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back to article Google expects Apple to block its not crap iOS maps app

Google should have a mapping application for iOS ready by the end of this year, but sources within the company are concerned that Apple is unlikely to let it into the iOS Apps Store. Apple has earned a lot of grief over the poor performance of its Maps app, and the snafu is thought to have contributed to Apple recent executive …

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WTF?

Bit confused...

With all those android handsets out there, why does google care about Apples shrinking market? I mean I through Apple was an insiginificant flyspec ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bit confused...

BMW sells less than Ford, but BMW drivers typically have more cash. Google is an advertising business and want people to click their ads and buy shit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bit confused...

You know, I recently bought a 5-series BMW. And funnily enough, the maps on that are worse than Googles, too.

I think there's some kind of conspiracy going on.

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Facepalm

Re: Bit confused...

OMG, YES! I have the 2011 5 series and the mapping in that car is the biggest piece of crap!

I'm tempted to put my Garmin on the dashboard to cover up the stupid maps. LOL

The routing on that system is the biggest piece of $hit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bit confused...

"staffers are "not optimistic" that Apple will approve it for sale"

Note the "for sale" part. Ultimately, Google sell advertising space and Google Maps on any platform is more advertising space. Google Search, Android, Maps, Gmail, StreetView etc. etc. are freebies they give away essentially to help create that advertising space. I personally like this model, others for fair reasons don't.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bit confused...

But the maps are surrounded by a really nice shiny dashboard right? :)

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Happy

Re: Bit confused... -

Have you tried maps upgrade ? http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/happy_32.png

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Mushroom

An awesome strategic Play!

It'll cause horrific headlines if Apple blocks Google's map app.

Also, it'll cause most Apple users who aren't die-hard fanbois to start wondering if a corporate controlled App store is really such a good idea to be subjected to.

I think making the iOS app for iPhones is a great strategic move on Google's part:

If Apple accepts it, people will install it and use it, and Google has what it wants.

If Apple rejects it, it will make them look really bad and cause a possible land slide of defections.

This is going to be hilarious to watch... I wish I could listen in on some of the meetings at Apple pertaining to this conundrum! This has the potential to blow the censorship issue wide open!

Sadly, its unlikely Apple is going to let it come to that. They'll quietly accept maps into the App store and sadly, there will be no revolution.

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Anonymous Coward

If Apple don't

let Google Maps into the App Store I, for one, will have bought my last iPhone. I think a lot of people have been seriously pissed off with the Apple Maps/iOS 6 debacle and they will jump ship. Apple be warned.

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Silver badge

Re: If Apple don't

Its already there. Maps+, a whole 69p. Job done.

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Re: If Apple don't

Hey, you signed onto the privilege of using an Apple product. It's hip and it's the in thing. Who care if it didn't work?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If Apple don't

Why not just put a shortcut on your desktop - it literally takes seconds.

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Unhappy

Re: If Apple don't

Because this just does not work as well as a native app. My wife was pissed when IOS6 removed the native youtube app (I "accidentally" installed IOS6) - as being visually impaired she uses voiceover to set the ipad up for our son, who is autistic and has dyspraxia - and he can't cope with the web-shortcut approach either. Both general usability and voiceover are just that bit shitter on websites than on a well written native app. One family, two edge cases, but not insignificant ones. Personally, as someone with neither dyspraxia, autism or visual impairment, I think IOS6 is shit compared to IOS5, as soon as I can be arsed I will roll it back.

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Boffin

Re: If Apple don't

You could go with a map app like MotionX. It seems to work well enough for the price. (YMMV and I am not selling the product.) I'm sure there are other apps out there.

The major problem with Google is the amount of information that they will more than likely capture while you are using their map application. ;-) Yeah that's the key. Will it run afoul of Apple's T's and C's?

So you can decide for yourself what you want to do.

If you are serious about map apps, there's always Nokia which has Navteq's map data.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If Apple don't

I wrote the above because I want a choice. I don't want to be forced to accept second or third best because Apple throws its weight around and stops a competitor from using its platform.

As for Maps+, it says this on its iTunes page:

"Note: Due to increasing popularity Maps+ has reached Google Places API limit of 100k requests/day. This API powers the Search functionality and this is the reason why the users are seeing "Over query limit" error. We're in talks with Google to increase this limit. Please bear with us. Thank you."

Looks really useful. Not.

Using the web version isn't really an option either. As someone else has said, it just doesn't work very well and is inconvenient to use compared with the old native app.

No, Apple need to get over themselves and authorise the new Google Maps when its available. They sure as hell need to competition to up their game.

