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WSJ: Apple to abandon Google Maps on iOS later this year

post #1 of 89
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Apple has made plans to break from Google Maps and use its own technology for the native Maps app on iOS later this year and could announce the feature at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference, according to a new report.

Present and former Apple employees revealed to The Wall Street Journal that the Cupertino, Calif., company is set to bump Google's maps service from its mobile OS. Apple would instead "release a new mapping app that runs Apple's own technology," the report said.

One source suggested that Apple may show off the new software at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco next week. The company is reportedly looking to convince third-party application developers to implement its technology into their offerings.

The report went on to note that, according to tipsters at Apple, the plan to oust Google Maps has been in motion for years. The rapid rise of Android sales is believed to have quickened the pace of Apple's plans.

The iPhone maker's mapping intentions have been evident since at least 2009, when the company began acquiring mapping technology companies. The iPhone maker bought Placebase that year and then Poly9 in 2010. Last year, Apple bought Swedish 3D-mapping company C3.

The company also revealed last April that it was collecting data for a crowd-sourced "improved traffic service" for iPhone users. Given that the revelation came as a result of a location data controversy, Apple's comments have been taken as referring to street traffic, though the company declined to provide further details.

Small steps have been taken to gradually wean iOS off Google Maps. In 2010, Apple notified U.S. senators that, beginning with iOS 3.2, it had begun relying on "its own databases" for location-based services and diagnostic purposes. In March, it was discovered that Apple had switched to OpenStreetMaps for the maps in its iPhoto iOS app.

Apple's reported switch comes as location services are quickly attracting a significant percentage of advertising dollars. According to the Journal, Opus Research projects map- or location-related ads will comprise 25 percent of the estimated $2.5 billion that will be spent on mobile ads this year. However, the report suggested that Apple's move isn't just about the money.

"But more than ad revenue, Apple is going after the map market to have more control over a key asset in the widening smartphone war," the report read, noting that 90 percent of American iPhone owners use Google Maps. "So Apple believes controlling the mapping experience and offering features that Google doesn't have can help sell more devices and entice developers to build unique apps for iPhone users."

The maps issue has taken on greater importance as the relationship between Apple and Google has become increasingly complicated. The two companies were close partners for years, but have grown apart as they have become fierce competitors in several key markets, such as smartphones, tablets and advertising.

According to the report, Apple became concerned in 2008 that Google may have been compromising user privacy with its map program. Google executives, on the other hand, reportedly felt Apple was being too controlling. The Mountain View, Calif., search company is believed to have angered Apple leaders by withholding the Street View and turn-by-turn navigation features. Its demands were for better branding within the app and incorporation of its Latitude service, which Apple was unwilling to integrate.

The disagreement served as the impetus for Apple CEO Steve Jobs' search for acquisitions to build out the company's own mapping team, the report noted. The group from Poly9 allegedly became a secretive "geo" team within Apple. The employees were said to have built a new geocoder to replace Google's own and began using it last fall.

Google hasn't been sitting still either, though. Last week, the company sent out invites for an event that will show off the "next dimension of Google Maps." The wording of the invite has prompted speculation that the company will announce new 3D features for its mapping service. The event comes just days before Apple kicks off its WWDC confab on June 11.

Maps
Google Maps event invitations were sent out last Friday (via CNet).


A bevy of reports have claimed that Apple will take the wraps off a new 3D mapping technology at WWDC. Last month, one report cited sources as saying the solution would "blow your head off."

WWDC


Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu said last week that his research points to the unveiling of a "greatly enhanced" Maps application with 3D capability next week. The new service has reportedly been developed in-house.

"We hear the key reason why AAPL decided to do this is that it believes it can deliver a much better use experience in Maps, not to mention provide further differentiation for its mobile devices business," Wu said.

Apple is also expected to showcase new Macs, iOS 6 and new camera and photo apps at the conference.
post #2 of 89
Go Apple. Anything that blows our mind off. Can't get them soon enough. Google, by showing it off first, Apple has the advantage. They never plan for one oh no, there're more than two to surprises everyone.
post #3 of 89
Off topic but store is down.....?
post #4 of 89
Yes, but unlikely to amount to anything. It has been out for a couple of hours, I think.

Apple periodically does maintenance work in off-hours (meaning late night Pacific Time zone). When they add new product, they typically do so during a shutdown during normal business hours (once again Pacific Time zone) on a regular business day.

