With all those android handsets out there, why does google care about Apples shrinking market? I mean I through Apple was an insiginificant flyspec ?
Google should have a mapping application for iOS ready by the end of this year, but sources within the company are concerned that Apple is unlikely to let it into the iOS Apps Store. Apple has earned a lot of grief over the poor performance of its Maps app, and the snafu is thought to have contributed to Apple recent executive …
"staffers are "not optimistic" that Apple will approve it for sale"
Note the "for sale" part. Ultimately, Google sell advertising space and Google Maps on any platform is more advertising space. Google Search, Android, Maps, Gmail, StreetView etc. etc. are freebies they give away essentially to help create that advertising space. I personally like this model, others for fair reasons don't.
It'll cause horrific headlines if Apple blocks Google's map app.
Also, it'll cause most Apple users who aren't die-hard fanbois to start wondering if a corporate controlled App store is really such a good idea to be subjected to.
I think making the iOS app for iPhones is a great strategic move on Google's part:
If Apple accepts it, people will install it and use it, and Google has what it wants.
If Apple rejects it, it will make them look really bad and cause a possible land slide of defections.
This is going to be hilarious to watch... I wish I could listen in on some of the meetings at Apple pertaining to this conundrum! This has the potential to blow the censorship issue wide open!
Sadly, its unlikely Apple is going to let it come to that. They'll quietly accept maps into the App store and sadly, there will be no revolution.
Because this just does not work as well as a native app. My wife was pissed when IOS6 removed the native youtube app (I "accidentally" installed IOS6) - as being visually impaired she uses voiceover to set the ipad up for our son, who is autistic and has dyspraxia - and he can't cope with the web-shortcut approach either. Both general usability and voiceover are just that bit shitter on websites than on a well written native app. One family, two edge cases, but not insignificant ones. Personally, as someone with neither dyspraxia, autism or visual impairment, I think IOS6 is shit compared to IOS5, as soon as I can be arsed I will roll it back.
You could go with a map app like MotionX. It seems to work well enough for the price. (YMMV and I am not selling the product.) I'm sure there are other apps out there.
The major problem with Google is the amount of information that they will more than likely capture while you are using their map application. ;-) Yeah that's the key. Will it run afoul of Apple's T's and C's?
So you can decide for yourself what you want to do.
If you are serious about map apps, there's always Nokia which has Navteq's map data.
I wrote the above because I want a choice. I don't want to be forced to accept second or third best because Apple throws its weight around and stops a competitor from using its platform.
As for Maps+, it says this on its iTunes page:
"Note: Due to increasing popularity Maps+ has reached Google Places API limit of 100k requests/day. This API powers the Search functionality and this is the reason why the users are seeing "Over query limit" error. We're in talks with Google to increase this limit. Please bear with us. Thank you."
Looks really useful. Not.
Using the web version isn't really an option either. As someone else has said, it just doesn't work very well and is inconvenient to use compared with the old native app.
No, Apple need to get over themselves and authorise the new Google Maps when its available. They sure as hell need to competition to up their game.
Have Reg hacks searched for their own company on Google Maps?
Search: "Situation Publishing" on Google Maps UK
1st hit: "Editions de L'Homme Nouveau - 12 Rue Rosenwald, 75015 Paris, France"
Which is a Catholic news bulletin in France. Is this perhaps an overseas front for El Reg's black ops expansion into religion?
None of the other results match anything remotely related to El Reg's offices. Searching for "Situation Publishing Limited" or Ltd doesn't show up anything useful either (first link is a stainless steel maker). It just doesn't show up.
Paris for obvious reasons.
"Google maps is still poor in a lot of areas even in western nations"
True, but more important to me, and a problem in both urban and rural areas is the rather suspect functionality and interface, the lack of offline directions, the loss of directions at critical moments (the Bong of Doom), the lack of camera warnings and speed limit advisory, weak lane direction.
It's a bit of a laugh that Crapple users are bleating that they have a worse mapping offer than Google Maps, given how limited Google Maps is. Of course, if mapping is a priority then there's an obvious choice of phone, and that's Nokia (as long as they haven't ruined it since the days gone by when I had a 5800).
Can't see the the fanbois trading their jesus phones for a Lumia, myself.
As I write this, Item number 1 in the top paid charts for the Navigation category is.... Maps + Streetview. A £0.69 app that, err, uses google maps and does streetview.
