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Meanwhile Apple is reportedly trying desperately to woo Google Maps engineers

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) made a bold gamble deciding to kick Google Inc.'s (GOOG) highly functional Google Maps app off its i-devices with iOS 6, in lieu of its own homegrown alternative.  The move was perhaps foreshadowed by Apple's long-standing refusal to allow Google Maps the hardware API access necessary to do turn-by-turn navigation on the iPhone.

I. Apple Maps Woes Mar iPhone 5 Experience

Early builds of the iOS 6 Apple Maps were full of flaws.  And while principle partner TomTom N.V. (AMS:TOM2) -- who Apple gets most of its mapping database from -- promised to help fix the flaws, it looks like the version that launched with Apple iPhone 5 is still mediocre at best and a nightmarish mess at worst.  

Cities were misplaced or worse yet wound up in the ocean. Requests for directions in major cities (e.g. New York City) were met with cryptic addresses.  To sum up the prevailing sentiment InfoWorld mobile analyst Galen Gruman writes, "For the short term, I recommend you not use Apple Maps."

Apple iOS 6 Maps
Apple Maps have some issues. [Image Source: Apple]

II. Scorned Google Chimes In

Google, whose Android operating system Apple has called a "copycat" and whose partners have been sued for not "innovating" enough, was quick to pounce on these reports.

The official Google+ account of Google's phonemaking subsidiary Motorola Mobility posted a picture mocking Apple Maps as "iLost" and plugging Android's alternative:

iLost
[Image Source: Google+/Motorola Mobility]

The situation isn't looking pretty for Apple Maps.  True, Apple owners can rest easy in knowing that Tim Cook and company (partially) drove the big bad Google off their prized i-Devices, but it is appearing a very Pyrrhic victory.  

III.  Apple is Recruiting ex-Google Maps Devs

According to TechCrunch, the dire situation has prompted Apple to begin trying to poach Google Maps engineers.  The report quotes a source as saying:

Many of my coworkers at Google Maps eventually left when their contracts ended or on their own accord. One guy looked around for other GIS work and ended up at Apple when a recruiter contacted him. He had heard rumors for a while that Apple was going to develop its own in-house mapping platform, and given his experience at Google, he was an easy hire. Apple went out of their way to bring him down to Cupertino and he’s now paid handsomly as a GIS Analyst. Another coworker that was a project lead at Google Maps, left for the East Coast after his contract ended, and was recently contacted by an Apple recruiter. The position sounds like a product development manager position, and will pay him $85k+ and all the moving expenses from the East Coast. He’s gone through 2 rounds of interview and seems like a frontrunner to land that position.

Still, even as Apple moves a bit closer to keeping up with the Androids in terms of screen size and cellular modem technology, it's fallen farther behind on the Maps front -- a critical piece of functionality to today's Swiss Army Knife-esque smartphones.  


George Takei/Facebook

One has to wonder whether the Maps mess will take a bit of the luster off the otherwise polished product.  Early sales, however, have been unaffected as Apple's faithful fans helped it move 5 million units over the launch weekend.

Sources: Google+ [Motorola], TechCrunch, InfoWorld, CNN



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Mixed bag
By quiksilvr on 9/24/2012 12:37:41 PM , Rating: 3
On the one hand I am glad they took the effort to actually create something like this, but on the other hand surprised at how poorly it works.

3D Maps I don't really care about. Typing in crossroads and getting results so poor, especially from Tom Tom, is alarming. WHY is it that bad? I thought Tom Tom has been around for a while, you would think they would get something as elementary as a map to work.




RE: Mixed bag
By guffwd13 on 9/24/12, Rating: 0
RE: Mixed bag
By cknobman on 9/24/2012 1:35:01 PM , Rating: 5
Sure and after getting perfect directions from Apple maps you hop on a Pegasus from your stable in the clouds and ride to your destination in candy land.


RE: Mixed bag
By Souka on 9/24/2012 1:48:33 PM , Rating: 4
I have an iPhone4 on iOS 6

The new maps suck for me in the Seattle area... and no voice turn by turn because my phone isn't a 4s

However.. I do you Waze with good results, along with speaking turn-by-turn directions.

One thing I did notice with Waze that if I didn't take a certain route a few times it stopped suggesting it. The Apple map product keeps wanting me to take a completely screwed up route home... lame.

