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Print 11 comment(s) - last by Darksurf.. on Mar 26 at 10:12 PM

Apple needs to step up its mapping game to compete with Google

Apple may have had quite a mapping fiasco last year with the release of its own homemade software, but that's not keeping the company down as it now looks to offer indoor mapping as well.

Apple recently acquired WifiSLAM, a two-year-old Silicon Valley startup that specializes in indoor mapping apps that detect a mobile user's location via Wi-Fi signals. One of the company's co-founders is Joseph Huang, a former software engineering intern at Google.


Apple acquired the company for $20 million. 

The move is likely a way to stay competitive with Google's Android devices, which already have access to indoor mapping in places like shopping malls and airports. 

Last September, Apple booted Google Maps and released its first homemade maps app with the launch of iOS 6. However, this didn't go as well as expected. The maps app had an embarrassing amount of issues, such as geography and navigation problems. 

Source: The Wall Street Journal



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iOS gets the best of both world's
By Tony Swash on 3/25/2013 11:43:42 AM , Rating: -1
Apple do not 'need to step up it's game' to compete with Google in mapping as they are not actually in competition. What Apple and what Google want from mobile devices are different things. Apple just wants it's devices to be the best platform for users. Google on the other hand want to be able to access as much user data as possible on all platforms.

Although the transition by Apple away from Google maps to it's own in house mapping system was accompanied by a host of teething problems and much transitory bad PR, the benefits of that difficult strategic move for the iOS platform are now clear. The bad PR has faded away (except of course for the endless froth generated by the tiny minority of steamed up iPhobics) and the reality is that Google were forced to respond by improving their own map offering on iOS considerably, particularly by bringing turn by turn navigation to iOS, something they had previously refused to do. Google had to respond because they desperately want all that valuable location data generated by the high-use iOS customers and and Apple is happy because the iOS platform now has the best that Apple and Google can offer.

Apple's acquisition of WifiSLAM is part of the continuing process of improving it's map offering in the typical Apple iterative way

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/apple-maps-get...

Google meanwhile are still lagging on iOS. According to John Dvorak, who participated in a recent head-to-head maps navigation test comparing comparing Waze, Google Maps and Apple Maps, Apple Maps already leads the way in navigation

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2416321,00.as...

Even though Google maps is available on iOS as an alternative to Apple's mapping system developers are still preferring Apple's maps to Google's because the former has a much better development framework. In this in-depth comparison between iOS map frameworks, Apple MapKit vs. Google Maps SDK, the Apple framework emerges as by far the best for developers.

http://www.fastcolabs.com/3006725/open-company/dep...

As part of the post Rubin's reset of their Android strategy Google are already moving to bring the best services they can to iOS users. They have to as Google cannot afford not to be on iOS because iOS is a vastly more used platform than Android.

Google's new Android strategy is required because Google's previous Android strategy has failed as Samsung has walked in and taken all (and I do mean all) the profits in the entire Android ecosystem whilst using Google as an unpaid OS R&D department. That is untenable and unsustainable from Google's point of view. Rubin's departure was a watershed moment.




RE: iOS gets the best of both world's
By dashrendar on 3/25/2013 12:02:26 PM , Rating: 2
You are wrong, but I won't tell you why.


RE: iOS gets the best of both world's
By Tony Swash on 3/25/2013 12:51:26 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
You are wrong, but I won't tell you why.


You tease :)


RE: iOS gets the best of both world's
By maugrimtr on 3/26/2013 9:42:06 AM , Rating: 2
From a link you quoted for developers...

quote:
Just Tell Me Which One Wins!

It’s not that simple. There are big problems with Apple Maps: poor quality satellite imagery--McKinlay calls the images of London “dark and washed out”--plus those intrusive overlays in hybrid view, plus search that feels like it’s alpha at best, and what you have is a very difficult decision between two seriously imperfect frameworks. And it matters which one you pick, because it matters to users: Miss on a crucial geo-feature and people are going to stop using your app. When it first launched, Apple Maps was the reason I almost left the iPhone all together.


