back to article Apple's brilliant plan to fix iOS Maps: Get YOU to do it

Apple has finally spoken out about its new maps application that has raised howls of protest from users, who claim it is less detailed and full of mistakes. Users have been chronicling the differences between the new maps app in iOS6 and the Google maps app on iOS5 it replaces saying the user experience has worsened and the …

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  1. Ragarath
    Megaphone

    OMG They are talking to el'reg?

    "A statement supplied to the Register by the fruitchomp firm has this to say"

    When did Apple start allowing you to read their holy scriptures again?

    1. ukgnome
      Mushroom

      Re: OMG They are talking to el'reg?

      That's precisely what I thought

      it's the end of days I tell ya, the Mayans were right!

    2. Martin
      Happy

      Re: OMG They are talking to el'reg?

      Since the Reg started publishing sycophantic reviews of their phones.

      http://www.reghardware.com/2012/09/21/apple_iphone_5_review/

    3. Lallabalalla

      Re: OMG They are talking to el'reg?

      Now that *really* shows you how desperte they are!

      1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

        Re: OMG They are talking to el'reg?

        I'm afraid to say that, just lately, the sudden apple-love and apple-exposure for sometimes nonsensical things has me worried.

        I expect The Reg to be at least neutral in its outlook. If it's not, that worries me that there are backhanders and other incentives being passed around lately, especially given the recent iPhone review. If that's true, I find it a little disgusting to be honest, and will move on as I have from other sites that have sold out.

        Personally, I'd like to see some sort of official statement to the effect that they aren't receiving something in exchange for these positive reviews and incessant mentions in unrelated articles. Absence of such a statement I will really take to be confirmation that it's true (because such things would be done under a NDA / NQA basis).

        Seriously, Reg? Where'd all the Apple mentions come from this past year, when before it was no more than yet-another-IT-company?

        1. David Webb

          @Lee Dowling

          I sincerely hope the El Reg doesn't go all neutral on us, the by-line is "biting the hand that feeds IT". El Reg should always be a little bit on the harsh side and open to offer major critique where it is due, over the top sometimes even. With a by-line like "biting the hand that feeds IT" you'd assume that advertisers would piss off, but no, El Reg has been really, really harsh on MS and MS would still put their adverts on the site.

          As for why so many Apple adverts, I mean articles, because they have journalists who are Apple fanatics so are more likely to publish an Apple story?

          1. n4blue
            Windows

            "El Reg has been really, really harsh on MS..."

            ... but often because they deserve it.

            As a user (and, mostly, fan) of MS products, I keep coming back here because the articles (and comments) pointing out Redmond's flaws are usually well-informed and not just the vitriol of a hater. It quickly puts an end to any fanboy tendencies I may have.

            Keep on biting the hand that feeds, and I hope I will always be willing to read and listen to intelligent people who disagree with me.

        2. DJ Smiley
          IT Angle

          Re: OMG They are talking to el'reg?

          I dislike them as much as the next and this is another news article which isn't very friendly to them....

          Not sure what your reading...

          Anyway, unless you ever bothered to check the site said its completely unbiased when you signed up (it may do, it may not, I've not checked nor care) then really you don't have much to stand on?

          It's kind of hard to ignore one of the biggest sellers of technical devices, no matter how much you dislike them.

          1. Mark .

            Re: OMG They are talking to el'reg?

            No one is saying they should be ignored, rather the issue is disproportionate coverage. They should be treated like any other multinational consumer electronics company - there are others, and they sell at least as much as Apple.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: OMG They are talking to el'reg?

          Could be worse, they could turn into Gizmodo Uk. :(

        4. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: OMG They are talking to el'reg?

      It seems Apple only talk to El Reg when they're at PR Defcon 1. At least I hope it's that, and not return for favourable coverage of the newest version of the world's most shiniest toy.

      See Apple will only reinstate mute kids' app if makers win patent case.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: OMG They are talking to el'reg?

      Should this shitty implementation of an attempt to grab Googles "Google Earth" (and all the others) market share not read:

      "We are excited to offer this service with innovative new features like Flyover and Siri integration, and free turn by turn navigation. We launched this new map service knowing that it is a major initiative and we are just getting started with it."

      More like this:

      "We are excited to offer this service with innovative new features like Flyshit and Silly integration, and free crash and burn navigation. Blah, blah, blah...."

    6. json

      Re: OMG They are talking to el'reg?

      over at cnet.. its the perverse inverse.. 80% are accolades!

  2. hitmouse
    FAIL

    Users will still be able to access Google maps via the web on the Safari browser.

    Unfortunately without jailbreaking the device, neither the default map-handler (nor browser) may be changed. Therefore every address link will open the Apple app, and every app using location services will do so as well, thus breaking the user experience in all of those.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Users will still be able to access Google maps via the web on the Safari browser.

      iOS uses an unofficial protocol of "maps://" to identify links to the mapping service. Last time I looked it interpreted "maps://maps.google.com" as a link to the local mapping app, ignoring the domain. However replacing "maps://" with "http://" would still take you to google maps, so app developers could hard wire their apps to go to google that way. (Of course getting apple to put an updated app that does this in the store might be tricky. And they did appear to be chopping and changing their map handling in previous betas of iOS 6 so I'm not 100% sure that this is still the case.) Could be a stopgap till apple maps catch up... Or a massive waste of effort... YMMV!

  3. HMB

    iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

    Cloud based... hehe.

    So how are users going to improve horrifically poor resolution on satellite imagery? Will Apple be supplying canons to fire your phone out up into the air with software that takes a snap at max altitude?

    Presumably the more people try to use the petrol stations on top of skyscrapers, the better the accuracy will get.