So this whole idea that Apple is just going to block it seems bunk. I certainly hope Google PR is paying the IT press for this publicity?
"I wouldn't have minded the usual adverts on El Reg, but when they started using adverts that scroll across your screen from right to left it went a step too far."
Yep, I tried unblocking ads in a fit of misplaced charity, thinking that all the jiggling, flashing and bleating couldn't be all that bad.. surely? Then fucking ads started floating over my page, with tiny moving close buttons.
Ad blocker back in place.
"I wouldn't have minded the usual adverts on El Reg, but when they started using adverts that scroll across your screen from right to left it went a step too far."
Too true. If reg decides to start thinking about ways around adblock, then I'm pretty sure it wouldn't take long for this site to empty.
To make proper use of a Google maps app would require something along the lines of intents which, AFAICT, does not exist in iOS. Example: someone texts you an address, and you click on the address to launch a map. In iOS this will only launch the OS designated map application. Example: someone texts you a URL, that will only open to Safari. The only workaround seem to be manually copying and pasting the information into the app you want to use (different browser, different maps/navigation app, etc). There is a URL schema method to launch and pass information from one app to another, but this depends on the first app knowing about the second.
The TLDR version: due to constraints in the iOS architecture a 3rd party maps app will not function as an outright replacement for the native maps app. So to the previous poster's point... what's the point other than potential better performance as a native app vs. a web app - caching maybe?
*Disclaimer: I do not intend to misrepresent iOS functionality, nor do I claim to be an expert on it. If anyone can explain an alternatives for intents in iOS that would allow a 3rd party app to truly replace a native app I will happily retract this posting in its entirety.
"The TLDR version: due to constraints in the iOS architecture a 3rd party maps app will not function as an outright replacement for the native maps app. "
Yes, another reason I am not that fond of iOS these days, I can't make Chrome my default browser, which is noticably nicer to use than Safari (desktop/mobile site switching etc.). It all feels rather restrictive.
I'm holding off the iOS6 update on my 4S currently - and see no reason to worry about upgrading to a 5 or iOS6 right now. Other half updated hers (I always told her to update it if it asked to, but forgot to warn her about this time) and we compared the two side by side, new Maps app unusable for me.
" But one wonders how long it'll take before customers to start asking why there's no competition in Maps – after being given false directions one time too many'"
I've had Google maps try and send me down no entry roads and tell me to turn right where I can't. So whilst Google maps are far superior, the navigation is far from perfect.
Google Maps is no-where-near as good as a proper navigation application like TomTom, Garmin or CoPilot - if you want to use your phone as a sat-nav most people will pay the free to £40 cost for a better 'car navigation' product (and most also support pedestrian modes as well). Off road surely you want OS maps not just 2D satellite mapping.
I suggest a lot of this mud slinging is from people who never actually use navigation or don't even have an iOS device do can't really compare the mapping without having to resort to comments from other people.
Nokia's solutions are some of the best and they're free to Nokia phone users.
If you want the best maps then on my Windows Phone I have the native maps app, Nokia maps, Nokia Drive and I can install an app that does Google maps.
The only choice I don't have in Apple maps, but then I don't tend to install comedy apps on my phone.
"Google has piled money into its mapping software for years, having recognized that for many smartphone users (particularly those who drive), mapping is a very important application".
The majority of folks use the route planner on a computer, not on an iPhone. the iPhone options available are more expensive than a standalone unit so people who drive and have an iPhone are actually likely to be a vanishingly small number of iPhone users.
So many cars have satnav as standard so the utility of a mapping and route following programme is marginal at best.
If people want navigation they rarely use Google Maps for it - you would use garmin / tom tom or one of the better route planning applications or something with proper OS mapping if you are going off-road. My experience of google maps on a mobile device has been pretty hit and miss (their POI database is FAR from perfect) and it's far slower than Apple's maps.
Actually they are right. I am not going to spend on a separate nav system when I have one in my phone which works well enough.
As a guy, I know most times where I am headed, its only the occasional time when I am on the road when I need to look up an address or "street view" something to see what the building I am looking for looks like.
Also, if I am headed to an event or something (say a Meetup group event), I can click on the address in my Meetup app and it shows me where the location is on maps. Doing that with a nav system would require me to take down the address, manually put it in the GPS and then look it up?
Car GPS sales are steadily going down, its because people have cellphones which perform the same function.
