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back to article Google maps app is BACK on iPhones, fanbois spared death

Google's maps app for iPhones, iPads and iPods is back less than three months after Apple booted it out of the iOS platform. In that period, the Cupertino giant publicly apologised for replacing its rival's mapping application with its own shoddy satnav-like software; the top exec behind Apple's crap map app, Scott Forstall, …

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Anonymous Coward

Google can now resume data collection.

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Anonymous Coward

That's actually the first thing I'm going to check - start wireshark and etherape and see what exactly it gets up - blocked out 3G (in a radius of about 10m, grin) so it'll have to use a path I can check..

Yes, I like Google apps, but I don't like their price ("free" isn't "free" if it violates my privacy)

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Anonymous Coward

Freeloader!

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Maps worth more to Google than Apple?

It would be interesting to see how much data Google lost with the removal of the of the original iOS maps app.

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Re: Maps worth more to Google than Apple?

"Google can now resume data collection."

These comments are so narrow minded. Do you not think Nectar/Clubcard et al don't collect and analyse your habits? Why else do they give you free things for using them? How about Oyster analysing your travel patterns? Or even Amazon analysing your shopping patterns? In a more positive way, Credit Card companies monitor your spending habits to avoid fraud.

If you don't want to be monitored, get rid of all your technology, leave your bank and live in the Antarctic. Otherwise, shut up and sit down.

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Re: Maps worth more to Google than Apple?

To be honest, even if they did harvest my data, what I get in return makes up for it.

If the return starts to diminish, I'll be thinking again...

... lies... I probably wouldn't. No-one else out there gives a better experience than Google.

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Re: Maps worth more to Google than Apple?

Put up and shut up? No thanks.

Don't use a clubcard, don't tie your Oyster to your identity, pay for things with cash.

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xyz

Re: Maps worth more to Google than Apple?

.Don't use a clubcard, don't tie your Oyster to your identity, pay for things with cash.

Cripes, there's someone as paranoid as me!

As for the subject matter at hand....hahahahahahaha hahahahahaha hahahahahaha

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Re: Maps worth more to Google than Apple?

"Don't use a clubcard".

Wow.... So Tesco know I buy fish. Big deal. I do. And for the privilige of sharing that information with them they gave me enough vouchers for a new iPhone5 this year, and a 4gs last year.

I get free phones, they get to know what I eat. I consider myself the winner in that exchange.

Seriously, theres privacy and theres privacy. Life more pleasant if you live somewhere in the middle of the paranoia spectrum.

On an unrelated note, have Apple pulled a blinder here ? 18 months ago they were paying Google billions for the maps. Now they're paying them nothing for an improved version. Some might think thats a bit of business genius. Google obviously get our data, but they got that before. Google maps is so much better than the iOS abomination that I would have happily paid good money for it.

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"...have Apple pulled a blinder here ?"

They also took the opportunity to fire Scott Forstall.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Maps worth more to Google than Apple?

"they gave me enough vouchers for a new iPhone5 this year'

Crickey! You must be buying enough food to feed the 5,000 to get a free Jesus phone.

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Re: Maps worth more to Google than Apple?

As noted above, there's paranoia and paranoia..

I use Nectar in sainsburys. Unfortunately, the only info they are likely to glean from that is what I like to eat (which is usually way too many bags of crisps). I use Oyster for my annual travelcard. So, unfortunately, it is tied to my name and address. Thankfully, i mainly use my travelcard to get to/from work and go out in the evenings. Seeing as I don't scan my oyster card everywhere I go though, they can only tie me down to the nearest station. I don't always scan in and out there either. As such, assuming TFL know I am doing anything, they only know that I scanned my card at a given station, or got on a specific bus (they don't even offer the option of scanning your card when you get off buses, so they have no way of knowing when I do).

I also use Amazon. With both credit and debit cards. Yes, they can track what I buy to my address. Seeing as what I buy from Amazon is mostly books and CDs/DVDs, I am actually not really bothered about that. So, they know I like Star Trek. So what? A lot of people know I like it.