It goes on dithering without a clear winner calling both severely flawed. As usual, Tony, you are a liar who misquotes and misrepresents articles on the internet. You rely on people not reading the source article to get away with this.


By retrospooty on 3/26/2013 12:10:01 PM , Rating: 2
" As usual, Tony, you are a liar who misquotes and misrepresents articles on the internet."

Yup... Dailytech 101 there. He has a clear process for his agenda.

- If article is positive about an Apple competitor: post something negative to detract from it.
- If called out on this or any issue: Post how Apple makes more profit
- If pointed out how he is either lying or incorrect with unavoidable logic: Ignore the comment and don't post back. (this way he can act like it never happened on the next article).


By Cheesew1z69 on 3/26/2013 12:28:41 PM , Rating: 1
I honestly think he is paid by Apple to post his bullshit... who honestly spends this much time defending a company for nothing?


RE: iOS gets the best of both world's
By daboom06 on 3/25/2013 12:24:59 PM , Rating: 2
google's ad revenue is targeted and is what all advertising will eventually become. people will eventually get over the fact that you are not in danger of identity theft if the coffee sellers know that you buy two coffees at 1 and 3 pm at different starbucks each day. or that you drive from home to work and sometimes to a strip club mon-fri. or even that you sometimes shop for ky jelly on amazon.

if those really are the two things the two companies want out of mobile devices, then apple is lagging behind with the rest of the world.

i didnt read the second half of your post because it seemed like you had to quote things to make them plausible.


By Tony Swash on 3/25/2013 12:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
google's ad revenue is targeted and is what all advertising will eventually become. people will eventually get over the fact that you are not in danger of identity theft if the coffee sellers know that you buy two coffees at 1 and 3 pm at different starbucks each day. or that you drive from home to work and sometimes to a strip club mon-fri. or even that you sometimes shop for ky jelly on amazon.


I think the point however is about platform utilisation and monetisation rates. It is now very, very clear from innumerable studies using a wide range of metrics that iOS user actually use their devices as platforms far more than android users do.This means that Google makes a lot more per iOS user, and generates a lot more data per iOS user, than per Android user. The difference is so large that even the larger number of Android devices do not compensate for that disparity.

Secondly Android has not changed the central issue that mobile presents to Google which is that it's monetisation mechanisms per user on mobile generate far less revenue per user on the desktop than on mobile devices. Again the difference is so large that even the larger number of mobile devices do not compensate for that disparity.

All of the above means that having spent a huge amount on Android, and taken on the loss making Motorola, Google hasn't seen a lot of return for it's investment, Instead the revenues and profits in the Android ecosystem have flowed towards Samsung even as Samsung moves incrementally to marginalise Google's role on it's devices.

Like much else that has happened at Google since Larry Page took over as CEO the Android reset, which it seems precipitated the removal of Rubin, is part of the general streamlining of Google's business to cope with the challenges of new market conditions.

This is an interesting article by an exGoogle manager talking about the change of culture at Google following Eric Schmidt's removal and the ascension of Page to CEO.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jw_on_tech/archive/2012/03...

quote:
if those really are the two things the two companies want out of mobile devices, then apple is lagging behind with the rest of the world.


How? Apple sells huge numbers of devices to customers who rate them very highly in survey after survey. Apple continues to siphon off the vast bulk of the profits in the entire global handset market. Not sure how any of that is lagging.

This is an interesting article about the different pricing strategies of Apple versus the Android OEMs.

http://techpinions.com/androidss-penetration-vs-ap...

quote:
i didnt read the second half of your post because it seemed like you had to quote things to make them plausible.


I post links because I assume that people reading a discussion on a tech orientated site are looking for more information about tech trends and events. In your case I was mistaken as it appears you are looking for less information.


RE: iOS gets the best of both world's
By kmmatney on 3/25/2013 12:39:28 PM , Rating: 2
Well, In my own personal tests, I find Apple maps better for navigation (and general "mapping"), but Google maps is still better for "searching" for things on a map (like searching for the location of a small business).


By Darksurf on 3/26/2013 10:12:29 PM , Rating: 2
Don't come crying to dailytech when you end up in the desert without food, water, and fuel ;)


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