"The iPhone options are more expensive than a stand-alone unit? Really? Are you sure? You're looking at about 80 quid for a stand-alone TomTom device, according to Amazon, or 40 quid for the TomTom app."
It can certainly work out that way, they really gouge you for the licenses when you want the larger sets of maps. When you're buying from the app store, they have a monopoly. With physical devices sold by box shifters, there is a lot more price competition, and the odd crazy sale deal to be had..
(Especially once you factor in a few misc tossy extra bits like useful car holders and power connectors to make your smartphone usable safely as a satnav, too)
Google making public its doubts about the app possibly being censored by Apple is already part of the strategy, to make this a big news item in the media.
No matter which way Apple decides, they can't win:
Option A - Apple allows Google's app:
- Users can use what they want and Google can continue to earn money with Apple's devices.
- Apple damages its own maps effort, since people will just switch to what works.
Option B - Apple blocks Google's app:
- A blatant, high profile act of censorship will be all over the media.
- a hard to calculate groundswell of customers could suddenly start to think that its bad to be dependent on a single, corporate controlled app store, especially by a company known for heavy handed and self serving censorship.
- this could produce a hard to calculate landslide of customer defections, since the mass of iProduct customers are not hard core Apple fanatics, but are just buying what is widely perceived to work best.
- the damage to Apple's maps effort would only be a minor side effect in this scenario.
A truly hilarious side effect of Option B would be, that if Apple's censored single source app store becomes a bad thing in the wider public perception, it would also seriously screw up Microsoft's big hopes on copying Apple's awful business model...
I for one would be extremely happy if Apple blocks Google's App and ends up publically shooting its venomous business model through the head.
"As bad as Apple's Maps is, Cupertino is hardly likely to admit it made a mistake and let Google back into its operating system environment – Tim Cook is a great pragmatist, but the loss of corporate face would be too much."
Eh? What poor journalism, a little bit of background checking would've quickly revealed something which was all over the media a few weeks ago, namely Tim Cook's apology for iOS Maps: http://www.apple.com/letter-from-tim-cook-on-maps/
Admitted making a mistake and recommending Google (and others) as an alternative.
Mine works well enough on 3G, and with 3G+ or 4G, its pretty instantaneous.
I can understand some people heading to a remote location but compare the "number of car trips where there is a valid cell connection" vs "number of car trips in locations without a cell connection"
Do all the fanbois post as ACs..?
But at least Google Maps is correct. Methinks one would prefer accuracy over speed anyday.
Besides. "Speed" is a relative term. At what? Signal fix? Downloading the maps?
Google maps has to use your browser's connection. The iOS 6 maps app is native. Can you really blame Google maps for Safari's shortcomings?
I suspect by "Google Maps" you mean the Apple app that uses the Google data. Don't blame Google for the crappy app. While the Google license is responsible for some of the limitations, that app has basically been unchanged since at least iOS 3.x and that's purely Apple's responsibility.
I think this is more a dig from Google trying to make it look like Apple's app store is censored and limited. But they let Chrome in so I see no reason they won't allow this. Unless of course it's just a web frame that loads maps.google.com because the terms specifically ban creating apps that just view one web page and quite frankly that's unnecessary when it works in the browser.
so remind me, how do I tell my iPhone to use Chrome as my default browser? Oh, silly me, I can't!
Oh and it's not really Chrome at all, due to Apple's restrictions. It's just a skin over Webkit, and what's more without Nitro, so performance sucks. So yes, Apple were quite happy to let this one through since, due to the restrictions they impose, it doesn't compare very favourably to Safari.
Now if Google put out a maps app for iOs at that is visually compelling and has decent data behind it, that's a whole different story.
Luckily apple doesn't allow malware to take over your system so chrome can't be your default browser. IOs isn't like windows where google can by-pass user controls to get their way.
But I guess if the only way you can compete is by cheating then that's what you do. Hopefully Microsoft will plug that gap soon so they have to install chrome the correct way.
It's... not that simple. They only let Chrome in because it was a wrapper around the system webkit libraries (and inferior jscript support to that offered in Safari too, natch.. It's not even allowed to use the same jscript as Safari).
Apple have a weasel guideline about not duplicating "functionality" of the Apple-provided stuff, the interpretation of which is as mutable as Mittens Romney's stance on FEMA funding during Sandy. They could easily refuse Google Maps on the public basis that there was already a maps app.
(They also prohibit third party runtimes too, so it can't use Google's own jscript engine).
