Quick Note: Apple's Maps App Flunks at Geography, Navigation
June 13, 2012 3:53 PM
comment(s) - last by
Apple app thinks Indian Ocean is somewhere in Greenland, tells people to drive off bridges
Apple, Inc. (
) earlier this week announced its latest upcoming version of its mobile operating system,
. The beta build showed off some new features including the new Maps application, which allowed Apple to toss rival Google Inc.'s (
) Google Maps, the previous mapping application in iOS.
But it was Maps which may have marked the most direct anti-Google move. Google has been providing mapping information to Apple since the iPhone launched in 2007.
At the iOS 6 announcement,
mobile chief Scott Forstall
was all braggadocio commenting, "In iOS 6, we have built an entire new mapping system from the ground up; and it looks beautiful. This is a worldwide effort. We're covering the world."
Perhaps he was right, but the world Apple is covering seems to be one quite different from our own. In the beta build the map names the ocean between Australia and Asia as the "Arctic Ocean". It thinks the continent of Africa is the "North Pacific Ocean" and the island of Greenland is the "Indian Ocean". Whoops.
Wait a second... [Image Source: Gizmodo]
Then there are
that the mapping app has a penchant for suggesting curious shortcuts that take drivers on creative turns directly off bridges. Hopefully nobody tries to follow that navigator's advice unless they have one of those fancy car-boat-transforming vehicles.
True, this is just a test build, but it's a surprisingly poor showing for a company who has a reputation for polished core applications. It looks like Apple may come to regret its snub of Google Maps.
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6/14/2012 11:51:25 AM
I do think you need to take a look at what exactly Apple builds...
Yes, they do buy up many companies and envelop them into Apple while using their technologies. However, because those companies are now Apple, they're not wrong in saying they built it.
Most things Apple designs in indeed built ground-up by Apple, especially their hardware. Most companies tend to use highly standardized connectors on the insides of their devices, lots of off-the-shelf components, and tons of standardized sockets. Apple recognizes that those designs were too flexible, so they built their own that catered to their specific needs. Because they do such a good job of specializing their designs specifically to their needs, they can cram more battery into their laptops, reduce size and weight, and increase structural integrity. I have the utmost respect for Apple's engineers.
The exact same thing goes for their software engineering.
Their business tactics, however, are an entirely different story.
6/15/2012 2:17:35 AM
While I'm not going to go into other facets of Apple, your statement is 100% not applicable to the map app - they built nothing for this. Except maybe a wrapper executable which then goes and copies someone else's hard work...
6/15/2012 9:03:11 AM
Apple isnt the only company to do this, and they may design their own hardware, but they dont build it themselves. They do use off the shelf components in a lot of cases.
Their approach does pay off in terms of battery life though, I'll grant you that. But it comes with drawbacks - its far more difficult to repair an Apple device. You wouldn't want Apple to design a car, or a spaceship.
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