I also appreciate the ETA that Waze gives and shows the comparisons all at once. AppleMaps just gives a map with "route 1" "route 2" etc...


RE: Mixed bag
By geddarkstorm on 9/24/2012 2:08:13 PM , Rating: 2
I've never heard of this Wave thing, but I like the sound of it; especially its ability to learn your preferred routes. That's something I'd love to see more map programs incorporate.


RE: Mixed bag
By Solandri on 9/25/2012 3:34:53 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting. What is it about the iPhone 4 which prevents it from doing turn by turn navigation? My flip phone from 2004 could do that. It seems like the 4 could handle it easily.


RE: Mixed bag
By Fritzr on 9/25/2012 5:20:48 AM , Rating: 3
The critical factor is an Apple engineering decision. A lesser reason is likely to be the marketing. A user who wants the missing feature(s) is required to buy a newer device to take advantage.

Most of the obsolete Apple devices have missing features in iOS 6 assuming they are even supported. (iOS 5.1.1 is the end of the line for the iPod 3G for example)

Android shares this fault. A device that does not have the available RAM/storage/CPU power to work with the feature will not include the feature.

On the other hand there is an Android hacker community dedicated to bringing these features to older phones that the official developers have passed over for a variety of reasons. This is something that Apple does not want even though there is an active hacker community working with rooted iOS.


RE: Mixed bag
By B3an on 9/25/2012 1:17:00 PM , Rating: 3
Oh come on, its very obviously a marketing decision to not have turn by turn on the iPhone 4. Same with most of the other missing features. It's more than capable of handling turn by turn which even extremely old sat nav devices can do with nowhere near the same level of hardware.


RE: Mixed bag
By guffwd13 on 9/25/2012 2:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
you know what i am not an apple fan boy in any sense of the word. i own apple products but i will criticize where criticism is due because that's the only way things improve.

the anti-apple fanboys are just as, if not more annoying than the apple fanboys because at least the apple fanboys aren't hypocritical.

my opinion could very well change but i gave an honest this-is-my-current-experience analysis and it gets rated down because on this site god forbid anyone say anything positive in relation to apple. its absurd. (i for the record do have a 4s and find the turn by turn dictation more accurate and better pronounced than any gps i have ever tried - which may be partial reason for my impression).

grow up people. i admire the passion. but seriously, learn that people will disagree with you and that is many times a GOOD thing because the world would suck if we all agreed on everything.


RE: Mixed bag
By vol7ron on 9/25/2012 10:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
I also have had positive results with the Apple maps app; however, I've seen horror stories for people in other parts of the country - this worries me because I know the area where I live and don't need a map for that. I may need a map when driving some place where I've never been. If the app doesn't work for that, how would I really know? It's blind trust that could take you down the wrong street, which could burn you more gas, or even get you shot.

Another problem I've seen is in doing searches - one of the things that Google excels at. Apple returns results, but maybe not as many and it's fickle how it operates, sometimes returning establishments, other time returning locations based on street names.

The best thing I could hope for is Google to add a gMaps at on Apple's App Store. I bet they could put a decent price on it and the consumers would soak it up.


RE: Mixed bag
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/26/2012 8:44:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
at least the apple fanboys aren't hypocritical.
Um...BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA.... you couldn't be anymore wrong if it smacked you in the face...


RE: Mixed bag
By quiksilvr on 9/24/2012 1:44:00 PM , Rating: 4
There is a reason behind that, and I can honestly say I am stumped on the issue.

A few months ago during a trip to Chicago my colleague and I were giving directions to the taxi driver. He was using his iPhone, I was using a cheap T-Mobile Comet. We typed the exact same address onto our phones and got two completely different results. Needless to say, the iPhone was wrong. BOTH were Google Maps.

Either Google is the culprit for not sending up to date information to Apple Google Maps users or Apple purposefully used out-of-date data to make Google look bad. In any case, I am 100% stumped as to why that happened.


RE: Mixed bag
By geddarkstorm on 9/24/2012 1:49:38 PM , Rating: 2
That is honestly bizarre. I would suspect it's the iPhone that's sending wrong input data to Google. If deliberate or not, who can say. Could be something as simple as a minor format error in the code.

It's a very good question though.


RE: Mixed bag
By michael67 on 9/24/2012 8:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
Its the programers at Apple that should get a kick in the bud.

Because now Apple uses TomTom mapdata, and yes its the same data ware tomTom can find its routs perfectly with.