And yes, I know my bank does it. Thankfully, if I am buying anything I don't want my bank to know about, I can buy it with cash (even going so far as to withdraw it from an ATM nowhere near where I am buying it). Similarly, if I buy something in a shop, I can pay for it in cash, without using a loyalty card assuming I object to the card operators tracking me,

Google is different. Not only do they profile searches, which is bad enough, but any page with a google ad reports it's contents to google when a user signed in to google uses it. This info goes on to be stored apparently to enable google to serve more relevant ads. They also go through your email looking for keywords, as well as logging any searches. Thanks to the Streetview slurp, Google can also often localise this info down to maybe one or two homes, and they probably have photos of them.

Searches which may well contain a lot of personal information (particularly if you like porn, or have some sort of medical condition you don't want people to know about). A lot more personal than the fact you buy Right Guard, occasionally buy a certain kind of film or book and have to travel to and from London Bridge every day.

So, Google Fanboi, I would suggest you try and research what Google actually do with your data (maybe try and work out why it's difficult to get a clear answer out of them as well), or take your own advice.

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Re: Maps worth more to Google than Apple?

i'll take my own advice thanks, I like my own advice, it's paranoid free.

Until some secret assassin knocks on my door for looking at too much porn, I'll be fine - and if that does happen, I'll go all Jack Bauer on the world.

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Yeah, because only Google collects information. The Most Holy St. Jobs would never do that.

Also: HAAAA HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. The newly-returned Google Maps for iTards should start with a splash screen that says "Suck it down."

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Re: Maps worth more to Google than Apple?

"Do you not think Nectar/Clubcard et al don't collect and analyse your habits?"

It's better than that. Stores track your purchases without reward cards - the card you pay with is an Id source for them. Store all your history against this Id and attempt to link different payment methods together in future. i.e. if you order online and get it delivered to your house - do this with different cards and those Ids can all be linked back to you and your address. Move house and pay with an existing card online and they can all be relinked etc. There is a whole industry around it. They profile you for future purchases. There's a piece on the internet somewhere about Target in the US and the lengths of analysis they go to.

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Re: Maps worth more to Google than Apple?

A real blinder, it only cost them their reputation, made them a laughing stock in the usually apple loving media, and drew criticism from their previously fanatical users. Brilliant move.

(Apple should know the benefit of having things work ootb, else they wouldn't have hyped things like voice recognition and panorama camera, things previously available as apps anyway.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Maps worth more to Google than Apple?

. Do you not think Nectar/Clubcard et al don't collect and analyse your habits?

Well done. Now you know why I don't have store cards. Hell, I even pay my Oyster card in cash when I spend a week in London (even though it takes but a moment to associate the card ID with my face on the surveillance videos, which I haven't bothered with buying tickets - but they still don't have an *identity* to go with it). I know data is collected everywhere, but that doesn't mean I should help them as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Have you seen the banner that flashes at the bottom of the app....

'Probably the best map for iOS in the world'

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Happy

if Carlsberg made map apps...

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I almost died in Australia

because I headed off into the outback unprepared.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I almost died in Australia

Yup, I believe you. Not..

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Re: I almost died in Australia

I almost die in Australia every day. From boredom, usually.

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Re: I almost died in Australia

"I almost die in Australia every day. From boredom, usually."

Does your iPhone keep sending you to funky new towns that don't exist?

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Re: I almost died in Australia

Australia doesn't have a lock on bad mapping data -- took me years to convince Google, TeleAtlas and Navtech to stop sending people to our house via the mudpit that masquerades as the middle portion of our road. You can only travel it end-to-end if you have an off-road vehicle!

Now that I have the data correct in the three major data suppliers' databases, I just have to wait until it gets rolled out to the in-vehicle systems.

//tired of getting calls from delivery folks unable to find my house

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Re: I almost died in Australia

tired of getting calls from delivery folks unable to find my house

- put up signs

- give them your own route description

- move

So many solutions, so little time :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I almost died in Australia

Better luck next time?

