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"iOS Maps, you're fired!"

To say that Apple Maps for iOS 6 has been a blunder is quite the understatement. Ever since iOS 6 was released to the public a few months ago, complaints began rolling out about the mapping services. Everything from misplaced roads, to wonky directions, to horrible rendering of terrain became fodder for the online media and even mainstream media -- not to mention Apple's customers and Apple's competitors.
Things got so bad that Apple CEO Tim Cook even apologized to Apple customers
However, even as Apple is looking to improve its native Maps application on a continuing basis, Google is looking to offers users a seasoned alternative -- Google Maps. The refreshed Google Maps app for iOS has all the goodies (and more) that users loved before Apple decided to give the application the boot for its own homegrown solution.
Street View, transit directions, walking directions, traffic data, and restaurant reviews (provided by Zagat) are all included. And in case you were wondering, yes, turn-by-turn navigation is front in center in the new Google Maps iOS app.
For users of Android smartphones, none of this stuff is really news to you -- you've been enjoying such functionality for years. However, for Apple customers that have complained about Apple's native Maps app, you now can install an alternative that appears to be better in nearly every way.


Sources: Google, iTunes

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Interface is pretty slow
By Azsen on 12/13/2012 1:24:09 AM , Rating: 1
I'm guessing this is another HTML5 hybrid app because the interface and moving around on the map is pretty laggy. I guess my phone is getting a bit older now though (3GS).

I wish Google would just make a native Objective C app for this and the GMail app as these Google versions are pretty slow compared to the native Maps and Mail apps.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By TakinYourPoints on 12/13/2012 1:35:55 AM , Rating: 2
I think its because your phone is old, runs fine here, ditto GMail.

According to Google it is also supposedly even better than the version of Maps on Android:

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By StevoLincolnite on 12/13/12, Rating: 0
RE: Interface is pretty slow
By RufusM on 12/13/2012 1:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
Or maybe the software does more. I don't think a game made to push 10M polgons/second is more bloated than a game made to push 500K polygons/second. They both offer different experiences with different hardware requirements for a good experience.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By StevoLincolnite on 12/13/2012 7:03:10 PM , Rating: 3

But you can make a game that pushes 500K Polygons look better and run faster than a game that pushes 10 million, all comes down to art style and making efficient use with the limited resources at your disposal.

I.E. You can spend 10 million polygons on a circle and it won't be anymore effective than a few dozen or so.

With that said one of the advantages of a closed ecosystem is that Apple can optimize right down to the metal so they really have no excuse for performance issues regardless of the age of the device.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By TakinYourPoints on 12/13/2012 7:14:43 PM , Rating: 2
It sounds like the issue is in the hands of the developer. Google Maps is ever so slightly laggy compared to Apple Maps running on an iPhone 5, and there's no good reason for it. I think that a performance patch will shore this up.

Either way, we are at the point with smartphones that we were with PCs in the late 90s, where there were massive annual leaps in performance that would benefit things as simple as Microsoft Word. It is the same thing with smartphones where the iPhone roughly doubles in performance with every release, and that performance is actually being used by applications.

We seem to have reached a baseline plateau of sorts in 2011, but that sort of hardware is much much more powerful than one released in 2009. 2009 is ancient history in terms of the iPhone. If we go over to the Android ecosystem it is even worse since that hardware was both slower and was restricted to Android 1.5 Cupcake, which was even slower and laggier than the slow and laggy Eclair, Froyo, and Gingerbread.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By ihateu3 on 12/13/12, Rating: -1
RE: Interface is pretty slow
By bupkus on 12/13/2012 4:27:38 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget that the primary idea of creating Android with Google Maps was to sell advertising. If Google can accomplish the same thing on iPhones then so much the better.
Google doesn't want to be a hardware company; they want your eyes on their ads, not on Apple's or Microsoft's apps or browsers displaying advertising paid to Apple or Microsoft.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By TakinYourPoints on 12/13/12, Rating: 0
RE: Interface is pretty slow
By bupkus on 12/13/2012 6:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
Over half of Google's revenue from mobile services (advertising, search, maps) comes from iOS, despite there being more Android devices out there.

I believe the nation as the largest consumer of Apple devices is the U.S. which if you are correct about Google's revenue would account for the higher numbers.
I don't know how much penetration Google Ads have had globally which is where the bulk of Android devices live, but for the future it may prove a very very smart move.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By TakinYourPoints on 12/13/2012 7:21:31 PM , Rating: 2
This is global. It follows given that global web traffic and app usage is also primarily iOS. This is partly because the Android installation base is highly inflated by dumbphones, featurephones, and cheap smartphones, none of which get the same sort of use that a proper smartphone for. Meanwhile iOS is only running on high end smartphones and tablets.

Either way, it is in Android's best financial interests to take care of both their own platform (because it is their own) and iOS (because it makes lots of money).

