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Apple's maps app in iOS 6 shows quite a different view of the world from our own  (Source: assets.nydailynews.com)
Google pokes a few comments at Apple's failing maps app in iOS 6

Many iPhone users have decided that Apple's new home-grown maps app is subpar to Google Maps -- and Google's Exeutive Chairman Eric Schmidt knows it. 

"We think it would have been better if they kept ours. But what do I know?" said Schmidt. "What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It's their call." 

Apple and Google had teamed up back when the original iPhone was released in 2007 so that the new device would offer Google Maps and YouTube. This partnership stayed strong through iOS 5, which was released last year, but Apple recently decided to ditch Google Maps for its own creation in iOS 6.

However, many have cited troubles with Apple's new maps app. The main issues were geography and navigation, where the app showed a world that was much different from our own. Motorola even recently made fun of Apple's maps in a new ad, where the caption "#iLost" was placed underneath the failing iPhone app. 

Google has heard about iOS 6's map woes, but it isn't waiting around for Apple to come crawling back.

"I'm not doing any predictions," said Schmidt. "We want them to be our partner. We welcome that. I'm not going to speculate at all what they're going to do. They can answer that question as they see fit." 

Google can afford to gloat a little, though. Its Android operating system holds the number one spot in smartphone market share with over 500 million users around the world -- and it has a maps tool that actually works. In fact, Google Maps has all new features that were shown off on the Google Nexus 7 tablet.

"Take that Apple," said Schmidt. "That was a joke by the way."

Apple's iOS 6, which was released last week, has more than just map troubles. Earlier this week, a railway company in Switzerland called Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) accused Apple of stealing their clock design for the new mobile OS. SBB approached Apple looking for a settlement of some sort (likely licensing fees, but nothing has been confirmed). 

Source: Reuters



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RE: What's actually happening
By Tony Swash on 9/26/2012 8:51:21 AM , Rating: -1
quote:
If that were true, then why is the Google Maps API far and away the most widely used in the world?


Because it is essentially the only API there is, Google maps for mobile is (or was) by far the dominant player. Now there are two players and a different set of API with which different things can be done.

quote:
it is Google users who submit corrections or amendments to Google maps. In many respects it is like a wiki.


The same goes for Apple's maps. I don't think that challenges my argument that the Google and Apple mapping strategies are different in structure and design.

quote:
Except Yelp also uses the Google Maps API on all their listings.


Again because until iOS 6 was released it was pretty much the only game in town. But Google is deliberately trying to kill Yelp and they know it.

quote:
Surely the same problem applies to Apple and it's partners? If a company that's not Google has mapping data for a particular area, what says theyre going to go to Apple?


Perhaps I expressed it poorly. Its not just 'mapping data' its localised or specialised data that can be used in a mapping environment. The Apple deal with Yandex the Russian search engine is a good example.

quote:
From a technical standpoint, this is probably Apple's biggest weakness. Having to deal with dozens of different mapping companies, each with their own little fiefdoms responsible for mapping various little pieces of the world. This also causes problems with each company supplying it's data in different formats - some vector, some bitmap, some at one scale, some at another scale. All of these have to be converted to a universal format that the Apple maps API can recognise. These are the likely causes of many of the stranger errors being seen on Apple Maps.


Again it's not mapping data per se, its localised data, it's specialist data, it's end user data. Apple is building the core infrastructure, the vector maps etc, but that's only part of good mapping, the key is layering accurate real world data onto of those graphic map tiles. Whether Apple's model can create something as good or better than Google's over time is not clear now in week one of the new maps. I for one like the idea of a mapping system that is more open rather than less. It already seems to have improved mapping in China.


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads














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