Feeds

back to article Google loses Latitude in Maps app shake-up

Google is rolling out an upgrade to its Android Maps app that redesigns local search, and adds dynamic traffic reports along with a partnership with reviewers at Zagat. But this comes with a cost; Latitude is being abruptly shut down 30 days from now, and Google says that "The offline maps feature for Android is also no longer …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

B0rked

So offline maps are off (at least in their previous form), ditto we lose custom maps and to top it off latitude is gone.

I use all of them professionally and they sure will be missed.

Custom maps to share business trip details to all team members who arrive from different locations.

Latitude for knowing in real time where all my team members (and family) are and offline maps for obvious reasons.

And no, no amount of nudging, cajoling or threatening will make me join +. I'm sick of the constant deprivation of features for non + members.

33
2
Silver badge

Re: B0rked

I'm also miffed at Latitude's dissappearance. It is useful to find people, especially those asking for directions while driving. And as you, I won't ever join + and keep losing Google features every now and then.

6
2
JDX
Gold badge

Re: B0rked

If those people you're helping all switch to + you still won't? Why's it matter which of their services owns your data?

3
5
Silver badge

Re: B0rked

I don't know what the hell this 'Latitude' of which you speak is. Offline maps disappearing? Grr. I use it in places like Devon (poor signal) or France (too expensive to use data)- on home territory I don't need any maps. Apparently, the Google engineers weren't happy about it it either, and so it maps can still be cached by typing 'okay maps' into the search box. (I haven't upgraded or tested this myself).

I tried to set my old man up on Open Maps on his tablet, but he was mistrustful after a vector error placed a lake over a road and town in Italy.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

The offline maps feature for Android is also no longer available

I guess the NSA only pays for live location data on people?

1
1

Re: B0rked @JDX

Because google having my data (which are all fictitious since my account was opened back when you could have any username you liked) is one thing. Forcing me to have a public profile and insisting that not only do I effectively publish my data but I have to do this under my own name (or a real-looking one anyway).

In fact if there really was no difference do you think google would persist with the "switch to g+" palaver instead of migrating every one to the new service? The only reason is that the T&C's are incompatible.

4
1
Bronze badge

Re: B0rked

I tried the 'OK Maps' thing on the new app to get offline maps and it kept directing me to Oklahoma. Quite possibly I was doing it wrong though.

2
0
Silver badge
Happy

Re: B0rked

"I tried to set my old man up on Open Maps..."

Are you the Cerne Abbas Giant?

Devon was the clue...

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Same bluddy thing

I now have a sodding map of Oklahoma. Is there actually anyone carrying out overall planning at Google, or is it all "do the clever thing you just thought up"?

0
0

The Giant

...isn't he in Dorset?

0
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: B0rked

What's worse is that the Latitude API is gone too, with no replacement... bye bye 3rd party location support.

I wouldn't mind using G+ for location, but now my n900 will not be able to update position anymore (worked fine with Latitude and the excellent Zaploc tool)

And it looks like there are no obvious alternatives....

1
0
Silver badge

Re: B0rked

I really can't decide which is worse:

* The likes of Google pulling bait-and-switch operations;

* People running businesses which rely on the likes of Google not pulling bait-and-switch operations;

* People putting up with the likes of Google pulling bait-and-switch operations;

* Smug gits crowing "It's free, what did you expect?" when people get upset about the likes of Google pulling bait-and-switch operations.

* The percentage of those affected who dismissed what RMS originally said about exactly this when he said it, as though they somehow never expected it to come true.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

OK Maps - Oklahomans will be pissed....

Of course, now any Oklahomans who need to search for their local maps will be pissed...

But seriously: Losing locally cached maps is STUPID - indeed, I want to see Google allow MORE caching; my phone has 6G of internal storage (in addition to the SD), and I know my N800 could store the entire US in under 3G, so let me cache however much I want to you idiots!.

That's especially useful for allowing me to have navigation in the UK until I get where I am going and pick up my local SIM.

0
0
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: B0rked

"The offline maps feature for Android is also no longer available"

All in the name of monetizing a service.

This is clearly a monopoly in action.

They use their ad revenue to get in to the map business and knock out any competition. They then reduce the service to being online only so that they can capture your information which they use to charge more for ads because they are better able to target you.

They force you into + so that they can get more information about you.

Step by step... you are being driven on to google owned sites.