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Gold badge

Re: If Apple don't

You do realise there is a Google YouTube app you can install?

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Re: If Apple don't

a) It's slow

b) Every time you background it, it resets, so no dipping in and out.

c) It is not an API so the google maps are not used by other apps such as Find my Friends or Fixmystreet.

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Paris Hilton

Google's level of detail...

Have Reg hacks searched for their own company on Google Maps?

Search: "Situation Publishing" on Google Maps UK

1st hit: "Editions de L'Homme Nouveau - 12 Rue Rosenwald, 75015 Paris, France"

Which is a Catholic news bulletin in France. Is this perhaps an overseas front for El Reg's black ops expansion into religion?

None of the other results match anything remotely related to El Reg's offices. Searching for "Situation Publishing Limited" or Ltd doesn't show up anything useful either (first link is a stainless steel maker). It just doesn't show up.

Paris for obvious reasons.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google's level of detail...

Google Maps is far from perfect - reckon the competition will be good for us consumers as both products will improve.

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Re: Google's level of detail...

Google maps is still poor in a lot of areas even in western nations. But if you live in a densely populated area in a country that doesn't hate the idea of their car snapping pictures of everything then you're golden.

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Silver badge

Re: Google's level of detail...

"Google maps is still poor in a lot of areas even in western nations"

True, but more important to me, and a problem in both urban and rural areas is the rather suspect functionality and interface, the lack of offline directions, the loss of directions at critical moments (the Bong of Doom), the lack of camera warnings and speed limit advisory, weak lane direction.

It's a bit of a laugh that Crapple users are bleating that they have a worse mapping offer than Google Maps, given how limited Google Maps is. Of course, if mapping is a priority then there's an obvious choice of phone, and that's Nokia (as long as they haven't ruined it since the days gone by when I had a 5800).

Can't see the the fanbois trading their jesus phones for a Lumia, myself.

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Silver badge

As I write this, Item number 1 in the top paid charts for the Navigation category is.... Maps + Streetview. A £0.69 app that, err, uses google maps and does streetview.

So this whole idea that Apple is just going to block it seems bunk. I certainly hope Google PR is paying the IT press for this publicity?

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Anonymous Coward

Ads on The Register are run by DoubleClick*- a Google company - so yes in a way they are.

(*) that's what my blocker tells me.

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Meh

Adverts on El Reg ?

Really ?

I've got Ad Block Plus on Firefix, so I hardly ever see adverts.

Brilliant stuff.

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I wouldn't have minded the usual adverts on El Reg, but when they started using adverts that scroll across your screen from right to left it went a step too far.

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Anonymous Coward

>As I write this, Item number 1 in the top paid charts for the Navigation category is....

No longer working?

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Anonymous Coward

"I wouldn't have minded the usual adverts on El Reg, but when they started using adverts that scroll across your screen from right to left it went a step too far."

Yep, I tried unblocking ads in a fit of misplaced charity, thinking that all the jiggling, flashing and bleating couldn't be all that bad.. surely? Then fucking ads started floating over my page, with tiny moving close buttons.

Ad blocker back in place.

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@pompurin

"I wouldn't have minded the usual adverts on El Reg, but when they started using adverts that scroll across your screen from right to left it went a step too far."

Too true. If reg decides to start thinking about ways around adblock, then I'm pretty sure it wouldn't take long for this site to empty.

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Silver badge

Well if Maps+ its not working (so I hear thanks to Google witholding data), will we be reading a story on how Google is blocking mapping apps?

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WTF?

Non Apple user.....

I may be a bit thick here, but as a non Apple user the simple question that I ask is, can't one just open a browser and go to Google Maps ?

What is all this bru-ha-ha about applications ?

P.

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Coat

Re: Non Apple user.....

Have you ever used Safari? Ugh...

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Silver badge

Re: Non Apple user.....

Careful Piloti, that just might be common sense... EIther that, or a good reason to write a scare article about apple blocking google.com on safari....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Non Apple user.....

To make proper use of a Google maps app would require something along the lines of intents which, AFAICT, does not exist in iOS. Example: someone texts you an address, and you click on the address to launch a map. In iOS this will only launch the OS designated map application. Example: someone texts you a URL, that will only open to Safari. The only workaround seem to be manually copying and pasting the information into the app you want to use (different browser, different maps/navigation app, etc). There is a URL schema method to launch and pass information from one app to another, but this depends on the first app knowing about the second.

The TLDR version: due to constraints in the iOS architecture a 3rd party maps app will not function as an outright replacement for the native maps app. So to the previous poster's point... what's the point other than potential better performance as a native app vs. a web app - caching maybe?

