at a friend's house in Fountain Hills, which is set in the mountains, making navigation a bit more confusing. The new Apple maps function did fine, and, once again, bested BMW's iDrive's Navigation System.BMW's iDrive is a $1350 option, significantly more than the whole iPhone, yet I no longer hear a lot of complaining about it. Mapping is hard, and BMW can steer you the wrong way on a one-way road or into a median just as easily as any other mapping program.I think that most folks are going to use Maps like I do, as an occasional function to supplement their own knowledge of geography and their common sense. Used in this manner, my initial impression is that it's at least adequate.martybl
what I was trying to get was is during the next 12 months or so."the next 12 months or so" is critical. Unless Apple was going to release iPhone 6 prior to that, they would have no choice but to extend the contract with Google, or be in breach, or remove the app from people's phones. None of those are acceptable solutions.I think it's pretty obvious that until recently, Apple underestimated the amount of resources required to create something like what Google has by one or two orders of magnitude.That's entirely possible. It's also possible that they could have hired thousands of people to stand around and do nothing, because the software isn't the problem, it's the database. Unfortunately, with Google serving up all the map requests, Apple had no access to any of that. All requests went straight to and then back from Google servers. Far more likely, Google releases a standalone app which is popular but nowhere near as pervasive as Apple's map app. Google will release an app, but Apple will make their maps the default. This will give them far more data, far faster, even if people choose the un-default Google app to serve a map:As Cook helpfully pointed out, you can put a different map app (or in the case of Google or Nokia, a shortcut to their web apps) on your home screen.But, what happens when you get an email with an address in the body of the text? Or find an address in Safari? Or look up a contact in your Address Book? Through the wonder of micro-formats, iOS recognizes these (for the most part) as addresses and creates a hyperlink to the location—in the built-in Maps app! So, you can put as many alternative choices as you want on your home screen, but you will still find yourself in the default Maps app as a normal part of your iOS experience.http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2012/09/29/ios-6-m...They've been working on it for 3 years, according to NY times. If you had fifty to a hundred billion dollars and three years, do you think you might be motivated to get the job done well?I think with a trillion dollars and 10 years I could not hire enough people to check every data point in the world. Could you?there was yet a third option. The one they used with Siri. Release it as a beta and explain to customers that you need their help to improve the database.They might have done this, except for the looming deadline with Google, with expiry prior to the launch of the next model.Why some here can't admit Apple screwed up royally when the CEO of Apple did admit it, is another mystery.He "admitted it" because there was no choice, just as Jobs "admitted" it when there was an antenna problem. It's PR for the after-the-fact situation, but there was "no choice" before the fact either. If there was a mistake here, it belongs to Steve Jobs, who contracted with Google for the mapping function at the beginning of the iPhone era, not recognizing that some of the most vital functions of a smartphone would be in "location services", and handing that crown jewel over to the company which would shortly turn around a screw Apple over.And, sadly, there is no path to freedom except through the swamp. The other choice was to allow Google to maintain dominance, sweep up all the data, and leave Apple further and further behind as Google improved and improved its service and its phones at the expense of Apple and using Apple generated data.When your biggest competitor holds all the strings on a critical piece of software is that in a 'bind'This is exactly the problem, and the only solution was/is to tough it out. Imagine if one vendor owned all the weather data, and you could only access it through them. You could make the coolest, smartest, fastest app in the world, but if your data source decides they want to provide it better, more timely to their own devices, you're screwed. Forever. Maybe someday they'll just stop providing it altogether, when they've winnowed your marketshare down to 4%, the way Adobe did with Flash, or Microsoft (almost did) with Word and Excel.Apple needed turn-by-turn.Turn by turn was only the most obvious. A significant part of the future, we now understand, is serving up requests for nearby restaurants, movie theaters, shopping malls, filling stations, and other commercial enterprises that might be induced to pay-per-click for listing. It may drive other smartphone uses, such as "find my friends" or "where is this band playing?" or "nearby ATM".Location based services are used by nearly 75% of smartphone owners, even though they might not identify it as such. Geotagging photographs, social services and others are growing daily, and Apple sadly stood on the sidelines while Google scooped up the data, served the users, added to its advertising base, and shut out everyone else who might have wanted to have a share of the game.I'm not saying this was handled well. However even with 20/20 hindsight, given the cards on the table, I'm not sure what Apple might have done differently except to announce "We're taking away Google Maps and replacing it with an app we know isn't as good. But maybe someday it will be." That would lead to an equal amount of derision, and even more people hunting and pecking for problems, in my view. Remember how awful the antenna problem was? AntennaGATE! Remember the PR backlash over lowering the price of the original phone? Remember how Siri was laughed at when she came up with absurd answers? This too shall pass. It's a big one, but it's not a fatal one, and in short order it will be resolved to the extent that it needs to be.