Adding new product also requires updating the marketing pages on the main Apple corporate site, plus adding press releases, etc. This is almost exclusively done during normal West Coast business hours, when the marketing and PR staffers are awake and at their desks.

To summarize: Apple does not announce new product at 1am Pacific Time.
post #5 of 89

Apple today announced that it is launching it's own satellite to map the world.  It will be called iEye.  LOL.  

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post #6 of 89
If the new map software doesn't have a really good offline mode with comprehensive functionality then it won't blow many people's minds. Nokia maps will still be far better. Also if street view isn't has good as Google ditto...
post #7 of 89

It's only natural. Open Street Maps is killer stuff, as well as Leaflet, and even Yahoo Placefinder has a much more affordable and sensible(!) geocode service.

 

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post #8 of 89
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Originally Posted by ladybumps View Post

Off topic but store is down.....?

 

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post #9 of 89

Wonder if Apple has been privy to Google's imminent 3D mapping update before deciding to launch its own this year.
 

post #10 of 89

There have been rumors about this for years, I have no doubt that it is finally happening. I also know Apple's record with server-side technologies. Therefore my prediction for this service is: beautiful looking but slow.

post #11 of 89

I think that Apple's maps will kind of suck at first.  I have not seen a better map than google's from anyone, not Yahoo, not Msosft, not Nokia, not Open maps.  Nobody matches the searchability, the transit directions, the street view, and most importantly the increadible readability of google maps.  It pains me to say this but I am not expecting an improvement over current experience, at least not at first.

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post #12 of 89
This has been a long time in development:
• Apple has had lots of time to plan out how their new maps app should appear & function, to beta test & even buy the resources to make this work
• Google has had time to plan & prepare for this, so they are actively ahead of the curve
• Knowing that this has been 1 of their worst kept secrets, Apple is keenly aware that their competition will be updating their service to match, step for step what is known about Apple's planning. It's reasonable that Apple has gone beyond the purchase of these companies & made many secret plans

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post #13 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

If the new map software doesn't have a really good offline mode with comprehensive functionality then it won't blow many people's minds. Nokia maps will still be far better. Also if street view isn't has good as Google ditto...

Nokia (Bing) maps aren't that great, I live in a black hole that doesn't exist for them, a blank space on the screen with roads going nowhere.

 

Google killed Nokia maps by taking away Nokia's plans to monetize maps and recoup their investment in Navteq.

 

Google is a strangling vine, spreading tendrils into all reaches of the Internet, the way to deal with threat like that is to cut it off at the roots and for Google those roots are advertising dollars.

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post #14 of 89

And what is the world wide map coverage going to be like? How about street view, which is now available for an incredible number of cities around the world?

 

I hope this move by Apple doesn't put us back 20 years. It would be a reason enough for me to abandon the platform if the maps suck.
 

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post #15 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

If the new map software doesn't have a really good offline mode with comprehensive functionality then it won't blow many people's minds. Nokia maps will still be far better. Also if street view isn't has good as Google ditto...

Yeah... I would have to agree. The map data in and of itself isn't the whole ball of wax. Street View is especially helpful at times, and it is amazing how far Google has come. Offline would be great as well.

I have to imagine that Google has been putting more resources into Maps than Apple over the past 5 years-- it is hard to imagine how Apple will one-up them on this.
post #16 of 89
I think the new Maps will be highly integrated with Siri and will speak turn-by-turn directions. Will save places in your bookmarks at your command and dial phone numbers. I think those things are real possibilities.

Now, my doubt is, how well mapped are countries other than US, European countries and Japan. I live in the Dominican Republic and Google Maps have almost every street and avenue and a good DB of places. That worries me a little...
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post #17 of 89
I really doubt Apple could offer a more complete Maps than Google right now. So don't be disappointed next Monday. Just be realistic. It takes time to create the whole World...
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post #18 of 89
From what I have seen of the SAAB system Apple acquired, I have high hopes Apple allow game companies to utilize the system as well as mortals for driving etc. As an avid user of the X-Plane 10 flight simulator on the Mac I drool at the thought of some such program being able to use the 3D maps as opposed to the pretty awful scenery they currently use.
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post #19 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post


Yeah... I would have to agree. The map data in and of itself isn't the whole ball of wax. Street View is especially helpful at times, and it is amazing how far Google has come. Offline would be great as well.
I have to imagine that Google has been putting more resources into Maps than Apple over the past 5 years-- it is hard to imagine how Apple will one-up them on this.