    1. Sean Baggaley 1
      FAIL

      Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

      Not even Google's "satellite imagery" is particularly detailed. Satellite imaging isn't that good. In fact, the problem you're referring to is entirely due to the poor resolution of the available satellite images.

      To get those close-up images of individual cars parked in driveways, you need to pay someone to fly over the country and take photographs. It's called "aerial photography" and Apple are clearly going to need time to fill in the gaps. Even Google still has a way to go to achieve 100% coverage of the planet's land masses.

      Here in Italy, great swathes of the countryside are devoid of detail. And that's in Google Maps, not just Apple's new Maps app. So it's not just Apple.

      Mapping the planet is a constant work in progress—a permanent beta. Nobody has "perfect" coverage. Ever.

      1. Ben Holmes
        Happy

        Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

        I smell a 'Maps Apologist'...

        1. Slartybardfast

          Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

          Singing,

          Always look on the bright side of maps

      2. Nic Gibson
        FAIL

        Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

        Hmmm. Yes, but my house is visible on Google Maps. You can't even find my town on Apple's satellite imagery. Even back in the early days of Google Maps the town existed (on the actual map it appears to be about 5miles east of the right place). Ho hum. Looking at London Bridge station I'd say Apple decided that 3 year old imagery would be just fine.

        1. Synonymous Howard

          Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

          Indeed the satellite image coverage is very hit and miss .. I saw very similar results when I started to use the Google supplied maps on my iPhone 3GS three years ago .. it slowly got better but now I've upgraded that same 3GS to iOS6 its like going back in time ... very disappointing and I've been using the "report a problem" button a lot over the last 24 hours!

          It is clear to me Apple know it was going to be like this as they have included a very comprehensive problem reporting form directly within the Maps application.

          I'm Googling for an easy way to downgrade back to iOS5, the maps app is that important to me 8-(

      3. Matt_payne666

        Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

        deviod of detail? have a look at Brigton - one of the UK's major cities... there is no imagery at all - nor for about 100 miles alongand 25 miles inland of the southeast coast...

        1. Tom_

          Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

          One of the UK's major cities?

          Come on. :)

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

            I reckon we've got better pictures of Mars than this!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

              Google / Bing are not satellite at high zoom levels, they are photo-mosaic.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

          Wouldnt want the Normans to have good imagery for their invasion plans

        3. itzman

          Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

          WE can be thankful, for small mercies...

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

        Bing satellite maps are better for me - Google are not that good at all. I've been using the iOS maps application today - seems fine - I'm sure other people may be having issues (as it's new) but I doubt 100% of people find Google Maps perfect either.

        1. Mike Judge
          FAIL

          Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

          Deluded much?

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

        "Satellite imaging isn't that good. In fact, the problem you're referring to is entirely due to the poor resolution of the available satellite images."

        I would not call the, IIRC, 0.9m panchromatic channel of IKONOS, or Quickbird's 0.6m channel exactly "poor resolution". I mean, we could see fenceposts and road markings on the scenes, let alone an entire car (that was, in fact, the first time we played "look, I can see my car from space").

        This was in the pre-Google Earth days (2001-2003) when we were using their data.

      6. icanonlyimagine
        Big Brother

        Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

        Quite so. Back when most folks around here, we're in nappies, Google maps also sucked. How did they improve it??...well, OMG...they asked users for feedback - just like Apple. They had a feedback page where you could enter gps info, post codes, street info....JUST LIKE APPLE IS DOING NOW.

        There simply isn't another way of doing it except to crowd source for better info.

        Actually, most folks here sound as if they still wear nappies and are very wet behind the ears.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

          Apple are charging a massive premium and asking us to do the work.

          I wouldn't buy a Rolls Royce and expect to push two tonnes of steel down the road.

          They are taking the piss

    2. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

      Nah, that's what we have the Reg SPB for ;)

      Suddenly it becomes clear the real reason behind LOHAN - it's a covert method of updating the Apple-maps.

    3. jonathanb Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

      Well the satellite imagery has lots of clouds in it. How much more "cloud based" do you want it to be?

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: iOS 6 Maps - Cloud Based Satellite Imagery

        keyboard please

  4. pisquee

    Not that I like Apple, but this move does seem very un-Apple like, to launch a product which isn't really ready or refined, or as user friendly as most other things they bring out. I wouldn't have imagined they would have realised this 'til it was complete.

    1. Thomas 4

      Pedant alert

      "We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better."

      Well it can't exactly make it worse. >.>

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They finally realised

      They can bin stuff they have been paying royalties for and shovel any old shite out to the masses and it will still sell in MASSIVE amounts!

    3. DJ Smiley
      Trollface

      a Phone that can't make calls properly comes to mind...

    4. SirRob

      Errr, like Siri?

    5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Now get out of that...

      I agree with you that this is exactly the sort of thing that Jobs abhorred and came down like a ton of bricks on people for. Not that there weren't problems with services under his watch but that was relatively unimportant stuff like @mac or "mobile me".

      This is the sort of thing that, if it is allowed to rumble is very bad for a company's image. Be interesting to see how well Apple's PR swings into action to deal with disgruntled customers as well as they did with the antenna problems: bumper or shiny new phone. Will depend largely on the scale of the fuck up.

  5. Sean Baggaley 1
    WTF?

    For those whining that Google's Maps app was "better"...

    ... try living in the Italian countryside sometime. Until iOS 6, my home town was hidden by clouds. (Yes, exactly as is being complained of in the Apple Maps app by others.)

    Maps are ALWAYS a work in progress. They're never done. And with a dataset as big as an entire planet, expecting perfection out of the box is idiotic. Sorry, but it just is.

    Yes, the aerial photography needs work, but Google's early efforts were no better and certainly aren't glitch-free even today. Oh sure, you'll get excellent details of major cities like London and Rome, but the further out you get from either, the lower the detail and accuracy.