RE: Mixed bag
By strahd13 on 9/25/2012 1:38:20 AM , Rating: 2
I am fairly certain Steve would say you held your directions wrong.


RE: Mixed bag
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/25/2012 8:33:13 AM , Rating: 2
He was mapping it wrong!


Lots of sizzle, we'll see about the steak
By aliasfox on 9/24/2012 2:28:18 PM , Rating: 3
Disclaimer: I'm a Mac and iPhone 4 user, running iOS 5

A coworker brought in her new iPhone5, and I got a chance to play around with the maps app this morning. We're in NYC, so we flew around 3D Manhattan for a couple of minutes, and for lack of a better word, it's impressive. The 3D rendering and speed of maps in the few minutes we played on it was very nice.

That said, I'd give it at least until iOS 6.1 before I trust it domestically and iOS 7 before I trust it enough to consider not having a backup maps app on the phone. Apple knows it has to get Maps fixed ASAP, but it's 6-7 years behind Google. Would be really nice if Apple threw a couple of its $120 billion dollars at this and made it at least as good as Google within 12 months - people will be willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt for a little while (knowing that it's a brand new release), but they're not going to wait forever.

For now, I'm sticking with iOS 5. Given I'm on an iPhone 4, I see no reason to lose my accuracy and not even get the eye-candy consolation prize.




RE: Lots of sizzle, we'll see about the steak
By kilkennycat on 9/24/2012 3:53:02 PM , Rating: 5
My son has a iphone5 and has done some controlled data-usage experiments in the iMaps 3D mode. 3 minutes travelling at skyscraper height from the Manhatten Financial district to Central Park consumed 80MByte of data (ouch!). One of the (er) benefits of LTE is the rapid consumption of data in minimal time. He has a tested minimum download speed of ~4.5 MBytes/sec. I am waiting for the wails from iPhone5 users on LTE with limited-data plans and usury overage costs. iPhone5/LTE users had better be vary careful about what they choose to download. At that download rate an accidental selection when in wireless mode could be very costly. The very fastiPhone5 CPU also further aggravates the ease of consumption of real-time data.

Btw, the 3D mode is practically useless to any except helicopter pilots and thieves. My son has a top-floor apartment in a 6-story building in downtown Portland, Oregon. He was able to zoom in on the apartment in 3D iMaps and view the inside of much of the apartment, great for thieves assessing the layout and potential contents - very impressive technically, but as much an invasion of privacy as Google Streetview. The EU/Germans will probably have something to say about privacy and iMaps 3d. Hope Apple has got all its AI-blurring algorithms ready to go. Google has done a really neat job of this in Streetview.

And Apple will never have Streetview anyway. a whole lot of patent grief no doubt if they try, regardless of the cost. A vast investment with no financial incentive for them. Apple should stick totally to what they do best - useful hardware and UI implementations. Leave all apps not vital to Apple's core business to third-parties. Mapping as implemented by Google is a multi-billion$$ investment tightly-coupled to Google Search... another oversight by Apple in their egotistic implementation of iMaps. Try using iMaps Search to look for businesses in a particular area.


RE: Lots of sizzle, we'll see about the steak
By Tony Swash on 9/25/2012 6:18:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And Apple will never have Streetview anyway.


You can get an app for less than a buck for the iPhone and iPad that works in all versions of iOS including V6 called 'Live Street View' that implements Google street view on iOS in a much better way than the Google Maps did.

There is also a free version.

It is the App store

http://itunes.com/apps/livestreetview


RE: Lots of sizzle, we'll see about the steak
By momorere on 9/25/2012 7:30:01 AM , Rating: 2
I have some REALLY good links that I am holding onto until the next crApple article. It is nice to know that EVERYONE is getting tired of crApple's shenanigans. You'll just have to wait until then to see. I'm sure you will start preparing your defense and invalidating them now.

http://allthingsd.com/20120923/while-apples-maps-f...

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Apple-iOS6-Maps-A...


RE: Lots of sizzle, we'll see about the steak
By Tony Swash on 9/25/2012 8:57:40 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
It is nice to know that EVERYONE is getting tired of crApple's shenanigans.


I guess these people didn't get your memo

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-220...

or the people waiting for these

http://www.cultofmac.com/192038/look-at-all-these-...

