Daniel Eran Dilger in San Francisco
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Why is Google so worried about Apple’s new iOS 6 Maps?

Daniel Eran Dilger

When a competitor releases a super crappy, no good turd of a product and brags it up way past the point where it should, the smartest thing to do is exactly the opposite of what Google is doing with regard to Apple’s iOS 6 Maps.
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This means that either Apple’s Maps is a super crappy, no good turd of a product and Google is being really stupid, or that something else is happening. Let’s see if we can figure this one out together.

For starters, let’s look at some truly super crappy, no good product turds. After all, that’s one of my favorite things to do.

Turds on parade

In retrospect, all the turds I have ridiculed in the past are not even controversial in their no-goodness at this point, so I don’t have to really detail why they were awful again. Don’t think about your past opinion of these product for a moment; just consider that they all ended up as commercial failures.

Consider for a moment how, for instance, Apple responded to the Zune. And the Surface (big ass table, not the lightweight tablet specification, but that works too, really). And Windows Marketplace. And Windows Phone. Nary a word uttered.

Now it sounds like I’m picking on Microsoft, so think about Apple’s response to the Palm Pre, the BlackBerry Storm, or RIM’s PlayBook/Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, Google TV, Galaxy Player and the Nexus Q.

If you can’t remember the details, it’s because there weren’t really any details. In total, Apple’s response to the entire gamut of these products was essentially one comment made by Steve Jobs in late 2010 where he predicted that 7 inch tablets were going to be DOA in the market, without really ever dwelling on the name or brand identity of those “tweeners” on sale.

Apple has also made a few comments about “copycats” in general, first about Windows and then about all the Android tablets that didn’t gain any traction in 2010 as predicted. But that’s about it, apart from on notable exception: Apple once spent a significant amount of time lamenting “the PC” and all of its various problems.

On several occasions, those “Get a Mac” adds actually said “Windows,” and at one point even “Vista,” but it was rare enough to deserve mention when it occurred. Keep in mind that during that campaign, Apple’s market share in PCs was around 2-5%, a tiny underdog. Apple isn’t talking about Windows or even PCs much anymore.

Enjoy the silence

When it came to Android, however, Apple executives, and famously Jobs himself, started to get more vocal in an upset, defensive sounding tone, even though you could tell they were trying to maintain a stoic poker face.

That’s because while nobody at Apple had any real fear of Symbian or Windows Mobile or JavaME or PalmOS or webOS, there was real concern about Android, the OS originated by a former Apple employee and advised throughout its development by a certain mole sitting on Apple’s board of directors.

In concert with its annoyance with Google’s Android, Apple had also watched its biggest hardware partner stab it in the back (and I specifically mean Samsung, not Intel) by leaking confidential information from one end of the company (the chip fab) to the other (mobile products) through the world’s worst firewall since the the 1971 Ford Pinto.

And when you combine Apple’s lack of affection for Android with its scathing distaste for Samsung’s Galaxy Stab, you have this terrible affront to everything Apple cares about, wrapped up with the very real commercial threat posed by the combination of what Apple sees as the most heinous ripping off of its software with the most egregious efforts to steal its hardware design.

For Apple, there has been a very real possibility that the slow wheels of justice will once again ineffectually turn so very slowly that its own partners will be allowed, as it is forced to watch, to steal its greatest artwork, scrub off its name, and embellish the work instead with the signature of something like “Samsung Galaxy Nexus Webuiltthis Withoutanyhelp II V 2500i with Android 5.3 Nutella Wafer.”

Even if you absolutely hate Apple and everything it stands for right down to its very skeuomorphic stitches, you have to appreciate that Apple has a deep, loathing contempt for Android and at the same time, is a bit scared shitless that the 2010s will suddenly turn back into the 1990s and a team of braying philistine asses who have never appreciated a fine thing in life will steal away everything that is good about well designed technology and instead turn the world back into a Nerdy Dark Age where befuddled peasants cower before the PC lords and tech high priests who parcel out filthy nuggets of crap to a desperately hungry global population unaware of its own captivity to mediocrity.