Why some here can't admit Apple screwed up royally when the CEO of Apple did admit it, is another mystery.No-one suggests otherwise. It is the nature and the timing of the screw up that we disagree on. You seem to feel they screwed up last month when the mistake was something that happened five years ago.Right now its hard to tell how much of this issue is relatively easy to resolve, how much is media hype, and how much is a serious problem. In a couple months we'll know. Many people said Antenagate was a huge fumble at the time, looking in the rear view mirror, it turned out it wasn't a huge deal after all. If it's still a big issue in six months... then I'll start worrying.
In other news, this new iPhone is REALLY slick. I though the 4/4S was a fine piece of hardware design, but the 5 is more than an iterative improvement. You can tell it's lighter, thinner and faster just by holding and using it. I like the taller display and it still fits perfectly in my hand.
(hit send to quickly). The improvements in noise canceling, powerful speaker and number of microphones makes speakerphone a huge improvement over the 4/4S. The speakers are also louder and less tinny then the 4/4S, and I've compared them side-by-side playing the same song. With these aspects in mind, I am wholeheartedly in approval of the lightning dock connector.
I love my new phone also, I'm not sure how good the phone matters much so long as "MAPGATE!!" generates more hits than "Best iPhone Ever".Eventually rehashing map gaffs will get old and people will realize that the iPhone 5 is a huge success.
I think I'm long winded but OMG your posts are always so long...FWIW if I have to scroll (even on 28" monitors) I usually skim-skip to the last couple lines <shrug>B
Eventually rehashing map gaffs will get old and people will realize that the iPhone 5 is a huge success.My sentiments exactly. 'Antennagate' is nothing more than a footnote pundits like to parade around whenever they feel Apple has made a gaff. Nevermind that the iPhone 4 and it's iterative improvement were immense successes.What I think will be a longer lasting effect is that Google has been completely wiped from the iOS - with the exception of default search.Tech media pretends to be 'bored' and 'unsurprised' by Apple's products and they completely miss the point. I hesitate to use the often abused word innovate, but Apple does continue to push the capability and boundaries of design with their products. Remember when the Motorola RAZR was the iPod of cellphones? It was very successful, but Motorola did little with the it and within a year and a half of the iPhone's life it had been eclipsed in sales and is now a footnote itself. Apple was able to do things Motorola was unwilling or incapable of doing to a cellphone that transformed an entire industry. Everything the tech pundits expect now was laid out years ago with Apple's continuously iterative product strategy. Of course they are going to go down some dead ends, but mistakes have to be learned and I rather they make a few mistakes rather than rest on their laurels and become a footnote like Motorola, Inc. These are also the same pundits that laughed alongside the cellphone industry giants at Apple's foray into the cellular arena with a $600 iPhone.Footnote - Motorola still exists as Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility was recently purchased by Google.
http://www.everythingicafe.com/the-iphone-5-has-an-old-small...A little detail of how Apple has been able to pack so much in so small a space.
The killer feature in mobile mapping is turn-by-turn directions; Google for Android has had it for three yearsHaving used TbT on three continents, I'd say that a necessary adjunct to TbT is downloaded maps.Uncached Android Google Maps for pedestrian TbT is fine - but in a car it's not as solid-feeling as stored maps. My phone came with a free nav package with offline maps. It doesn't have as good a UI as GMaps - but it's the first one I choose for driving because I know that it won't be relying on the cell network for the basic map.I'm pretty sure at some point Apple Maps will be fine - but if I were them I'd take a leaf out of Nokia's book and offer the underlying maps as downloads. It makes a massive difference in a car.