Pretty soon, you wont have the internet, but googlenet.

2
0
Silver badge
Boffin

@Metrognome... Re: B0rked @JDX

"Because google having my data (which are all fictitious since my account was opened back when you could have any username you liked) is one thing."

Uhm you do realize that Google has had the ability to take your fake information and tie it to your real information, right?

1
0

Re: @Metrognome... B0rked @Ian

Absolutely! I harbour no such illusions. The thing is though that's for Google to know. Under G+ it would be publicly accessible to all and sundry.

0
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

"The offline maps feature for Android is also no longer available."

Oh FFS. Do Google realise that people want to do more than drive a mile to Starbucks?

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "The offline maps feature for Android is also no longer available."

> Oh FFS. Do Google realise that people want to do more than drive a mile to Starbucks?

Of course they do. And they want to track you every inch of the way.

3
0
WTF?

Re: "The offline maps feature for Android is also no longer available."

Well, except the article says "Currently users can download maps of cities and location and cache them on the phone for offline perusal. With the new app, users select a map area (be it city, borough, or neighborhood,) and save a street map of that locale."

So it sounds like you can still have off-line.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "The offline maps feature for Android is also no longer available."

"Do Google realise that people want to do more than drive a mile to Starbucks?"

Considering that it's been years that people have been asking for multi-waypoint routing on Mobile, to enable longer road trips to be planned (think US-66), and that Google has yet to implement this feature that they've had on the Web version all those years, no, I think that Google only considers short trips to places where the user can be a good little consumer in their use-case planning.

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

You are the Product.... Just accept it

Google wants to know everything about you 24/7. Where you are, who your friends are, where you shop.

This is just so that they can target you with frigging ADVERTS.

Oh look, you are near Starbucks. You went to one last month so why not pop in now. Turn left at the next set of lights.

Once upon a time, google had a saying 'Do no Evil'. IMHO, this was consigned to the trashcan a good few years ago.

Once you sign up to G+ then you are theirs, lock stock and ad revenue.

I have to admit that the offline feature was useful in areas where there is NO 2G let alone 3G signal. The Googlers in their ivory towers seem to forget that you may need a map when you are somethere strange like out in the middle of nowhere?

For that you get an Eadon like fail.

13
3
JDX
Gold badge

Re: You are the Product.... Just accept it

You do realise it was a totally free service and you have absolutely no right to complain if they turn it off?

You're the kind of person who I could buy a drink for every night in the pub, and then when one day I tell you I won't buy you any more, bad-mouths me to your friends.

6
13
FAIL

Re: You are the Product.... Just accept it

Your analogy would make more sense if rather than you buying me a free drink you got paid for me being seen drinking your drink. Their whole business model revolves around "free" services and I'm positive they're not a charity.

7
1
Silver badge

Re: You are the Product.... Just accept it

People say good things about Nokia's offline maps. Anyone here care to recommend a good offline Android map app?

0
0

Re: You are the Product.... Just accept it

Wrong.

Google never made any money off of latitude. That was part of their problem, they are NOT a charity but for some reason they allow idiots like you to treat them like one.

I for one am glad to see that they are taking all you freetards off your free lunch and actually asking you to contribute something (even if it is your eyes to advert) for their work. As a developer, his analogy was perfect. You freetards want all your software for free, with no ads or anything to support the devs that made it.

Just ridiculous.

5
17
Silver badge

@ joekhul

I don't have a problem with ad supported services, as long as the ads aren't too intrusive (content-obscuring Flash rollovers and frantically animated gifs are just stupid), but what I do have a big problem with is being profiled, analysed, probed for weaknesses and psychological vulnerabilities in order to be manipulated into buying something I normally wouldn't.

I'm not so arrogant as to believe I am immune to psychological suggestion or manipulation carried out by professionals who have spent years studying the workings of the human mind and how to exploit them. I know I wouldn't stand a chance against someone like, say, Derren Brown. I am aware that I have vulnerabilities and I try to protect myself as best I can - by avoiding exposure to the kind of manipulative profiling carried out by the likes of Google and Facebook as much as possible.

Unfortunately that means I have to use things like Adblock to protect myself - even though I would like to allow Google-style text-only or still-image advertising if it supported the sites I enjoy. But only if said advertising is generic and not predicated upon cataloguing and exploiting my weaknesses.

10
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: You are the Product.... Just accept it

You do realise it was a totally free service and you have absolutely no right to complain if they turn it off?