And yet, Apple still cautiously avoids ever actually voicing any opinion or comment about Android or Samsung to the best of its ability.

Your own, personal, Jesus

Watching Apple deal with Android is like being a kid at a Christmas pageant watching Our Lord and Christ Jesus be bound nearly naked, spit upon and beaten with his skin shred in horrific bleeding detail until he is nailed up and his legs are broken to hasten his death, and you think, “kill them all Jesus, you’re a God!” but nothing happens and you realize it’s not really entertainment but rather some serious adult ideological, metaphorical portrayal of our own internal spiritual struggles and you go off to play with your Transformers instead.

And then three months later you’re collecting rabbit eggs and you hear the rest of the story, and it turns out Jesus wakes up and it was all a dream and now he’s glowing radiantly and all the really violent suffering is over and he doesn’t even worry about it anymore because there is a new more important mission ahead that, depending on your brand of religion, either involves going to heaven to play harps, conquering poor people and taking their resources, living forever on earth as beautiful teenagers or inheriting one’s own planet in exchange for a two year missionary stint.

And you realize that no matter how bad things look and how stressed out you are, nothing really matters because you can just start over at any point and write your own future. And you achieve enlightenment. And go play with your Transformers again.

And then we have Google

But not everything is like that. Sometimes people just get stuck in a particular mindset and stay there, captive to their own prejudices and delusional fantasies about how things ought to be and must forever remain.

Such as: there will never be a better device for typing in messages than a tiny keyboard built by RIM. Or there will never be anything as clever and fast and animated as webOS running on a dual core chip. Or that there is no room for a product too big for your pocket but too simple to be a desktop PC. Or that nobody else in the world will ever create a maps service that rivals Google.

Since iOS 6 shipped, we haven’t heard anything but a frantic mass of reports squirming in histrionics over how aghast they are about their deep, shuddering revulsion to the new Maps.

I mean, if you turn the new 3D feature on, the entire surface of the world is not rendered without flaw as a perfect model that remains synchronized with reality in 30fps real time fluidity. It’s nothing like the Eye of Sauron at all, more like a mobile app that depicts regular maps for simple and pedestrian uses like planning a trip.

Now I’m writing with some over the top artistic license here, but we’re talking about a mobile app that shows maps. It’s going to do a lot more, but for version 1.0, it’s a car route planner with some explorational features and business listings.

Apple isn’t a software company, right?

I mean, honestly, Apple’s new Maps is software from the company that delivered Garage Band and iMovie, and a cloud synced spreadsheet, presentation designer and page layout applications you run with your finger. I’m sure Maps isn’t anything Google has to worry about, right?

After all, Google has produced an endless string of software hits: monetizing search with paid placement, writing web apps. Setting up a linux distro. Well wait, that’s about it. Oh right: and they claimed credit for Apple’s WebKit browser, just like Amazon and Alibaba have taken the Android that Google took from Sun (but that’s how FOSS is supposed to work).

Sure, Google has tried to do more. Answers, Buzz, Catalogue, Dodgeball, Jaiku, Knol, Lively, Google+, Nexus One, Notebook, Print Ads, Google TV, Video, Wave, Q. And it buys up two or three whole companies every month just to shut them down at great and impressive expense, rather like the Roman Empire. That should last forever.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Google Maps isn’t a great product. But it’s a rare success for Google, and one of the very few things capable of both generating some revenue now and growing into the future. It’s really, really important to the company.

So that’s why we are hearing so much aggrieved tongue wagging about how desperately, grievously bad iOS 6 Maps is, from the same people who have for years defended Google’s use of the world “beta” as a novel way to throw out unfinished crap and have people use it until it’s functional.

Yes, that’s right, the people who have been putting up with Android’s stuttery user interface and buggy, security flawed everything for the last four years are now appalled that Apple’s Maps doesn’t let one fly to the Falkland Islands without having to resort to pulling up maps.google.com to navigate through the sheep there.