One interesting thing is that Google apparantly has no plans to make apps for WP8 or RT:

Google Apps product management director Clay Bavor said that "we have no plans to build out Windows apps." Bavor had some harsh words about the installed base for Windows on both the PC and on mobile, saying "we are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8."

Like I said, Google is a business and they're going to go where the money is.

On a side note, the Google Maps mobile web app is actually pretty darn good, so anyone on WP8 should bookmark that.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By Flunk on 12/13/2012 10:11:28 AM , Rating: 3
Google is actually already a hardware company, they just put the word "Motorola" on their hardware products.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By Tony Swash on 12/13/12, Rating: 0
RE: Interface is pretty slow
By bupkus on 12/13/2012 6:46:11 PM , Rating: 2
I do agree with you on this point and would add that the purpose of buying Motorola aside from the battle over IP would be a heavy handed demonstration of how successful a product can be if fragmentation is discouraged and OS updates can proceed smoothly and dependably.

Of course the argument that cellular SPs desire to differentiate themselves while hardware manufacturers simultaneously promote planned obsolescence required a heavy hand to discourage. Such implementations come at the expense of Google's marketing imperative.

In support of a united front Google would welcome Apple's lawsuits providing an "us vs. them" atmosphere to bring fragmentation into line with Google's primary ambitions. Android device builders must be convinced they have less reason to compete with each other and more reason to see Apple as their nemesis.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By TakinYourPoints on 12/13/2012 5:31:22 AM , Rating: 2
Why would you even hope that Google go out of their way to improve a competitors product? Like it is Googles responsibility?

It is Google's responsibility to make money, and they make more from iOS than they do from Android. It is totally in their interest to make good apps on iOS unless they want to cut off a major source of revenue, and according to Google their best version of Maps is the new iOS version. I'm certain that they'll bring them both to parity with each other like they did with the GMail app.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By bupkus on 12/13/2012 6:57:52 PM , Rating: 2
Again, a demonstration of competition as being good for everyone.

The Apple maps fiasco left a window open for Google maps placement in Apple's devices. This opportunity required that Google provide a superior app than anything Apple could rapidly respond with. This placement is very important to Google and will assure a superior maps app for both Apple and Android users.


RE: Interface is pretty slow
By TakinYourPoints on 12/13/2012 7:24:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, competition is always good, keeps everyone on their toes!

This reminds me of when there was actually competition in CPUs and GPUs about ten years ago, resulting in very fast product cycles. Now AMD can barely compete with Intel in the mid and high end, which is a damn shame because I want Haswell NOW. :)

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By Brandon Hill on 12/13/2012 2:59:35 AM , Rating: 3
Slow? You're using a 3.5-year old smartphone.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By othercents on 12/13/12, Rating: 0
RE: Interface is pretty slow
By xti on 12/13/2012 9:49:34 AM , Rating: 2
now when you ask them questions, they will pull out THEIR phone and show you, and it will be 99.9% accurate every time.

and they will look at you funny and offer you beads and a donkey in exchange for your relic phone.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By RufusM on 12/13/2012 1:45:55 PM , Rating: 1
I agree. My Packard Bell 386SX won't run Windows 8? What a scam.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By TakinYourPoints on 12/13/2012 3:29:49 PM , Rating: 2
My Commodore 64 won't play Crysis, dammit all to hell

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By inighthawki on 12/13/2012 3:55:23 PM , Rating: 2
If youwant nice new software, you need nice new hardware that can keep up. T software industry isn't going to hold back the potential of their apps to cater to those who still have 20 year old technology.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By 91TTZ on 12/13/2012 5:21:42 PM , Rating: 2
He's right. The motion when you move the map around isn't as fluid as it was in the native Google Maps app that came with the phone. It does not render as fast. I have a 4S and it's the same way.

I know that some people can't see it though. I used to always have people who said that they couldn't see the 60 hz refresh on a monitor, either. Not everyone's eyes/brain is equally as sensitive.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By TakinYourPoints on 12/13/2012 5:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
Google's map app animation is slightly choppier than Apple's on the iPhone 5, but we're talking a very subtle difference here. Perhaps the difference in performance seems much greater on older hardware. It also seems like something that can be addressed in future patches.

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By R3T4rd on 12/13/2012 5:46:18 AM , Rating: 1
Odd. I have no issues running Google Maps on my HTC Touch Pro 2. Could it be perhaps my phone supports flash?

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By marvdmartian on 12/13/2012 8:50:00 AM , Rating: 3
Don't worry....that's just a FEATURE on your phone! ;)

RE: Interface is pretty slow
By 91TTZ on 12/13/2012 5:18:32 PM , Rating: 2
I have an iPhone 4S and I notice the same thing. It's not that the whole program is "slow", but when you move the map the fps is much lower than the native Google Maps app that came with the phone.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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