No, no, NO. Google products are NOT free. You pay for them with personal details, which means you pay continuously. Personally I think it's time that sort of misleading crap gets flagged up properly - your personal data has a value too, so the word "free" simply doesn't apply.

If a Google product was free it would not require a login associated with agreeing to a privacy policy so questionable that half the EU is now investigating them for breaking Data Protection laws.

5
4

Re: You are the Product.... Just accept it @joekhul and JDX

Ah, but that's where you are wrong.

I already pay G for storage space and I would jump at the chance to pay a modest (which it usually is with Google) sub to remove all tracking let me own my data and allow me to use the services with some semblance of an SLA.

It is the same analogy to receiving the BBC over satellite in Europe. I know a ton of people that would love to pay the license fee in exchange for a advert free tv experience but it is not on the table.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: You are the Product.... Just accept it

@Dave 126: Try Copilot or Navfree.

0
0

Re: @ joekhul

I *am* so arrogant as to believe I am immune to psychological suggestion or manipulation.

I regularly try test this out, usually finding that I'm wrong.

One good example was long ago, back when there was paper mail. Surveys were common, (Way back, before web tracers, before cookies, when dial-up modems were used.) I would ignore them. Then I got one with a crisp new dollar bill enclosed. Out of a sense of obligation, I filled it out. It took more than a dozen before I figured out that I had been expertly manipulated. I wouldn't have worked 20 minutes for $1, or given a marketing person that information for 100x that much. But they found a way how to make people feel obligated. And I feel for it. Repeatedly. And felt guilty for a while after I stopped.

I managed, just barely, to avoid falling for similar feelings of obligation when charities started sending free return address labels and free Christmas cards.

What about the 'Social Networking' epidemic, where every new company would try to boost their user count by secretly sending email in your name to everyone in your address book? 'Authorized' by a clause on page 51 of their terms and conditions. I fell for the 'personal' invitation from someone I trusted, and was saved only because I don't use the same password everywhere. Over the new few weeks I found that thousands of my friends and almost-friends were not so careful.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: You are the Product.... Just accept it

"@Dave 126: Try Copilot or Navfree."

I've used Navfree, and it's a reasonable free off line alternative. Maps seem no less accurate, although less detailed than Google, directions were clear and accurate, but there's none of the clever stuff that paid apps offer like traffic, speed alerts, camera warnings or lane guidance. For a free, off line satnav app it fills in for Google Maps when you can't manage a data connection, works OK based on UK experience, and doesn't take up too much space. Its main failing are those lack of extras, and that it doesn't do post code searching offline, needing to use Google to look up the postcode, so if using it in true offline mode then you need to enter the full address, which can be a pain.

I think I'm getting to the point where I'll bite the bullet and pay for Copilot, and delete both Google Maps and Navfree.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: @ joekhul

If only advertising was so effective.

Mostly it's pretty random -- the clients don't really know a) who buys the product b) why c) what media they peruse.

The people briefed by the client a) account execs, don't know anything b) creatives, are willfully indifferent to the product and only interested in winning awards for smart-aleck ideas.

Research only shows what people currently buy -- or what they think they want based on what's already available. Most really good product ideas are the brainchild of one person who is interested in his/her field and doesn't give a damn about people who buy stuff, or sell it.

0
0

Re: Offline maps on android

While google's offline maps still work (with the "ok maps" easter egg), I have bought tom tom europe some time ago. I've found it has the best and more accurate maps, beating waze/open street maps, google, garmin (I have a couple garmin units with "life updates"), and nokia. It also has one of the worst interfaces, making you click three times to start navigating, and not allowing you to choose a close destination on the visible map. Waze has started with a relatively poor data set and you're always at the mercy of the map editors (I've seen tunnels disappear, and I see private roads marked as public frequently), google doesn't have offline navigation, garmin and nokia don't have an android app. Garmin is still better than nokia for most usage, though, with equal quality maps and a much better interface.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: You are the Product.... Just accept it

It's free for you, but Google are making millions selling your data to others.