This all happened before

This time however, “beta” isn’t good enough, because we’re talking about Apple, a company that doesn’t play by Google’s more lenient standards of usability. The solution to restoring Apple’s vaunted reputation for high quality, it seems, is for Apple to restore Google Maps to iOS 6.

Apparently, Google and its bipolar quality control fans didn’t notice how well it worked out for Adobe to publicly demand, as loudly as possible for two years, that the iPad desperately needed support for Adobe Flash right now, or else they were going to keep stomping their feet in outrage.

Social media engagement was such a powerful tool for Adobe in coercing Apple into supporting Flash, wasn’t it?

And teaming up with RIM, Palm, Windows Mobile and in particular Android and Google’s new Honeycomb tablets was an effective way to leverage the world community to get Apple to shackle itself and all its web browsing customers to Adobe’s plugin, remember?

And to show Apple how to do it, Google spared no expense to make it possible to watch YouTube videos on Android via Flash just as easily as watching the same videos via H.264 on iOS. At least until it and Adobe both abandoned Flash too, just a few months later.

All those people who spent uncountable hours in message boards and leaving comments about how critically important Flash was to the world, and how totally unfinished HTML5 was (recall that the world’s greatest scientists had predicted that HTML5 wouldn’t be ready to animate graphics on the web until sometime in 2014, if we were lucky, at least acceding to Wikipedia)… it all just didn’t matter worth a damn in hindsight.

There are still, today, people who think that if they complain enough, Apple will be forced to go back and put an old version of iOS 5 Maps on iPhone 5. Curious.

34 comments

1 Raymond { 09.28.12 at 1:31 pm }

I’ve become somewhat fatigued over the recent maps coverage.

The best thing Apple can do now is rapidly move to resolve the most egregious errors.

I expect the next big media angle on it will be a developer that switches their app over to using google maps, raising speculation over a mass exodus from the talking heads. I hope Scott Forstall is pre-emittively contacting devs to manage relations, especially those apps that have strong map based elements.

2 JPTJr { 09.28.12 at 2:41 pm }

Love the detour into religious analogy.

Agree that this is so ridiculously overblown that it makes me vaguely ill. That said, Apple could have headed off the worst of it by under-promising and over-delivering, but they definitely did the reverse. Gassée nailed it.

http://www.mtonic.com/applemaps/

3 drsbmac { 09.28.12 at 2:53 pm }

Wow – Depeche Mode references AND Transformers!! Te paragraph under “Your Own, Personal, Jesus” is one l-o-n-g sentence. I tried 5 times to read it aloud in 1 breath with NO success.

Loved it!

4 danieleran { 09.28.12 at 3:25 pm }

@JPTJr: I’d like to see the Ontario requests sent through iOS 5. There’s a lot of “towns” in the list that are designations of a stretch of road that don’t even have a single house nearby. So a) the value of finding these places is nearly zero b) it’s hard to quantify what results one should get from a particular query (should you get one true match for each name you might search for, a list of potential matches, or the more likely thing you are are looking for?)

It’s really too bad that its easier to observe and understand problems that aren’t important and really easy to miss technology advancements that are really big and significant.

5 airmanchairman { 09.28.12 at 3:30 pm }

One totally unexpected benefit of the paroxysm of irritation, disgust, contempt and supercilious disdain that has twisted the face of the blogosphere into an ugly grimace is the discovery of the vast breadth and wealth that comprises the iOS App Store – Waze, OpenStreetMaps, MapQuest, YandexMaps are a few examples of quite usable navigation apps that those who are having locale problems can use as stop-gaps until their defective iOS 6 datasets have been debugged.

Fortunately for me, my locale, though not extensively metropolitan (a sleepy UK county town) has no such issues in iOS 6, but the ensuing hue and cry over the loss of Google Maps actually led me to 2 gems in the App Store – Street Viewer and Live Street View, the former of which has given my mobile setup the best of two worlds – Apple’s new bespoke UI with FlyOver, turn-by-turn with Siri and Waze traffic, plus a version of Street View whose only flaw is the lack of zoom while still being crisp and very useful.

And days later, my iPhone 5 arrived, setting iOS 6 ablaze with lightning speed, crisp, bright sound and video. Life is very good in my corner of the walled garden right now.