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Re: I almost died in Australia

"took me years to convince Google, TeleAtlas and Navtech to stop sending people to our house via the mudpit that masquerades as the middle portion of our road."

I still see people trying to head from here to a village due South, via an old track that is still legally a toll road. Unfortunately, the farmer who owns it can't be arsed maintaining it, so keeps the gate shut.

It proved amusing once, at some ungodly hour on a Winter morning, when I was woken by the sound of a screaming engine. Some chavs had nicked a car, presumably with some kind of satnav in it. Now, the junction off to the track I mentioned is further up the street. However, these fools were being chased by the cops and missed their turn. Not even realising this street is a dead end, they hit the very gentle curve near the bottom of the street, fast enough for me to hear the tyres begin to screech and complain about lack of traction. Wouldn't surprise me if they were doing near enough a ton at that point.

Then they saw the end of the road.

What I heard then was the longest ever skidding sound as this car proceeded to slide the last two or three hundred yards down the road sideways. There was an ominous silence for about a second as they careened off the tarmac, ploughed (literally, like digging trenches in the lawn) through someone's front garden, and then a short crunch as the car impacted the fence just before a 5 foot drop into woodland. I managed to gaze bleary-eyed out of the window to see what the fuss was about, just as the police came down at a much more leisurely, relaxed pace to arrest the joyriders.

Faulty mapping data: An awesome anti-theft device.

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Ooh, voice-guided turn by turn nav?

You mean the same feature that Android users have been enjoying for free for years?

I hope Google is charging Apple and/or fanbois a fortune for this :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ooh, voice-guided turn by turn nav?

That's the whole point - Apple probably pay NOTHING for Google to provide an app whereas when it was embedded they did. iPhone users now have two options for mapping and it will help push Google to improve their product further - some more up to date satellite mapping would be nice as where I live it must be well over 4 years old (the Apple sat pics are 12-18 months).

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Re: Ooh, voice-guided turn by turn nav?

And actually, so have iOS users - MapQuest has been available for free for some years now, and on the last trip I made with some Marketing droids, it performed better than the Android app you are so proud of. That is, it actually got us to the *intended* destination, rather than some random location a couple of miles away in a bad part of town... That reminds me, the Marketing droid that was in charge of that trip still owes me for saving his bacon, I'm off to collect.

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Re: Ooh, voice-guided turn by turn nav?

And somehow, miraculously, Google have managed to make voice guided TBT navigation available on the older kit too - something Apple insist can't be done (no voice recog/Siri or TBT on their Maps app on an iPhone 4, only 4S and 5).

There has been speculation that Google weren't able to update their map app as frequently as they'd like when it was embedded in iOS - I think this app goes some way to support that theory.

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Stop

Re: Ooh, voice-guided turn by turn nav?

The only part of the old Maps app that belonged to Google was the data. The whole front end was written by Apple, but they were limited by their license from Google (no turn-by-turn, no caching etc). For this data Apple were paying what is thought to be a substantial sum of money.

Google weren't offering good terms to renew the contract so Apple went their own way. Google have now got their act together and produced a free app that contains stuff that they wouldn't let Apple do. There's now lots of competition between mapping apps. It looks to me like the winner is the consumer.

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Stop

Re: Ooh, voice-guided turn by turn nav?

"There has been speculation that Google weren't able to update their map app as frequently as they'd like when it was embedded in iOS - I think this app goes some way to support that theory."

Speculation from misguided souls - Google have nothing to do with the development of the Maps app and never have done, the current version, prior version and in fact ALL versions of the Maps app has been developed by Apple. Google merely provided the Maps tiles via the third party API that they make available to all developers.

Exactly the same with YouTube as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ooh, voice-guided turn by turn nav?

> it performed better than the Android app you are so proud of. That is, it actually got us to the *intended* destination, rather than some random location a couple of miles away in a bad part of town.

Perhaps you could provide details of the destination it got so wrong so that we can let google know.

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Re: Ooh, voice-guided turn by turn nav?