You keep talking Apple down. Reality intrudes. Apple keeps getting bigger. What a bummer that must be for you :)


By momorere on 9/25/2012 10:29:09 AM , Rating: 2
You are the master of posting pro-crApple links. I am willing to bet every single thing I have that you have NEVER read any anti/negative crApple article that anyone has posted. Instead of reading them you instantly turn on your RDF (reality distortion field) to maximum power.

I just know that you won't read my said articles but I shall post them anyways to let others know that change is on it's way.

Hint: articles deal with prior art & patents. Letting you know so you can be prepared to deny/invalidate as we all know you will.


RE: Lots of sizzle, we'll see about the steak
By Uncle on 9/25/2012 4:17:58 PM , Rating: 2
"Early sales, however, have been unaffected as Apple's faithful fans helped it move 5 million units over the launch weekend."
Its an ilie numbers game.
"expected to be a record rollout for its latest line of iPhone handsets." apple is playing the Numbers game called the ilie. The ilie is based on the amount of people in a geographic location on opening day sale. iphone 3 opening sales based on 5 countries. iphone 4 to 4s opening day sales based on 7 countries. iphone 5 opening sales based on 9 countries. If apple didn't add new countries on opening day sales, their sales actually declined.


RE: Lots of sizzle, we'll see about the steak
By Tony Swash on 9/25/2012 6:59:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If apple didn't add new countries on opening day sales, their sales actually declined.


What color is the sky in your world?


By Uncle on 9/26/2012 1:27:50 PM , Rating: 2
If all you read is dailytech,excellent read, I can understand your still into coloring books. I tried to put a link but told no spam allowed.sorry.


By elleehswon on 9/25/2012 8:04:43 AM , Rating: 3
but why would you buy a product to use a free service google provides if apple makes the best everything ever?


Bing
By MonkeyPaw on 9/24/2012 1:51:31 PM , Rating: 2
Love the StarWars pic.

BTW, iOS6 users can still download the Bing app and use MS's handy map program. I've often found Bing more reliable when the addresses get more questionable, or in rural areas.




RE: Bing
By ilt24 on 9/24/2012 2:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
BTW, iOS6 users can still download the Bing app


There are multiple choices, even before IOS6 I was using the free MapQuest app.


RE: Bing
By Tony Swash on 9/25/2012 9:44:15 AM , Rating: 2
I have used multiple map apps for a while as none are perfect and especially when you hike in more remote or obscure locations you have to shop around for decent off-line Topo maps. The single best mapping app I found for the UK was 'UK Map' which enables you to download UK high resolution high scale Ordnance Survey map tiles free of charge and store them on your device and then later delete them if you want. So I keep high resolution tiles for my city permanently on my device and if I go somewhere to hike I download the maps before the trip.

MotionX GPS HD is another useful app that lets you download a variety of maps for remote areas, I used it recently for hiking in the mountains in the Balkans.


Doesn't matter
By Motoman on 9/24/2012 2:03:02 PM , Rating: 5
...the reality distortion field is strong enough to warp the location into whatever Apple says it is.

Macolyte: "Yes, I'd like to schedule a doctor's appointment."

BK Employee: <looks around>..."Um, this is Burger King."

Macolyte: "No it isn't, my iPhone says this is the clinic. Can I get an appointment for next week?"

BK Employee: "...you want fries with that?"




Not very aggressive...
By Trisped on 9/24/2012 6:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and will pay him $85k+ and all the moving expenses from the East Coast.
Does not sound like Apple is looking all that hard. $85k is competitive for the position requirements when living in California. If Apple was really interested in poaching I would expect the salary to start at $100k+.

In my limited experience, covering moving expenses for a higher value position is pretty common, especially in larger companies like Apple.




RE: Not very aggressive...
By rrsurfer1 on 9/27/2012 2:40:18 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree. $85K is nothing for a developer with the experience they want. Honestly $100k isn't even much when you look at moving from east to west coast. And like you said, most large companies cover moving expenses. I'm wondering if that $85K figure is even correct, seems way too low to me...


LOLZ !!!!!!
By momorere on 9/24/2012 4:36:22 PM , Rating: 2
IP Infringement Much?
By BugblatterIII on 9/24/2012 9:56:54 PM , Rating: 2
So Apple is actively seeking to employ ex-Google Maps developers.

And there's not going to be significant infringement of Google's IP?