6 Raymond { 09.28.12 at 3:32 pm }

@JPTJr Heck that link you posted to the Canadian results looks pretty bad eh. No wonder Apple’s not fixed any of the issues I’ve submitted eh. The worst I’ve have was things being maybe 100 or 200 yards from the correct location here in the UK when you’ve got missing towns in Canada eh. Look like things are very situational depending on where you are.

Can’t help but feel Apple should have played this a lot smarter, but we are where we are. The truth is in the short term Apple doesn’t need a map that’s better than Google’s, they just need one that’s adequate for most uses (driving instructions and finding local businesses). They can worry about the more advanced stuff later.

7 Maniac { 09.28.12 at 3:52 pm }

@ Raymond re: “The best thing Apple can do now is rapidly move to resolve the most egregious errors.”

Agree. Living well is the best revenge. iPhone 5 and iOS 6 are smash hits.

8 TheMacAdvocate { 09.28.12 at 3:58 pm }

I’m no religious scholar, but I think the whole “bleeding… until he is nailed up and his legs are broken to hasten his death” thing and the “glowing radiantly” thing happened within 3 days of each other between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Christmas was an excellent day for Transformers, however. Or in my personal case, Star Wars action figures.

Other than that petty observation, good stuff Dan (as usual).

9 airmanchairman { 09.28.12 at 5:19 pm }

My bad – Street Viewer IS zoomable – via “+” and “-” buttons!

10 JPTJr { 09.28.12 at 6:14 pm }

Daniel – I completely agree. My personal experience with Maps on iOS 6 has been very good and much faster. Based on the evidence presented on the Internet, however, it seems like results outside of the the United States ARE objectively less accurate than Google Maps. I think it’ll improve rapidly, but I stand by the under-promise / over-deliver sentiment.

11 berult { 09.28.12 at 6:50 pm }

The (n-1) agenda.

If you were to query omnipotence about a problem for which it has a stake in not serving you with the optimal answer, it would most assuredly respond with the (n-1) approach to a solution. Such is the nature of self-serving empowerment.

If you could ask Google’s servers whether one would be well advised to switch over to the Apple Maps environment, it would enthusiastically paint the portrait of present-day mapping, in its various implementations. Exhaustively. And lost in the cauldron of information magma, would permeate inauspiciously…the ‘omni-absence’ of the one unique set of arguments that poses as a threat to Google’s very existence. Whatever it is, omnipresent it surely is…albeit in absentia.

Lest one had Google’s wealth of data, no other institution can make a Van Gogh of itself, …and apply the final cogent touch that sparks the flame of truthfulness, without which the portrait remains a near-perfect, albeit lifeless approximation. Google becomes, by default, (n-1) trustworthy. It looks and sounds boundary less…(n), but it feels deep down as though clutched into reverse, backtracking onto the convenience of a moldable, …finite, …(n-1) universe.  

There are quite a few  (n-1) posters on comment boards. Posters whose penmanship stems from the Google servers’ mindset. They can, and will give you the time of day, …minus eternity. Googling microcosms of rhetorical finite who venture where finite should not. Bless thy neighborhood where the (n) word shamelessly holds sway, …where square pegs are routinely fitted into round holes, …where dreams anchor solidly into some begotten “why not…?”…

Comment Boards should care about what a server mindset…inorganically…would not: the patriated gist of Google’s hushed-out set of arguments, …the (n-1) +1 difference maker as the closing, “I rest my case…Your Honor”, honest-to-goodness argument.

berult

12 gus2000 { 09.28.12 at 10:42 pm }

I’ve never read a blog post and subsequent comments that required me to visit the dictionary quite so many times. (I mean, “skeuomorphic”? srsly wtf)

13 gus2000 { 09.28.12 at 11:11 pm }

Apple’s blessing is also its curse: it forges ahead into new technologies by quickly abandoning the inefficacious and the archaic. But sometimes they cut too deep.