    Google also clearly couldn't be bothered to update their iOS Maps app for years, so Apple naturally got fed up and decided to go for the nuclear option. I can't say I blame them.

    Google will doubtless release a magically upgraded and improved iOS Maps app sooner rather than later. I'm betting you'll be encouraged to enter your Google account details to "get the most" out of it. (I.e. give Google even more data about your every single move. For free. Nice con, that: convincing your raw materials suppliers to give it all to you for nothing, so you can benefit from fat profit margins. And making them feel like they're doing you a favour? Priceless!)

    1. Paul M 1

      Re: For those whining that Google's Maps app was "better"...

      Yes Sean, you're quite right. Google's lack of clarity for your Italian idyll is clearly enough to balance the waves of criticism for Apple's offering. We now see that Google was never in fact "better".

      Also, I believe the maps app was always Apple's doing, using Google data although I am prepared to be proven wrong.

      Google may come to iOS users' rescue eventually although if I understand the situation, when Apple used Google's data, Apple had to pay them for it. If Google provide a maps app, no more payment? So maybe not so straightforward as all that.

      1. Darren Coleman
        Thumb Down

        Re: For those whining that Google's Maps app was "better"...

        Surely Apple has enough in the warchest to pay Google for licensing fees.

        This decision certainly wasn't anything to do with consumers since the Apple Maps solution is demonstrably poorer than the thing it replaced. To echo the poster above - I'm surprised they released it in this state.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: For those whining that Google's Maps app was "better"...

          "This decision certainly wasn't anything to do with consumers since the Apple Maps solution is demonstrably poorer than the thing it replaced."

          No, I suspect it was meant as a punishment for Google because of Android, but it kinda back-fired.

          Apple being Apple can't back down now either, so they're stuck with sorting this mess. It makes me smile, I don't really like Apple - basically for this reason, they have you by the nuts and if they want to shaft you, they will. I can't help but feel for the users though, losing functionality without being able to replace it sucks.

        2. P. Lee Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: For those whining that Google's Maps app was "better"...

          > I'm surprised they released it in this state.

          Depends how they update it. If all the iphones are reporting their locations as they move, Apple can pick up the actual locations of roads very quickly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For those whining that Google's Maps app was "better"...

      @Sean Baggaley 1: "Maps are ALWAYS a work in progress."

      Absolutely - I've seen ridiculous things on every mapping technology I've ever used. Google maps still suggests that cars can drive on a strictly pedestrian walk-way locally, and my sat-nav routinely doesn't know about new/changed roads and intersections.

      Interestingly, the satellite imagery in our area is significantly more up to date than the Google images - developments completed years ago are on the Apple Maps but not in Googles. The problem works both ways depending on the age and source of your data.

    3. nsld
      Mushroom

      Re: For those whining that Google's Maps app was "better"...

      Sorry Sean but thats bollocks, I live in a field in the middle of no where in the UK and the google maps and satellite images are first rate.

      The Apple maps in IOS6 are shit according to my Apple using colleagues, its nothing to do with a work in progress when the fundamental basis of the map is so totally rubbish.

      I suggest you sniff your hands Sean as polishing a turd just leaves you with a shiny turd and shit on your hands!

      I hope Apple pay you well.

    4. Miek
      Facepalm

      Re: For those whining that Google's Maps app was "better"...

      " Until iOS 6, my home town was hidden by clouds. (Yes, exactly as is being complained of in the Apple Maps app by others.)" -- Have you even tried turning off the satellite view?

    5. VinceH
      Joke

      Re: For those whining that Google's Maps app was "better"...

      "Until iOS 6, my home town was hidden by clouds."

      Wow, the iPhone 5 is so magical, it even improves the weather.

    6. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: For those whining that Google's Maps app was "better"...

      ... try living in the Italian countryside sometime

      @ Sean

      Stop press: Google doesn't take the photos but buys them in from agencies, which is Europe are generally government agencies who control zoom level, degree of detail and explain what cannot be shown. And in most countries those photographs are very up to date as they are basis for all kinds of agreements, bills and even fines (tree-felling). In Italy the images generally come from Cnes/Spot Image, to whom you can now address your complaint.

      It would be good if Google were allowed to release an updated version of Google maps so that customers could choose which app they prefer but don't the I-tunes store statutes prohibit just such competition with Apple software?

    7. Chet Mannly

      Re: For those whining that Google's Maps app was "better"...

      "Oh sure, you'll get excellent details of major cities like London and Rome, but the further out you get from either, the lower the detail and accuracy."

      I was just looking at satellite images of a small private animal sanctuary 90 miles out of Durban, South Africa in the middle of nowhere.

      I could zoom down to see the main house, sheds, the works, and even got driving directions down bush tracks to get there.

      By the sounds, that's better than Apple has managed in major sections of the UK, and this is a place visited by a handful of people every year who are highly unlikely to afford an android device.

      Apple maps are rubbish - I was shocked that they would let such an unpolished app on their device. Jobs would never have allowed that.

  6. Velv Silver badge
    Big Brother

    "the more people use it, the better it will get"

    Read: We track the GPS data of every users movements and over time we'll merge the results to be able to show the correct placement of the roads.

  7. Jim Coleman
    Meh

    Jobs

    I wonder how Steve Jobs would be feeling about Apple Maps, were he alive? Maybe he wouldn't be falling over himself to hand out bonusses and awards.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Jobs

      More likely we'd never know, as it wouldn't have got out the door.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Jobs

      I think if he were alive, someone else would be dead.