Sorry, I don't recall what the address was and don't care enough to dig back into the trip archives to find out.

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Re: Ooh, voice-guided turn by turn nav?

I've had turn by turn voice guided satnav for a few years now on my iPhone, Navfree.

It stores maps on my phone, no need to down load data and its quick!

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Anonymous Coward

Your move apple...

So whats apples response? just stay quiet and slowly work on making maps better? or give up and pull the plug before wasting many more millions on a useless app?

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Re: Your move apple...

Who knows? The best result would be that Apple improve their offering considerably, which given the low starting point isn't hard, and this drives Google to improve Google Nav as well.

Unfortunately doubtless there'll be usual bull shit of US software patents and other nonsense so they can't do this and will instead fight over relatively meaningless UI features and functions that are available everywhere else and have existed as extensive prior art.

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JDX
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Re: Your move apple...

Quick, patent "determine your location by viewing a map on a screen with a dot on it", "figure out how to get someplace by showing a line on a map", etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Your move apple...

Apple did it because embedding Google maps was costing them a fortune AND they wanted to give their developers more options to use the mapping data - i.e. more than their Google maps license would allow. Apple can keep developing Apple maps and people who had an issue can use Google maps - but in reality they always could with a 10 second 'save to an icon'.

Storm in a teacup that probably only a few percent of people genuinely cared about.

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Meh

Re: Your move apple...

"Storm in a teacup that probably only a few percent of people genuinely cared about"

Obviously an anecdote doesn't equal proof, but the number of non-techy (and, well, techy) mates I've heard mention Apple Maps being broken, and discussing alternatives either to the maps app or to the iPhone, would suggest otherwise.

In fact Google have probably saved a big chunk of Apple's iPhone-selling business by releasing this, and relatively promptly considering they supposedly only knew Google Maps was getting dumped from IOS when everyone else did.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Your move apple...

"Obviously an anecdote doesn't equal proof, but the number of non-techy (and, well, techy) mates I've heard mention Apple Maps being broken, and discussing alternatives either to the maps app or to the iPhone, would suggest otherwise."

... because it's been all over the news. Did you also ask them how many thought Google Maps was perfect?

The 'antennagate' issue was also all over the news but in reality almost all phones suffer the same type of issue and the telling statistic was 'how many were returned' - the answer 'almost none'.

It's human nature to either follow the crowd - so when they hear there is a problem - they believe there is a problem (whether they experienced it or not) and also that people who have a problem moan loudly whereas people who are happy say nothing (bad service you tell 20 people - good service you tell 1).

Personally I had no issues with Apple Maps and in some ways found it superior - I am glad to have BOTH on my iPhone.

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Devil

Re: Your move apple...

"So whats apples response? just stay quiet and slowly work on making maps better? or give up and pull the plug before wasting many more millions on a useless app?"

Give 'em 6 months and they'll reskin Google maps under the name iFind or something and then sue Google for nicking the map app idea.

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Re: Your move apple...

"almost all phones suffer the same type of issue"

Not to anywhere near the same degree, they don't. The iPhone 4's Grip O' Death was pretty much guaranteed to kill the signal, whereas any other phone? Not so much.

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Devil

Re: Your move apple...

>>Quick, patent "determine your location by viewing a map on a screen with a dot on it", "figure out how to get someplace by showing a line on a map", etc.

JDX, you forgot the magic words for an iPatent: "On a mobile device"

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Iphone only :(

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Works fine on my iPod touch. No iPad version though.

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Anonymous Coward

Works fine on my ipad

Haven't found whether it is possible to access StreetView though. I expect an ipad optimised version will follow. But which is better - apple maps or google maps ? Only one way to find out ... FIGHT!

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Re: Works fine on my ipad

"Only one way to find out ... FIGHT!"

Excellent idea - where's the fight?

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Re: Works fine on my ipad

I was confused, but I worked out you hold your finger down on the map where you want to see street view. When it drops a marker on the map, swipe up the address window that appears at the bottom and you can open street view. Hope that helps!

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