The technosphere recoiled in horror when Apple dropped the floppy drive from their new “iMac” line in favor of something called USB that no one would ever use. The decision seems prescient in retrospect, but clearly Apple expects most of its purposeful engineering omissions to be initially derided.

And thus, they occasionally wander down the dark path. For instance, he latest Safari now lacks basic RSS functionality in favor of 3rd party “Extensions”, but did they really need to delete this useful feature?

I feel the same about Apple Maps. It is wonderful they made a map alternative, but they simultaneously deleted what is arguably the best mapping data available. Not that Google is blameless, since they could have prepared a standalone app for iOS6, but they’ve been too apathetic to even update the iPhone app to match their Android offering.

Apple Maps (iMaps?) work just fine for me, and Siri turn-by-turn directions have thus far been excellent. But for many, the iOS6 transition between mapping technologies has been a net loss in functionality, which is anathema as an “upgrade”.

14 studiodave { 09.29.12 at 12:26 am }

Well today I took a friend to Los Angeles International Airport, a short 33 mile each way trip. I had my iOS 6 iPhone 5 and he had his iOS 5 iPhone 4 with Google maps. I started driving as I already know the way, the new Apple Maps was surprisingly accurate at every turn even showing me the best route to take. My friend was reading the info from Google Maps and he would say, take Baldwin to Lower Azusa and make a right, when we were in fact on Lower Azusa approaching Baldwin to make a left? It just seems that Google gets confused easily too. The looks of Apple Maps were truly great while we were driving as it followed without any jumpy moves at all. Sure some places will have issues but using Google Maps for the last 7 years I have run into plenty of Google mistakes and I would bet a years salary that it will not take Apple 7 years to catch up and even overtake.

15 kent { 09.29.12 at 4:11 am }

Another excellent article Daniel. You are the only writer on the topic of Apple who can see and describe the full picture, taking us even runs the bend a little bit. I am always amazed at the amount of misinformation, mostly negative, about Apple. I think hedge funds are always looking for bad news that can be used to pull the stock back so they can reload at lower prices, while the uninformed sell on bogus concerns broadcast across the Internet by the ignorant and the intentionally deceptive. Anyway, thanks for a better perspective on this than I have seen anywhere else.

16 MartinZ { 09.29.12 at 4:46 am }

Same mass panics occurred when Apple got rid of floppy drives, ADB connectors, Classic support, CDROM drives, Flash support, Rosetta/PPC support, Siri on older devices, the list is endless. Every time everybody complained about how Apple supposedly screwed it up bad this time, and every time eventually we were better off.

The maps thing will be forgotten in about a month from now, when another Apple doomsday move is covered in the press.

17 adobephile { 09.29.12 at 7:09 am }

Does anyone with any sense at all not wonder exactly WHY there seems to be so much anti-Apple sentiment afloat?

It seems rather obvious to me, that there are indeed numerous vested interests, having been vested in literally decades of complacency over themselves ever coming up with any products or services which were innovative at all, and now, out of sheer desperation, they attempt to somehow stem Apples VERY obvious prosperity, by enlisting their respective mercenary “FUD brigades” on the internet.

Pity that it is so easy to make these miscreants sound or appear to be legion, due in part to the ease of blog publishing and comment posting, but, I think, also due to the fact that so many factually happy Apple customers (as evidence by Apple’s generally rising statistics) are so involved with using and enjoying their Apple products that they can’t be bothered to enter the fray in order to counter the calumny at all.

18 kdaeseok { 09.29.12 at 8:48 am }

Well, as I tested it here in the UK, Apple Map is utter rubbish. You upgrade your phone OS and at the same time downgrade your map, simple as that.
Yes it’s just a mobile app that depicts regular maps for simple and pedestrian uses like planning a trip- except that it can’t do its job properly.

19 berult { 09.29.12 at 9:47 am }

Adobephile…

When you quit drug use, you lose weight all around. A side effect, …as though you were shedding bad karma. It’s a given. And it hurts.

I expect Apple’s market cap to shrink, and user-base growth rate to slow down anywhere in the world where Google’s natural constituency holds sway. This is to say, almost everywhere in the world except in China. For me…it’s also a given.