      My understanding of the Apple "brand" is that the user experience makes up for the expense and the lock-in. If they start shipping the same crud as the rest of the tech business, they'll have to start charging the same prices and offer the same hack-a-bility.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Jobs

        "My understanding of the Apple "brand" is that the user....." means NOTHING BUT BUCKS!

        Apple will catch up with the competition....who have surpassed them spectactularly....eventually.

    3. Toothpick
      Thumb Up

      Re: Jobs

      If Jobs were still alive, this map app would not have made it into iOS6. His philosophy was either "this is great" or "this is shit" with no grey area in between. I think he would have said the latter.

    4. Richard Wharram

      Re: Jobs

      Completely disagree. Steve Jobs would simply be telling us that the towns and landmarks in the real world were wrong and that Apple Maps was right.

      And if it looks blurry then you are holding it wrong.

      1. Richard Wharram

        Re: Jobs

        In fact, just seen this:

        http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/science-technology/everywhere-in-britain-is-dudley-says-apple-2012092142045/

      2. bluest.one
        FAIL

        Re: Jobs

        https://twitter.com/liamdaly/status/248852305309483011/photo/1

    5. Armando 123
      Coat

      Re: Jobs

      If Jobs were alive today, he'd be kicking at the lid.

  8. Chris 171
    Terminator

    So....

    This also means that trip data from phone owners (knowing or not) will be used to improve the mapping?

    IOS Spy in your pocket - no thanks.

    http://maps.nokia.com or of course, any Nokia phone with this already baked in.

    Fanbois do yourself a favour, get yourself a ladder & get out of the walled garden, the Blight problem is serious this time. If you stay you'll be lost forever.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: So....

      Walled Gardens are in place on most OS's, although it is easier to install apps outside the walled garden on other OS's the majority of users will only ever use the walled garden.

      Before you acuse me of being pro apple I am an Android user who detests Apples

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So....

        "Walled Gardens are in place on most OS's"

        Exactly, and on most OS's you can side-load an alternate application to do the same job. There's a fence and there's a wall. The OS's you speak of have fences, iOS has a wall and not some little garden wall you can step over either.

        1. Chris 171
          Devil

          Re: So....

          My primary concern is raw content control, not apps per se.

          apple have owners by the balls in itunes, that's the real elephant in the room of ever there was one.

          Show me the money!

          Sorry but no, never by fuckery will that software ever install on a digital device of mine.

  9. batfastad

    OpenStreetMap

    Is this because they've ditched Google Map data and now using OpenStreetMap?

    Or is it because their mapping program is just rubbish?

    I didn't think OpenStreetMap data was that bad, seems to be fine in my area at least.

    1. davemcwish

      Re: OpenStreetMap

      @batfastad I use OSM on my Garmin GPS and it's really good for a free map. The screenshots I've seen from ios6 are really really dire. What I can't understand is who signed off the UAT

      1. krakead
        FAIL

        Re: OpenStreetMap

        The road I live on doesn't exist on OSM (fair enough, it's only been there for 13 years) nor does the road it comes off (again, it's only existed for 20+ years). So no problems there.

        To all the Apple apologists out there, it doesn't matter that Google's satellite views were a bit shit at first. Apple are competing with Google Maps as it exists *now*. You can't replace one app with another that's significantly inferior without expecting to get kicked for it.

        1. Ian R 1

          Re: OpenStreetMap

          The point about OSM is that if something is missing you can just add it yourself...

          1. krakead

            Re: OpenStreetMap

            So, I just need to nip out and buy a theodolite then and taking surveying course online then? ;)

            Anyhow, just checked again and we now exist! Must be a very recent addition - within the past 6 weeks.

    2. Pink Duck
      WTF?

      Re: OpenStreetMap

      For some reason Apple took the weird decision to only use years out of date OpenStreetMap data and then only use it partially.

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: OpenStreetMap

      They are using TomTom apparently, not OpenStreetMap. Where I live, OpenStreetMap is considerably more reliable than Google. Apple's offering is considerably less reliable than Google. The Apple Store is in the right place, but that's about it.

      1. hazydave

        Re: OpenStreetMap

        Yeah, Apple's licensing TomTom data... which used to be TeleAtlas, until the map data buying frenzy that had TomTom buying TeleAtlas, and Nokia scrambling to get the other one, Navigon. They may have some OSM data n there for places not well served by TomTom.

        Ironically, it was this dash by device manufacturers that messed with Google Maps' long-term licensing and got Google into the mapping business. This is actually different than the Google Earth data. Google Earth was originally a program from Keyhole, Inc. which Google acquired in 2005 or so. Keyhole was funded by the American Central Intelligence Agency, via their In-Q-Tel. In-Q-Tel works to fund new technology that's useful to spies but also regular folks -- prior to Google Earth, the ability to zoom in on anyone's home or car, anywhere on Earth, might have seemed to be kind of a James Bond thing. Afterwards, no biggie.

  10. Piro

    "cloud-based"..

    What the hell? All services online are "cloud-based".

    I hate these buzzwords. What they mean is "we want you to fix our broken shit for us".

    What they should have done is made it Maps Beta, and the apple faithful could go through and fix everything, while others still used Google Maps.

  11. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    "the more people use it, the better it will get"

    Yeah but if I can't get to the right place in the first place, how do I fix...ermmm....brain...hurt...need....lie....down.....

  12. cnapan
    Pint

    The Apple Faithful...

    ...have been slapped hard in the face with this one.

    Added to that... they've been denied the chance to have a phone with one of those increasingly popular large screens - for at least another year, all at a point where the competition is really hotting up.

    Apple - the biggest company in the world - still offers just a single phone, operating an ageing interface which is looking increasingly long-in-the-tooth.

    But religion is hard to shake. Lots of people have worshipped at the fruity altar for years, and it's going to hurt to walk away from the clan.