Anyone who thinks Apple doesn't copy should have a damn good think about this. It's a damn sight more significant than a bounce animation!




if you wanna see how bad it is
By cokbun on 9/25/2012 12:53:38 AM , Rating: 2
melted 3d cities, clouds on map,wrong result to miles away, city blocks as parks, no street names outside of US, bad searches. check this site if you wanna see the fails,its pretty bad:

http://www.theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com




lemmings are lemmings
By Shadowmaster625 on 9/25/2012 8:21:11 AM , Rating: 2
It wouldnt matter if apple maps steered 2 million lemmings into a giant void in the middle of the earth. They would still worship their crapple.




Maps
By rbo on 9/25/2012 9:21:44 AM , Rating: 2
There's nothing wrong with iPhone maps. You're moving your finger wrong and not holding it right.




To boldly go
By Treckin on 9/24/2012 1:13:59 PM , Rating: 1
I hope Apple is enjoying the taste of Google's Gagh in their mouth.

That is all.

Long live the Empire.




They didn't get the joke in China
By Tony Swash on 9/24/12, Rating: -1
RE: They didn't get the joke in China
By ritualm on 9/24/2012 7:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
Because, Tony, Google is a bit player in China's IT scene and continues to be at loggerheads with the Chinese government.

How that little fact flies completely over your head is the cause of much LOL.


RE: They didn't get the joke in China
By Tony Swash on 9/24/12, Rating: -1
RE: They didn't get the joke in China
By ritualm on 9/24/2012 8:47:03 PM , Rating: 3
No, it isn't. Apple Maps continues to be worse than Google's in more ways than one. You don't have a point, you are only here to play ball for Apple when it suits your interests, and your arguments are as witty and informative as those coming from the Birthers.

The Chinese government doesn't like Google for its refusal to play by its rules while within China. Doesn't matter either way. Google? Less than 10% of the market dominated by Baidu.

Apple Maps isn't even a V1.0 as you touted it is, it's barely 0.1.1-pre alpha release. It was terrible during iOS 6 beta, it continues to be terrible now. Eye candy and so-called "3D flyover views" - things that Apple excels at - are amongst the very last things people care about in a mapping app.

Accuracy and reliability. Google at least hits the marks somewhat consistently. Apple? Germany is located in Antarctica according to Apple! Schools are treated as parks! No transit system information at all! No details of subway entrances/exits! Instead of tracing a direct route from point A to point B, it goes in a big circle and still ends up at a spot too far away from point B!

V1 platform? In your dreams, senile old tart.


By Any14Tee on 9/24/2012 7:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
That's fine if you live in China - yep following the Great Wall this should eventually take you to Bangkok.


overblown
By Nortel on 9/24/12, Rating: -1
RE: overblown
By geddarkstorm on 9/24/2012 1:53:02 PM , Rating: 3
It's not a "mightier than thou" moment, it's a technical issue. I would suspect the iPhone is misformatting user input data, and confusing the maps databases.

As for the Razr M, I'm sure it'll sell just fine; as has the previous Razrs. Your opinions not withstanding.


RE: overblown
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/24/2012 2:02:26 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Your opinions not withstanding.
As usual...


RE: overblown
By ritualm on 9/24/2012 1:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
Apple Maps currently says every SCHOOL in my neighborhood is a park. No transit stops. Here's a dirty secret: I haven't updated the paper-bound city maps book in my car since 1997 and yet it is more accurate and up to date than Apple Maps 15 years later.

Very few Asian iUsers said they would use Maps in its current incarnation. Google Shinjuku Station. Now do the same in Apple's Maps. Instead of information overload - which, ironically, was what the doctors prescribed when that hub literally has more entrances than your own brain has undamaged nerve endings - you get a large slab of nothingness.

Keep drinking your bleach-flavored Kool-Aid, kid.


RE: overblown
By Tony Swash on 9/25/2012 5:58:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Very few Asian iUsers said they would use Maps in its current incarnation.


You mean other than the Chinese.

http://anthonydrendel.com/blog/2012/9/24/ios-maps-...


RE: overblown
By petrosy on 9/24/2012 7:18:28 PM , Rating: 1
You had to fiddle.... is that not what iPhone user always used to go on about that their device "just works with out the fiddling"

Enjoy your Apple's own goal device.

The beauty about Android is that you have a choice of which software to use for your services. It just so happens that Google's services are some of the best out there.... but may nto be for everyone but then you have a choice of the many others available.


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein














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