Google’s market cap ought to swap numbers and ranking with Apple’s. I’ve been reckoning, …since quite a while back actually, that the present market situation stands out as an aberration. In today’s global market place, clout with regulators, legislators and the Fifth Estate trumps and one-ups innovation-centric mindsets… The creator should always be priced as the underdog in an ever contracting time frame for go-to-market innovation. When one merges the bounty of more than decade-old data collection with the lobbying savvy of Google’s unethical character traits, it takes all the focalized genius of a core disruptor to carve itself an enduring foothold out of a fool’s errand market.

Apple’s conundrum: can it create value at a faster rate than the rate of value destruction (rampant commoditization) brought upon by mediocre, but powerfully connected and morally challenged competition!? 

Apple is an otherworldly innovator, and does high-road politics, …meaning little to no politicking as a mean to an end. No one…in the tech world… do gutter politics as well as Google…and Samsung. Not Microsoft nor anyone else. 25% lobby-centric politics packs a punch when you mix-and-match with 50% brinkmanship economics and 25% infringing-upon technology…

Amidst the deafening noise of ethics contraction, against mis-informative headwinds and a pervasive dis-informative downdraught, a singular Apple ‘voice-over’ paradigm labors to give birth to an hopefully much infringed-upon strategy in the future, …distilling agenda-doctored/corrupted data sets for that priceless teaching moment gifted by noiseless, unspoiled, readily accessible information…

In short, Apple can’t afford to be as long-winded in its innovation-centric initiatives, …as I myself am…in trying to succinctly describe it with some short-changing, over-the-top, and below-the-waistline rhetorics. I have all the time in my world to cut Google down to size. I really wish Apple plenty high-quality time in…ours… 

berult

20 The Mad Hatter { 09.30.12 at 7:20 am }

Dan,

Stop being mean to Ford Pintos. I know a lot of people who got cheap basic transportation out of those cars, and loved them for what they could provide.

Don’t think I’d ever want to drive one though :)

Back to the map application. Currently it’s a screw up. Transit directions not working is a major issue, and Apple shouldn’t have released the app until they were. For that matter the damned thing can’t even find my house, which Google Maps at least managed to do.

People forget that Google Maps isn’t all that reliable. Using it for directions where I live is iffy. Half the time it can’t find the destination. When it can it often gives directions that make no sense. Of course I do live on the edge of civilization…

Going by Apple is now the largest computer manufacturer and holds third place for operating systems at 21%, as compared to Microsoft’s 31%.

At least if you consider tablets and smartphones computers. This has nothing to do with processing power. It all come down to capabilities. What can a computer do that a smart phone can’t?

Nothing. Oh, I wouldn’t try to write a novel using my iPhone’s touch screen, but a Bluetooth keyboard addresses that problem.

There’ll be a rain of chairs in Redmond.

Wayne
http://madhatter.ca

the old Google map application had issues to. It was often unable to find places or give me driving directions. Of course I do live on the edge of civilization… Someone in New York or San Francisco wouldn’t have those problems (I live far enough north that snow in September is NORMAL).

21 SkyTree { 09.30.12 at 8:21 am }

It has now become a universally accepted truth that Google Maps is (was?) totally infallible. Well, it’s certainly true that Google Maps is considerably better than when the iPhone was introduced, but here in Tokyo the nearby coast is still labelled “Philippine Sea” and the only way to get a local address accurately is by entering a peculiar combination of English and Japanese text. Oh, Google Maps understands the Japanese text perfectly, it’s just that it has already sold the maps results to local businesses and displays them instead of your search. So far, Apple’s Map app has taken over seamlessly in iOS 6 and I have had better results.

22 JPTJr { 10.01.12 at 7:13 am }

@ Daniel – perhaps you’ve seen the Gruber post, but someone seems to have heard you on Google’s results for the same queries. I post it here to close the loop:

http://vore.cc/post/32503374905/old-maps-vs-new-maps

23 djr255 { 10.01.12 at 4:06 pm }

Dan, some real good points. I didn’t think your “beta” comment added much weight though. Google’s products are/were free to users, while the iPhone (w/maps) isn’t.