    It...just....works.....

    Repeat.

    It ...just... works....

    Oh Steve..!

    1. hazydave

      Re: The Apple Faithful...

      Apple's got more to lose than win by following the crowd directly. They make a huge pile of cash, they have people waiting in line to buy their one new phone this year (albeit, an event they carefully orchestrate with leaks, press teases, The Big Announcement a week before online availability, a week before in-store, planned limits on units to get both "sold out" and "record breaking" in the news, etc.

      In short, they're selling crazy numbers... all being the most conservative smartphone company on the planet. Why change? They can cherrypick the best of the innovations from elsewhere in the industry, see which of these seem to fit without problem into Apple's idea of an iPhone, etc.

      As usual, expect the guys really hungry for market share to try new ideas. Those that win, that's an innovation.. those that don't, end-of-the-year humor columns. And every company has a better shot at these than Apple, simply because the traditional phone companies are releasing 6-12+ new models per year. A few of these can be gambles. And that's necessary to innovate.

  13. alann2
    Thumb Down

    DOH!!! Why did I update the IoS

    well, updating the IOS took away an hour of my life i'll never get back again, the maps suck, really I'm not defending Apple over this, its atrocious as for any chance that Apple will do this because of public opinion? my a**e they will!!!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The first person to say that this would never have happened if Steve deceased Jobs was alive, must be removed from the UK and forced to live with the rest of the donuts in the californian donut, and never be allowed to join the rest of the sane!

    Some mo is bound to.

    1. Miek
      Linux

      seek further up the thread an ye shall find ;)

    2. uhuznaa

      I'm not sure. Look what Steve Jobs said about Apple and "its attitude of arrogance" (his words) back in 2007 (shortly after returning to Apple) and its very hard not to agree with him:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnO7D5UaDig&#t=600s

      He's talking about the old Apple and the Mac of course, but every word fits perfectly at today's Apple and the iPhone. "Reinventing the wheel might end up 10% better but usually it ends up 50% worse" -- just classic.

  15. BongoJoe
    Coat

    Er, I wonder...

    ...how Apple will make the Road Map for this update.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    As a happy Android user

    I have but one word:

    Snigger.

  17. Lord Zedd
    Thumb Down

    No go

    Maps is a deal-breaker for me. I'll be sticking with iOS5 on my 3GS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No go

      Why not load your browser - go to Google Maps and save the shortcut to your home page - DONE.

      What is all this fuss about when you can 'fix' it in 10 seconds.

      1. Fibbles

        Re: No go

        "What is all this fuss about when you can 'fix' it in 10 seconds"

        Maps weren't broken in iOS5, there's no justifiable reason users should have to 'fix' them in iOS6. That's why there is a fuss.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Turn-by-turn navigation

    was clearly a feature Google wouldn't give Apple for /any/ money, since it's not Google's own data to start with.

    So Apple had to go on their own. Might as well go the whole way and replace the whole thing. I don't think Google would allow Apple to use their data and offer third-party turn-by-turn on top.

    Incidentally the new maps work well for me and the richly detailed 3D city models are amazing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Turn-by-turn navigation

      "Incidentally the new maps work well for me and the richly detailed 3D city models are amazing."

      Simple cuboids overlaid with low resolution bitmap images are amazing?

      Are you also entertained by bright lights and pretty colours?

      1. hazydave
        Boffin

        Re: Turn-by-turn navigation

        Hey AC... you did know this is about the iPhone 5, right? One might ask a rhetorical question about Apple users being transfixed by bright lights and pretty colors.. but they are. And rounded corners, too. For real. Express no shock at this, please.

  19. Ed Mozley

    Drones

    To make significant improvements to maps I think it would be good if Apple, Microsoft or Google built a fleet of drones and launched them en-masse. Hi-res imagery from 800 feet would be pretty cool.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Drones

      That is a scary thought... .

      None of those three would I trust to take images over my house... If I heard they were doing that, I would whip up an anti-UAV UAV to take it down...

  20. Christoph Silver badge

    Here's what Transport For London think of it: https://twitter.com/binny_uk/status/248824180395614208/photo/1

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    Just tell the iOS map devs

    Just tell the iOS map devs in their private jets to take a trip to Dublin...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19676125

  22. uhuznaa

    Apple may have botched it, but

    the old maps app used data licensed and sourced from Google. Apple had only very little leeway to do anything with that data apart from displaying maps. Which was good and fine in 2007 but not today.

    Now Apple has its own data and can offer map APIs to third-party app developers to do whatever they want with it in their own apps.

    In a perfect world the data would be as good or better as Google, but it obviously isn't. I have no idea if Apple was just lazy and cheap and couldn't be bothered to buy better data or if this just a really tough job. But I have no doubt that staying with Google here was not an option for Apple. They're between a rock and a hard place. Even renewing the contract with Google and still not being able to offer navigation would have led to much ridicule too.

    And really, Apple was *never* good at much besides hardware. Building a global mapping/navigation database is nothing you do in a few months or even two years anyway.

    1. Paul M 1

      Re: Apple may have botched it, but

      Out of curiosity, do you have a reference for any of this? It seems to me that Apple could negotiate for full access to the maps API if they didn't have it already so other than being in control of the data what restrictions would there be for them?

    2. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Apple may have botched it, but

      Apparently Apple has been working on Maps for years already.

      And someone at Cupertino figured out there was a problem because they've been advertising jobs for 'mapping experts' in the last couple of weeks.

      Which is made of fail anyway, because the app itself is fine, if you ignore the tolerable rough edges. What sucks is the lack of data, and the obvious screaming an-idiot-did-this mistakes.