Of course, it's Apple's house, and their rules, which they can apply or forget on a case by case basis as the mood suits them, so any more concrete predictions would be pure guesswork.
As iOS doesn't have the ability to set defect application handers, so even IF Google release maps for ios6, the default mapping app (and the ones all other apps that piggyback OS mapping) will use, is the shit Apple one.
Me, I think Google should release it to iOS6 with a splashscreen that shows the latest OHA handsets to Apple owners, as the braindead idiots clearly need help showing everything thats so much better.
The Register posts a shocking non-story. A source from a company which has nothing to do with another company says that their non-existent app is unlikely to be allowed into the other company's app store when it is ready sometime in the future! The world, wife and dog are stunned!
> Apple does sell mapping applications in the iTunes store, although most either use
> Cupertino's own mapping software or come from established GPS vendors such as TomTom
Dare I mention the numerous popular apps based on Ordnance Survey or OpenStreetMap data?
The screenshot in the article is from the US store; things are a bit different over here.
someone correct me if I'm wrong.
My undersatnding is that the Map app in iOS6 is the same app as in iOS5 - just that the data source is not the same.
A couple of weeks back myself and partner did a little test navigating from the Wanstead area to a street near the old Rainbow in Finsbury Park using an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 4 (iOS5.1.1)
iOS6 planned a marginally better route but both were way out when we got to the destination - wanting to take us the wrong way up one-way streets and not being able to identify the correct street at all.
Anyway from what I have been reading lately, iOS6 maps have improved dramatically in some parts of the UK in the past couple of weeks.
Ok, I'll correct you. It is a completely different app. While some of the blatantly wrong data is being updated and will, I'm sure, continue to update, the satellite view is appalling - they might be able to improve this over time but StreetView is completely missing.
I use copilot on my phone for navigation and google maps for finding places and looking at places. I 'upgraded' my iPhone 4 to iOS6 but not my iPad. The maps in iOS6 are inferior in just about every way that I use maps.
If Google released a proper maps app, with vector graphics, like they have on Android but was not in the iOS version, and if it is a reasonable price then I will certainly buy it to replace the joke that is Apple maps.
On jailbroken devices it will be possible to make Google Maps thr default maps app so I will never have to use Apple Maps again.
I hope Apple don't block it.
Why would they stop the App being released? There are any number of paid mapping apps that are already there. I had one before the iOS 6 thing because I wanted turn by turn voice guided navigation and google maps on the iPhone does not do that.
If you want a first class map app use the one Nokia has on the N8, the iGo Primo app is the one I am using on an iPhone and it is good just not as polished as the Nokia app.
Agreed. I don't understand why they were all over Microsoft when they bundled IE without Browser Choice and you could still always install another browser, yet they're not all over this kind of thing. It almost seems that Apple is so litigious that no-one dare confront them any more.
I'm pretty sure, right at this very minute and round the clock, Apple imps are busy working on the app that *should* have been produced in the first place, instead of an app, which under Steve Jobs, would've never been released until it *was* ready.
Time will tell how well Apple succeed under Cook's direction. The way I see it, they've made three crucial mistakes so far. Maps, the iPad mini and the lacklustre launch event, which was truly horrible to watch.
With the iPad mini they are doing what Jobs would *never* have done, chasing the lower end of the market.
I find it hard to believe Jobs would've sanctioned the iPad mini.
As for the maps application, I'm sure he would've shouted "That's shit" and fired a few people :)
> they've made three crucial mistakes so far
The hyper-litigation really isn't going to work out too well. The billion-dollar damages won't materialise, and all the other litigation is going wrong. I'm pretty sure it will end up being a very bad strategy for Apple.
That's not to say that Apple hasn't got stuff it could protect - just that I expect it will lose all that in the noise of frivolous litigation.
The hyper-litigation really isn't going to work out too well."
That one was Zombie Steve's baby, who threatened to "go thermonuclear" and ""spend my last dying breath" in the pissing match with Android. TIm Cook is responsible fro a lot of dubious decisions, even under Zombie Steve, but this isn't one of his, I think.
...here's something you can all hate:
Windows Phone 8 comes with Nokia's Navteq map data free, and any app can use it. And you can download them all (from city to worldwide levels of granularity - you pick) to your phone until it's full to bursting.
Just a thought :)
P.s. if you get a Lumia you also get turn-by-turn navigation built in that sits on top of those maps.
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