24 The Mad Hatter { 10.02.12 at 8:35 am }

@JPTJr,

Hum. Curiously I’ve noticed my search results both with Google and Apple are more accurate if I’m near the place I’m looking for. When I’m in Toronto it’s almost impossible to find places near home, but when I’m home results are better.

Curiously searches for places in Toronto don’t suffer the same deficit.

I live over 600 kilometers north of Toronto, up on the Canadian Shield. The forest starts 200 meters from our house. And when I say forest, I mean something that is literally primeval. You can’t walk through it unless you are on a game trail, or use a machete.

Admittedly it is pretty hard to get lost. Every road leads to Highway 11/Yonge Street, which was considered the longest street in the world for years (check the Wikipedia entry).

Wayne

25 The Mad Hatter { 10.02.12 at 8:36 am }

Just realized that I didn’t make it clear that my searches were for street addresses, not just for a town name.

Wayne

26 John E { 10.02.12 at 11:08 pm }

well, iOS 6 definitely has some bugs. since updating i’ve suddenly got a camera problem on my iPad2, and an AirPlay problem too. others have other glitches. and Maps of course has its glitches.

this all is more buggy than the usual iOS update, that’s for sure. must have been rushed some to meet the iPhone5 launch schedule. i expect to see a bug fix update later this month to take care of the most common ones. as long as Apple does that i’m not upset, these bugs are just an inconvenience right now.

and Maps will certainly improve steadily in coming months. the superiority of its vector technology is indisputable. that is what is freaking Google. a year from now all this fuss will be irrelevant.

but all in all iOS6 was just not enough to jump ahead of the competition. Siri got better, but still is short of being a “killer app.” Apple has to open it open to use by 3rd party apps/web services to ever realize its full potential. and why hasn’t it replaced the Help menu, with the ability to clarify your question/problem via conversation to deliver the right answer? now that would be something!

well, maybe iOS 6.5 next Spring will fill in the missing pieces.

27 The Mad Hatter { 10.03.12 at 9:41 pm }

Hmmm. Maybe Cthulhu needs a smartphone. He sure looks lst after meeting Nyogtha

Wayne

28 paul94544 { 10.04.12 at 12:27 am }

now Google gets to experience how it feels when the competition copies its intellectual work and comes out with generic maps. Maybe not quite as good , but good enough to start eroding its market share. Apple will take a significant bite out of google’s maps as it refines its offering. Nothing ever lasts… get used to it google. You have lost your goodwill with many folks and I will dump you maps and email as soon as a good enough alternative presents itself. Reason: your sleazy, evil attitude to my information

29 enzos { 10.05.12 at 9:23 pm }

Apple Maps has the clear potential to be better than Google Maps since it is faster, smoother and less data hungry than the latter (and integrated with Siri/Voice). But really my hometown in Oz is still – a week after I twice reported the error – ‘pinned’ in a swamp 30 km North from where it is. (What an insult! ;)

30 daryl4d { 10.08.12 at 11:34 am }

I found an easy way around the apple map problem.. I purchased the Garmin N American app on sale for $44.99 (sale ended over the weekend). No problems, works offline and integrates Google’s streetview. Of course you’re probably asking yourself since I don’t own an iPhone, why the heck did I buy it? (I only have the iPod Touch3, iPad 2 and AppleTV2 and it won’t work on any of them) Well the answer will will both shock and amaze you, so read on…

31 daryl4d { 10.08.12 at 11:54 am }

ok, just kidding… I just said that for dramatic effect… so here’s the deal…
some interesting things have happened over the last few weeks. I came across a friend with an iPhone 3GS and noticed it was very similar in dimension to my iPod Touch3, although the iPhone was abit thicker and heavier. Then I came across my nephew who just bought the iPhone 5 and finally had a first hand feel for the device. Well,  it’s almost the same dimension as my cheap C2000 Andriod 2.3 Chinese kirf (the one I bought to get me thru my 5 month wait for the new iphone) Both have identical 4″ screens and are roughly the same size although the iPhone is lighter and thinner. The thing is, I handed my nephew my iPod Touch 3 and his iPhone 5 back and asked him which one is lighter… ” the iPod” he responded. Wrong, the iPhone 5 is almost 2 grams less, but he was right, the iPod felt lighter. What’s going on here? 