      My random worthless guess is that Apple outsourced data entry to China or India for a few bowls of rice and a corporate contribution or two. No one bothered to do basic checks on spelling or data integrity - or if they did, they were low-level underlings who were ignored and probably fired.

      Manudjment were too arrogant to pay attention to the shit storm of criticism from the beta testers.

      And there goes the brand.

      What happens next defines whether or not anyone still cares what Apple is doing a year from now.

    3. hazydave

      Re: Apple may have botched it, but

      Apple wasn't licensing Google's data... they were providing an iOS version of Google Maps. This did what every other version of Google maps does, from the same current data. I mean, really, if the data were from 2007 .. well, Google couldn't have licensed their data. They didn't "go native" with their own data until 2009.

      There were two problems with Google Maps. First of all, Google didn't offer Google Navigation on iOS or platforms other than Android. And with Nokia also offering turn-by-turn in Windows Phone (not sure about MS themselves), this is rapidly becoming a standard function of all smartphones. So Apple had to do something with it.

      Next was Apple's typical greed -- Google's not just a sometime competitor, they get access to Apple customers with Google tools, without having to pay Apple 30% of their profits. They might well have been the only one left in the Apple ecosystem getting away with this. So it had to end, regardless of the effect on end-users.

  23. TeeCee Gold badge
    Happy

    "Siri integration"

    Anyone got one?

    Do me a favour, fire up Siri, say; "Siri? Why are your maps so shit?" and report back what it says.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: "Siri integration"

      “I’m really sorry about this, but i can’t take any requests right now.”

      Siri's actually been completely broken for me for the last couple of days, either showing what I said but never doing anything with it or simply sitting there spinning for a few minutes before giving up.

      What really surprises me is how Siri can be so badly programmed that it can't go from a successful voice recognition of "Call XXX", yet sit there for a good thirty seconds before actually going ahead and calling XXX - or failing altogether.

      Despite XXX being someone in my contacts that the original 'Voice Control" thingy handles instantly.

      So I've given up and killed her (him? it?), as the only thing I've ever successfully used Siri for is phoning people in my contacts, as that's pretty much all Siri is apparently capable of if you're not in the USA.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where I live the Apple Maps are much BETTER (newer etc.) than Google.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reason for the change is most likely either Google wanted too much cash for access to the maps or would not provide Apple the access so they can 'extend' services into the data. Give it a matter of weeks or a few months and I expect things to be different / better.

    1. jason 7 Silver badge
      Meh

      I'm sure Apple could have paid for any costs out of the spare change down the back of the sofas outside the boardroom.

      I smell turnaround and dump so litigation ahoy with other map providers.

      I'm sure TomTom/Garmin/Google/Nokia will be receiving served documents very soon.

      1. jason 7 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Oh and I forgot to include the descendants of the people who invented the sextant, the magnetic compass and cartography. I'm sure Apple will have a patent on those tucked away somewhere.

    2. Joerg
      FAIL

      Google was asking money to developers too for using their maps....

      ...and obviously Apple didn't want that to keep going.

      And I don't see Apple asking developers to pay extra for the new maps for a very long time at least.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Patents

    The question is when will Apple sue Google over map patents?

  27. Arachnoid
    FAIL

    Well its not unusual..........Apple users have always had problems seeing things clearly

  28. Gary 24
    Happy

    Why do

    All the fandroids keep spouting off their Google Maps? It's Crap! Nokia make THE best maps for a mobile device, and from driving to/from Germany on a fortnightly basis using the iOS 6 beta and maps it's really good and thats a mix of autoroute's / motorways / autobahns and town / village roads.

    I don't get what the big reaction is.... no problems here and a very happy iOS 6 maps user :)

    1. Rimpel
      FAIL

      Re: Why do

      > I don't get what the big reaction is

      I'm pleased the small section of the planets map that you use is good for you.

      It seems that some of the other 7bn on the planet have had a big reaction to the quality of the other maps...

    2. hazydave

      Re: Why do

      Depends on where you live. For most places, Google Maps data are actually the best.. even other mapping companies like Waze acknowledge this. I had always heard that, before Google did their own turn-by-turn database, TeleAtlas had the best data for Europe, in general, and NAVTEQ had the best in North America (they powered Garmin, which was generally better in the US than TomTom, which used TeleAtlas).

      Nokia did start this all, and in a weird way, they pushed the creation of Google Maps. They decided that turn-by-turn maps would become a standard feature of smartphones, and set out to buy a mapping company. There were two serious contenders. Nokia tried to buy TeleAtlas, but TomTom beat them out. So Nokia got NAVTEQ, the other guys. And that's the basis upon which the Lumia and, in fact, all the Windows 8 Phone mapping is done.

      Google had been licensing data from both of these guys at some point. Once two mobile device companies bought the mapping companies, it was clear that mobile map data might not be so available in the future -- thus, Google gets into the mapping biz.

  29. jason 7 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Wow just imagine if MS had done this........

    ...it would be full hilarious derision all round on the Six O'clock news and Channel 4 news etc. etc.

    Every tech pundit chipping in that Apple would have done a better job blah blah.

    Just saying....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow just imagine if MS had done this........

      The fact that there isn't only demonstrates that, despite Apple's concerted attempts and, to a point, success, there are still not enough people who really care.

  30. Mike 140
    Pint

    Customer Service Announcment by TfL

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rQ9KExUsWsY/UFx1I1pKAlI/AAAAAAAB-B0/rJH6gD36gyg/s1600/tube_2346388c.jpg

  31. Station Grey
    WTF?

    It's hugely interesting that Reg's good review of the iPhone 5 and subsequent reporting of news stories around it seems to go down so badly with commenters on here these days. In the comments above, and over the last few days, are various mentions of impartiality on the part of El Reg, even kickbacks from Apple, and constant jibes about iSheep, Apple fanbois etc. There are also constant pro-Android statements and attendant back-slapping, and almost any comment with even a slight perceived Apple slant gets marked down hugely while anything anti-Apple or Pro-Android gets marked up.