I'm pretty sure at some point Apple Maps will be fine - but if I were them I'd take a leaf out of Nokia's book and offer the underlying maps as downloads. It makes a massive difference in a car.Maps can take up a huge amount if storage, which is why they are stored only in dedicated devices that have nothing else to do. The tiled maps that Google has used give the user a grid of about 35 miles, then need to load another grid view(at multiple layers and resolutions). The Apple maps, the company says, are vector driven and load about 300 miles before needing another data draw.http://boards.fool.com/small-detonation-30187277.aspxI would think that sufficient for most purposes except long haul truckers, who are going to have a dedicated device anyway, no?
The TomTom app takes up 1.3GB all by its lonesome.Not tiny for sure.
Some additional confirmation of the 300 mile range of Apple maps http://www.iotechie.com/apple/how-apples-new-vector-based-ma... somehow I missed that point.Apple’s new vector maps can deal far more gracefully with a lost data connection, allowing you to zoom in and see details with clarity, even when you can’t load local details such as secondary road names It's important to me because some of my driving takes place in a rural AT&T dead zone, with either Edge or no coverage at all. A couple of months ago I got lost in a heavy rainstorm ,Google Maps didn't work. But my back up GPS did, once I thought to try it. Probably Apple maps would have worked.So despite the noisy criticism this is a superior feature of Apple maps few can deny.
Signal to noise is high, but occasionally this guy makes sense.You misspelled "low."
Last night I had to drop my daughter at a friend's house in Fountain Hills, which is set in the mountains, making navigation a bit more confusing. The new Apple maps function did fine, and, once again, bested BMW's iDrive's Navigation System.I had a similar experience yesterday. I knew the general direction, but not what street to turn into exactly. I put it in Maps and it gave me flawless directions. And the street was more like a small unmarked driveway, without voice directions I would probably have passed it. Turn-by-turn directions make the app twice as effective.So while it may be true that Google's maps is more accurate, without turn-by-turn directions it's less functional.Of course I could have bought the TomTom app. But I remember it being expensive, like $50 plus a recurring cost if you wanted to keep it up-to-date. So as far as I'm concerned I just got a $50 feature for free. Since i didnt buy it, I obviously don't consider it a $50 value. But if asked to swap it for Google apps I'd decline.Mark
Of course I could have bought the TomTom app. But I remember it being expensive, like $50 plus a recurring cost if you wanted to keep it up-to-date.Incorrect. Originally the app cost 99.00All updates have been free. Current cost is 40-50 still free updates.The original car cradle was also around 100.00 and had a better GPS chip in it. Works with the 3GS.The 4 and 4S don't sit in it properly without modifying the cradle.The newer car kit is a different design and no longer has the secondary GPS chip in it.A great app and has never failed me.
They've been working on it for 3 years, according to NY times. If you had fifty to a hundred billion dollars and three years, do you think you might be motivated to get the job done well?How much money Apple has in the bank is totally irrelevant. What is relevant is how much it's worth to Apple to have the functionality. I bet it's two orders if magnitude less than the money they have in the bank. As a shareholder I'm glad they didn't blow $50B on a map app.Mark
<You misspelled "low."Epik Fail.
Maps can take up a huge amount if storage, which is why they are stored only in dedicated devices that have nothing else to doThere are millions of phones (including iPhones) that are doing this (storing maps) right now.The whole of Australia for Navigon (the thing that came free with my Samsung) is 200MB. Granted most of Australia is roadless desert, but it's still a continent the size of the US.Having used both a lot (dedicated devices and on-phone equivalents), a phone with a good nav app and preloaded maps is very near as good as a dedicated device for most things, and sometimes better - for instance when it comes to search. The Apple maps, the company says, are vector driven and load about 300 miles before needing another data draw.I haven't used it - but I've used Google Maps Navigation. It also precaches, and it can be flakey. Maybe Apple have nailed it, but I'd like to see it in action in real-life conditions.
Another issue with Google maps is it was a battery hog. Using an iPhone for turn by turn navigation for more than a short trip across town would basically run the battery so low you wouldn't be able to use your phone afterwards. I have a feeling this was no accident by Google. Apple needed to get control of this thing.
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