That’s when it occurred to me that Apple already created the perfect dimension for a phone when they designed the original iphone which is very similar to the iPhone 2, 3, 3GS, 4, 4S, iPod Touch 1-2-3… These devices feel good in the hand because of their length/width ratio and that’s why a heavier iPod Touch3 feels lighter than the iPhone 5. Check out this picture of the iPhone 5 and Lumia 920 
http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/25/iphone-5-lumia-920-image-stabilization-face-off/
The lumia looks like a brick and the iPhone looks like a TV remote. I read a review of the iPhone5 the other day that described it as the perfect phone and the reviewer even said “it’s shaped like a TV remote” as if it were a compliment.

So what am I getting at? I’m  starting to feel that Apple dropped the ball here and should have gone the route I suggested earier, to simply keep the same form factor as the iPod Touch3 and stretch the screen to 4″. It would have truly been the perfect phone. Cellphones are basically rectangles, and Apple already discovered the perfect size..something that feels both good in the hand and in the pocket..Now I know that I’m playing armchair engineer here and surely if Apple kept the same industrial design (with the band around phone) and just stretched the screen, then people would yelling that nothing has changed but the screen cause the current design is too close to the last. But I’m guessing that when they designed it they must have been thinking “gee, this band thing around the phone works well, better reception…let’s keep it, yet so the iPhone looks somewhat different let’s make it longer and thinner..people will love it”  

I’m sorry to be the one to stand up and say it isn’t better, especially if you slap a case on it, it ends up even longer. And I’m not a fan of the “ban” design around the phone, sorry.. I don’t like that look or feel. What they needed to do was keep the similar dimension to the iPodTouch3/previous iPhone versions, stretch the screen to 4″ and change the design back to the rounded back but now lighter and thinner with all the new features they brought into the iPhone5 (and throw in wireless charging which would have only added 1-2 grams to the unit).

So what am I going to do? Well, I’m going to buy the Iphone 5, of course, but I’m going to do it in protest! I have no choice.. it has all the “features” I want (bigger screen, light, LTE, bluetooth4, and it will work with the upcoming Pebble E-Paper Watch I ordered).  My other choice, a Windows8 phone (either the Lumia920 or HTC 8X) does not have bluetooth4 nor will it work with the Pebble watch (I emailed Pebble and they responded “Unfortunately, there is no support planned for Windows Phone at the moment”) So I’ve decided to purchase an unlocked iPhone5, a PONG case and go on a month to month deal thru my local provider… and just pray that by this time next year Apple will finally get it right.

PS Garmin informed me that their app would work on up to 6 apple devices as long as I have the same id, so all is not lost… can be used on the iPhone6. But this also gives WindowPhone8 a year to catch up and since I’m getting into their new tablets, you never know… so Apple, I’m putting you on alert.

32 benlewis { 10.08.12 at 12:38 pm }

The “Christmas Pageant” passage is a reference to the Mel Gibson movie “The Passion of the Christ” if I’m not mistaken. Bravo!

33 Mike { 10.29.12 at 9:13 pm }

I LOL’ed at the Ford Pinto allusion. Genius. And relevant too, because Pintos totally did go up in fires and smoke every time someone got hit from the behind.

34 markos741 { 11.12.12 at 1:54 pm }

You, sir, are a genius.
Show me, please, another place on the web, where tech is talked with such grace, humour and yet always to the point.
Whether you agree or not with DED’s perspective, you should have the good taste to admit that his articles are uniquely tailored with a coat of wit and humour that enclosures a core of dead serious analysis of modern technology’s trends.
I only have to say one more thing. I’ve said it before, and I’ll come back to it again. Mr Dilger, make videos, make videos, make videos.
Thank you.

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