    It seems to me, as an impartial observer with a good working knowledge of all the devices at stake, that it's not so much that El Reg has changed in any way but that the readership (or commentship at least) has. Why does any post regarding Apple suddenly feel like the comments section of a YouTube video? Where did all the insightful wit go to be replaced by a team of ignorant Android evangelism?

    It all feels very 1995 to me. But I now expect a torrent of red arrows for not slagging off the biggest company in the world. I must be a communist or something. Go Android! Woo! iSheep suck! Woo! etc.

    1. Paul M 1

      To some extent I agree with you

      The interesting and witty posts are, as you say becoming something of a rarity. But from my own observations I don't usually see that pattern of down-voting (like it even matters). Any reasoned or supported statement or opinion is generally accepted. Of course there are always knobs on all sides who'll down-vote facts they don't like.

      But I think the typical fAndroid is more a reaction against the emergence of the fanbois. You must surely concede that the media give Apple a disproportionate amount of coverage, much of it highly uncritical. And I can't recall the last time there were people queueing overnight for a new Android phone. In fact I recall complaining that this very site barely mentioned the official announcement of Ice Cream Sandwich and what it offered for several days whereas every rumour of a leak for Apple gets a dedicated story.

      So that's my opinion. Sad to see the quality of comments drop but it's a reaction to the lowering of jouralism standards.

  32. Senior Ugli
    Coffee/keyboard

    If every mention of someone who uses a apple product is a 'fanboi' then anyone who uses a PC should be referred to as a 'beige boxer'

    Remeber namecalling is very childish and immature

  33. Marty
    Joke

    in other news,,,,,

    Scientists measuring the irregularity in the axis the earth spins on have detected a sudden and spectacular rise in its irregularity....

    They have tracked the cause of this added irregularity to a plot of land in Alta Mesa, where approximately 6 feet below ground, the remains of Steve Jobs are turning rapidly after the release of the mapping service on IOS6

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple Maps = TomTom Maps

    So it's good at the things TomTom is good for and rubbish for the things Tom Tom sucks at. The trouble is, the old Google-supplied maps were good for so much more than TomTom!

    I was hoping for the latest Ordnance Survey maps and/or OSM with the gaps filled in and added shiny goodness, so this is VERY disappointing and very un-Apple-like. On the plus side, at least having played with the new maps on an old iPad, I know not to upgrade my iPhone yet...

    Why Apple don't use maps from the Ordnance Survey and other countries equivalents is beyond me - that with OSM, TomTom and other overlays could be awesome!

    Ho-hum. Happy Friday everybody!

    1. Adam McCormack
      Windows

      Re: Apple Maps = TomTom Maps

      Do Microsoft not have OS maps tied up with bing maps? That'll leave Apple out on a limb, in the UK at least.

  35. Joerg
    Thumb Down

    Hypocrisy at its best....no one complained about Google....

    How did Google get so many detailed info about everything to include those on the maps?

    Yes, thru common people, users using its maps and providing fixes to them.

    So, why is it now a crime for Apple to request it users to fix their databases and maps, uh?

    They couldn't obviously copy the data from Google.. surely Google would have sued them if that happened.

    So why now Apple users should not like or be afraid of providing fixes to Apple?

    They did it to Google when Apple was using Google maps.

    It costs nothing to people to send fixes. And all users combined can provide all the needed fixes worldwide in a few weeks/months.. if Apple is then quick at adding the fixes the maps will get bug free in a short period of time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Megaphone

      Re: Hypocrisy at its best....no one complained about Google....

      No, its just a crime for a such a cash laden company to release such a crap product.

      Why did they not release it in beta and allow the map corrections that way while still having access to the old Google powered maps? This way, people could have improved it while still being able to use a more reliable map in the process.

      Better still - why does Apple not allow competing products on their precious ios? fear of others developing superior products?

  36. Hardcastle the ancient
    FAIL

    Google

    I've been supplyuing corrections to Giggle maps for ages, mostly duplicate businesses and those located by postcode, not address. I've not really minded because I didn't pay anything to use gurgle maps.

    But I bought a TomTom, and even though they have a corrections facility I won't use it as I get no discounts.

    If Iphones were free, I might help them out free of charge.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    "...we are just getting started with it."

    Perhaps they'd like to let people know when its finished?

  38. David Kelly 2

    Thats How Google and NAVTEQ did it

    A year or so ago Apple bought a small independent map company. The new maps app was totally predictable.

    Google, Garmin, and NAVTEQ have long since solicited user input and corrections. The only reason Apple maps lack accuracy is that government and public sources are not as good as the user updated source from NAVTEQ that others have been using all these years.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: Thats How Google and NAVTEQ did it

      Not just these.

      I reported a minor error to Streetmap (Northdowns way near Mersham) and was astonished to see it was corrected within a couple of days!

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Oh Buggritt

        Merstham! What a difference a 't' makes!

  39. Richard Boyce
    Thumb Down

    iOS downgrade

    "We are excited to offer this service with innovative new features like Flyover and Siri integration, and free turn by turn navigation. "

    And how many of these things do I get on my iPod Touch (4th gen) as minor compensation for the poor maps? None at all.

    I've also disabled Safari syncing to stop the browser reporting what web pages I've opened, as part of iCloud Tabs. How long before that's exploited maliciously?

    So far, iOS 6 seems like a downgrade.

  40. thatwebdevguy
    Linux

    Google Maps web app

    To everyone suggesting that you in install the Google Maps web app.