0
2

Re: You are the Product.... Just accept it

Maverick is great - also has OSGB & OSM maps and can be downloaded using Mobile Atlas Creator. It's brilliant as you select which layer you want, OSM public transport was pretty good when In Brugges. And the OSM cycling maps work well for hiking. Custom layers are available too, so I used it for skiing too (Open Piste Map),

Another app I used when I was driving around France last year was NavFree - full turn by turn routing. Install the app and download the data for which ever country you want. Granted, it took me on a few tolled routes when I told it not to, but for something that was free, on my phone and didn't cost me any data usage, it was excellent.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: You are the Product.... Just accept it

@Ledswinger:

You need to pay for Copilot if you want more than one country offline or want to have voice directions, maps in 3D, or the Tom Tom-style extras for more than 14 days. Otherwise you don't, so it's good option for pedestrian maps or a good way to try out the car satnav features and see if you like them before paying.

0
0
Silver badge
Boffin

@Steve Davies Re: You are the Product.... Just accept it

It goes beyond that.

Its not that they only make money from showing you targeted ads, but that they can now sell aggregated data back to the advertisers to gauge your purchasing decisions. How effective the ad or alert was.

Yes you are the product, but it goes beyond selling ads but customer information.

Sheeple.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: You are the Product.... Just accept it

I think people are looking at the whole picture - the OS, or their phone, as a whole. If Google announced they were going to drop Android, it'd be annoying, and odd, but still their choice. If Android starts to drop useful features that a 7 year old Nokia could do, it's fair to criticise that.

And Google+ may be free, but do you think Google don't gain from having users join it? Why are they trying to encourage people to do so, if that's the case? It's fair game to publicise problems with it.

1
0
Silver badge

Android will become a poor choice soon enough

Then it'll be off to another platform for all that get fed up, platforms that hopefully offer removed functionality from this and other applications/builds of Android.

A shame. Mostly preventable, and squarely in the hands of power-hungry Google.

3
2
JDX
Gold badge

Re: Android will become a poor choice soon enough

Or you could just pay for a SatNav app. Heaven forbid you might have to pay for software.

7
8

Re: Android will become a poor choice soon enough

Agree 100%. Can't stand these spoiled freetards.

2
7

Re: Android will become a poor choice soon enough

You know... I did drop a decent stack of cash on my Google Nexus. I'm a bit disappointed that there was something I used to be able to do with my phone that I can't do anymore -my location with my wife automatically.

4
1
Bronze badge

Re: Android will become a poor choice soon enough

Try Glympse - it's not "always on", but a nifty "here's where I am for the next X mins/hours" to anyone you select from your address book (phone/email)

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Android will become a poor choice soon enough

How come everyone went apeshit when Sony took OtherOS away from the PS3, but when Google take away off-line maps, the "freetards" should just shut up?

I paid money for my phone & tablet, so it's disappointing to see them lose functionality.

4
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Android will become a poor choice soon enough

"How come everyone went apeshit when Sony took OtherOS away from the PS3, but when Google take away off-line maps, the "freetards" should just shut up?"

Are we reading the same web site? I am reading "forums.theregister.co.uk", where any complaining about the removal of OtherOS was downvoted and the poster chastised for being a "freetard"

I'd like the URL for the other web site you seem to have been reading, where criticism of Sony's actions was not treated so shabbily - it sounds like a good place to be.

0
1
JDX
Gold badge

You know... I did drop a decent stack of cash on my Google Nexus.

My Windows PC cost more than your phone, but that doesn't mean if someone takes a website offline I can complain I paid money for it. Your handset and your apps are different things - this isn't like Nokia removing free satnav which is effectively part of the phone.

At least I don't think it is... not an Android user. Is all this an Android app or actually part of the OS?

0
0
Bronze badge
Happy

@ David D. Hagood

One of us is probably suffering from confirmation bias.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: You know... I did drop a decent stack of cash on my Google Nexus.

Are you suggesting that the "Google" people buy their Nexus from isn't the same Google that makes the mapping application that comes with a Nexus?

I don't see why being an application or OS matters - Nokia maps on my Nokia phone is an application too. In both cases they're applications, in both cases they came with the phone.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @ David D. Hagood

Probably both of us.

0
0

Offline maps gone... or not?

The opening paragraph says offline maps are no longer available; but then later we get:

Currently users can download maps of cities and location and cache them on the phone for offline perusal. With the new app, users select a map area (be it city, borough, or neighborhood,) and save a street map of that locale.

I can't see the difference between these two options. They both seem to be "download a map for offline use" - which is what I want since I don;t have a data contract on my phone but do use the GPS and maps while cycling.

What am I failing to understand?

1
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.