*Disclaimer: I do not intend to misrepresent iOS functionality, nor do I claim to be an expert on it. If anyone can explain an alternatives for intents in iOS that would allow a 3rd party app to truly replace a native app I will happily retract this posting in its entirety.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Non Apple user.....

It's a fuss people who don't even have iOS devices like to throw about when anyone that does realises the new Maps are actually better for some people and if you DO want Google Maps you just shortcut it (5 seconds = done).

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Re: Non Apple user.....

I'm holding off the iOS6 update on my 4S currently - and see no reason to worry about upgrading to a 5 or iOS6 right now. Other half updated hers (I always told her to update it if it asked to, but forgot to warn her about this time) and we compared the two side by side, new Maps app unusable for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Non Apple user.....

But where as before app developers could access Google maps and show those in the app, they now have to use Apple maps and suffer the flack from users when the app no longer works as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Non Apple user.....

"The TLDR version: due to constraints in the iOS architecture a 3rd party maps app will not function as an outright replacement for the native maps app. "

Yes, another reason I am not that fond of iOS these days, I can't make Chrome my default browser, which is noticably nicer to use than Safari (desktop/mobile site switching etc.). It all feels rather restrictive.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Non Apple user.....

"Re: Non Apple user.....

Have you ever used Safari? Ugh..."

So maps is crap, safari is crap, iOS is crap.

So the only reason for iPhone is the misguided though that the phone makes you look cool.

EPIC EPIC FAIL!

No wonder execs love Apple shite! They don't have a clue.

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Surely if Apple were to ban Google Maps they'd have to change the rules, which would stop companies like Microsoft and TomTom too? I think that would be one controversy too many for the Maps debacle, personally, Apple will be wanting to try and move on from all the negative publicity.

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Anonymous Coward

No they can (and should) ban you because they don't like your haircut - obviously.

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Google maps try to get you lost too.

" But one wonders how long it'll take before customers to start asking why there's no competition in Maps – after being given false directions one time too many'"

I've had Google maps try and send me down no entry roads and tell me to turn right where I can't. So whilst Google maps are far superior, the navigation is far from perfect.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google maps try to get you lost too.

Google Maps is no-where-near as good as a proper navigation application like TomTom, Garmin or CoPilot - if you want to use your phone as a sat-nav most people will pay the free to £40 cost for a better 'car navigation' product (and most also support pedestrian modes as well). Off road surely you want OS maps not just 2D satellite mapping.

I suggest a lot of this mud slinging is from people who never actually use navigation or don't even have an iOS device do can't really compare the mapping without having to resort to comments from other people.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Google maps try to get you lost too.

Nokia's solutions are some of the best and they're free to Nokia phone users.

If you want the best maps then on my Windows Phone I have the native maps app, Nokia maps, Nokia Drive and I can install an app that does Google maps.

The only choice I don't have in Apple maps, but then I don't tend to install comedy apps on my phone.

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On what basis would Apple block?

They have to appear consistent with their own terms and conditions. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to use Kindle and Spotify on iOS Devices. We wouldn't be able to use Bing Maps....

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FAIL

No, not exactly

"Google has piled money into its mapping software for years, having recognized that for many smartphone users (particularly those who drive), mapping is a very important application".

No.

The majority of folks use the route planner on a computer, not on an iPhone. the iPhone options available are more expensive than a standalone unit so people who drive and have an iPhone are actually likely to be a vanishingly small number of iPhone users.

So many cars have satnav as standard so the utility of a mapping and route following programme is marginal at best.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No, not exactly

If people want navigation they rarely use Google Maps for it - you would use garmin / tom tom or one of the better route planning applications or something with proper OS mapping if you are going off-road. My experience of google maps on a mobile device has been pretty hit and miss (their POI database is FAR from perfect) and it's far slower than Apple's maps.

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FAIL

Re: No, not exactly (Doublefail)

Actually they are right. I am not going to spend on a separate nav system when I have one in my phone which works well enough.

As a guy, I know most times where I am headed, its only the occasional time when I am on the road when I need to look up an address or "street view" something to see what the building I am looking for looks like.

Also, if I am headed to an event or something (say a Meetup group event), I can click on the address in my Meetup app and it shows me where the location is on maps. Doing that with a nav system would require me to take down the address, manually put it in the GPS and then look it up?

Car GPS sales are steadily going down, its because people have cellphones which perform the same function.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Re: No, not exactly

The quote says 'smartphone users'. While the iPhone options may be more expensive than a standalone unit, Google Maps is included with Android phones.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No, not exactly (Doublefail)

My Garmin Nuvi lets me SmartLink addresses from my phone to it. So no writing down.

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