    It brings up the same maps as the old Google maps but performance wise its a piece of $h!+.

    I loaded it on my Iphone 4s and zooomed in and out a few times then searched for directions and the thing crashed quicker than a drunken 17 year old in a Golf GTI.

    Web apps do not have the performance of fully native apps due to the numerous limitations imposed on them by the operating system, and the fact that they have to be translated through so many layers before they reach machine level code.

    On a desktop or PC with gigabytes of ram and multiGhz multicore processors - not so much of a problem;Google Maps is used every day. However on a mobile device... not such a good idea.

    Web [cr]apps on iOS are at best a stop gap and at worst a pathetic cop out for developers who don't want to extend themselves and learn some real code - so I guess I can't be disappointed with my Maps experience.

    1. Hardcastle the ancient

      quicker than a drunken 17 year old in a Golf GTI.

      You can't get the XR3i anymore.

  41. mickey mouse the fith

    I really think they should have kept google maps until their own version was at least as good. Apple asking their customers to correct their own bad workmanship because they couldnt be bothered to check everything worked 100% is not a very smart p.r. move.

    Saying it will get better as time goes on wont wash with users who are used to the superior google maps suddenly being `upgraded` to this.

    This is just bad publicity for Apple and takes the spotlight away from the few mediocre upgrades the phone has.

    I have no idea how they would go about besting street view though, thats going to take some serious time and investment.

  42. Mandi234
    Thumb Up

    Just a friendly reminder... http://m.maps.nokia.com/ has voice navigation for iOS 5 and 6. No need for el reg to pushe the google online maps, as there's a better alternative online.

  43. a53

    TomTom have been doing that for years

  44. Nick De Plume
    Facepalm

    Cutting off your nose to spite your face

    In almost all respects the iphone5 is a marked improvement over the 4s - faster, better screen, non-glass back, etc etc. And a non-shatterprone back too.

    One of the best uses of a modern smartphone is the GPS navigation. You might not need it very often, but when you do it is quite a lifesaver. So it is a stupid decision to deprive your own customers of a working solution, just because it was made by a rival, and replace it with something this half baked.

  45. hazydave
    FAIL

    Hey, it's sorta worked before...

    Not the sky views.. I'm pretty sure Apple's not getting those from users. But they can crowdsource the actual mapping data, it they like. I don't know if Google does any of this, given all those self-driving Google vans and cars out there. But they sure could.

    The Waze folks have done a decent job, at least in my part of the USA, given their crowdsources map software. Then again, they've been doing it for four years... and they also claim that Apple's maps suck. And they're not as detailed as Google's, either.

    But the real FAIL here -- was that really an iOS screenshot of the new app? I mean, after this whole Samsung thing, is Apple really copying Google's mapping icons pixel for pixel. Shouldn't that be... oh, wait. They're Apple. When they rip someone off, it's a very different thing. Not sure why, but it sure seems to be.

  46. Confuciousmobil
    Facepalm

    Streetview?

    As an Apple fanboi I am stunned by how bad Apple Maps are.

    I have updated my iPhone 4 to iOS6 and there are some nice updates but Maps certainly isn't one of them - it is the reason my iPad will remain on iOS5.11

    The main reason I think Apple Maps is a major downgrade is not the lack of the new features on the iPhone4 (most are only available on the 4s or above) or the lack of detail on the "satellite" view or the astonishing inaccuracies (if TomTom is this inaccurate I am even more pleased I use CoPilot) but one feature I use all the time in Google Maps is StreetView which is completely missing in Apple Maps and no one else seems to have noticed.

    Watching people try and defend this on iPhone forums makes me realise just how brainwashed some people are.

    Hopefully Google will release their maps in the app store, if not, I will have to wait until it is released in cydia.

    This, IMHO, is the biggest cock-up Apple have made to date.

    The iPhone5 is still the best phone available but I can imagine many people buying Android or even WM8 (if they can wait that long) devices instead due to this farcical maps implementation.

  47. Brian Souder 1
    Alert

    ADD Locations For Business Owners

    Is Apple going to provide a portal for business owners that do not have iPhones to ADD their business link Google & BING? Or are they still just assuming everyone should have an iPhone?

    1. Confuciousmobil
      WTF?

      Re: ADD Locations For Business Owners

      How can you run a business without an iPhone? :confused:

  48. Corborg
    Trollface

    Unhealthy

    Competition is good. But effectively blocking (the browser experience is not the same) Google Maps in favour of its own system is anti-competetive. Nobody wins. To quote a politician who will no doubt be working for Apple soon "know your place you fucking plebs".

  49. Slugster
    Joke

    Cloud based. Obviously

    "..Maps is a cloud-based solution.." - so why is everyone complaing when they see clouds over their towns and cities. Its in the design.

  50. Frank Bough
    Megaphone

    Well, my experience is thus

    iOS duly installed I fired up Maps on my iPhone 4S. The first thing you notice is the FUCKING SPEED, it absolutely shits on Google Maps for speed and responsiveness. Second, you get Apple's strange monochromatic view of British roads - this is a big mistake - we absolutely have to have blue motorways, yellow A roads and green B roads. thirdly, the satellite image of my town is SHIT, even more annoying is that a couple of mile down the road it becomes outstandingly sharp and bang up to date. Annoying. turn by turn and traffic is really good, as is the TomTom method of displaying road names. Flyover is pretty much a gimmick, pretty though it is. These are the other excellent apps I also use for nav on my iPhone: Google Maps, Google Earth, Motion X GPS (Bing) and OutSide (OS et al). You'll not go hungry for maps in iOS.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Contract Post Offices

    Apple should get outside of the box and contract out this task of map development to Post Offices for good wills.

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