 

I echo these sentiments. I'm all for Apple improving on stuff I use every day, but if Google does it better, I'm not cool with waiting for Apple to get it right. 

 

From a shareholder perspective, I understand why a lot of you want Apple to beat the crap out of Google at everything. 

 

From an average user perspective, I find Google's services (Maps, Gmail, Drive, Images, search) extremely useful and feel no need to "ween myself off" of them. Why? Privacy concerns? When the shoes on that one drops, it's going to drop on EVERY internet company, not just Google. 

post #20 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvidal View Post

I really doubt Apple could offer a more complete Maps than Google right now. So don't be disappointed next Monday. Just be realistic. It takes time to create the whole World...

Actually, I am expecting to be be blown away by something that far exceeds Google. Apple don't normally enter a new area, be it phones or tablets and now serious mapping, without making everything that went before obsolete.

Of course at first many won't get it, as with iPhone and the 'you can't type with two thumbs on a tiny plastic keyboard' that greeted it, so I fully expect many to scream for a year or two that Apple failed. Only when their favorite products start copying Apple will they change their tune. By which time of course the patent case will be going to court. .
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post #21 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario View Post

And what is the world wide map coverage going to be like? How about street view, which is now available for an incredible number of cities around the world?

I hope this move by Apple doesn't put us back 20 years. It would be a reason enough for me to abandon the platform if the maps suck.

 

With the list of Apple equipment you show on your footer you write you would abandon the platform over maps. Something doesn't seem quite right there./ smile.
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post #22 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Actually, I am expecting to be be blown away by something that far exceeds Google. Apple don't normally enter a new area, be it phones or tablets and now serious mapping, without making everything that went before obsolete.
Of course at first many won't get it, as with iPhone and the 'you can't type with two thumbs on a tiny plastic keyboard' that greeted it, so I fully expect many to scream for a year or two that Apple failed. Only when their favorite products start copying Apple will they change their tune. By which time of course the patent case will be going to court. .

Wow you have a lot of faith in Apple. I am skeptical. If Apple stays on course we will get a map application that is what Apple thinks we need not what we might want. They will likely have some sort of implementation that uses that patent where you only see the major streets that pertain to your guidance offered by your genius trip advisor.

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post #23 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario View Post

And what is the world wide map coverage going to be like? How about street view, which is now available for an incredible number of cities around the world?

 

I hope this move by Apple doesn't put us back 20 years. It would be a reason enough for me to abandon the platform if the maps suck.
 

 

WTF?!?

 

What is there about Apple that would make you think they would turn the clock back 20 years!!??

 

Sure, I bet there will be elements of the new maps that will suck in the first iteration but at the same time Apple's maps will most likely offer a few things not available in Google Maps.

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post #24 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

It's only natural. Open Street Maps is killer stuff, as well as Leaflet, and even Yahoo Placefinder has a much more affordable and sensible(!) geocode service.

 

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I assume the OpenStreetMaps comment is sarcasm.  The only thing "killer" about OSM is the fact you could turn onto one of their streets and end up in the water.  That's exactly what would happen in my neighborhood.  About half the streets are labeled wrong, depicted wrong or, don't exist.  There are streets going over large bodies of water that do not exist.  The neighborhood was tracted in the 1930's and is in a large metropolitan area.  Not to mention each gps app uses different versions of the maps, frequently in conflict with eachother.  

post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Wow you have a lot of faith in Apple. I am skeptical. If Apple stays on course we will get a map application that is what Apple thinks we need not what we might want. They will likely have some sort of implementation that uses that patent where you only see the major streets that pertain to your guidance offered by your genius trip advisor.

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post #26 of 89
I'm a little perplexed by how big this news appears to be ... Really!? Maps?

What I have been using on e iPhone since 2007 is perfectly fine. How revolutionary could any offering from anybody be? You type in an address, it shows you where it is and gives you turn by turn directions. Adding audio while you drive would be good, and expected.

From the first printed maps, to the current state of affairs, maps are evolutionary, not revolutionary. Short of driving my car for me, or manipulating my feet to get me there while I do something else, I really don't see what anybody, even Apple could innovate here.

So really, why is this NEWS?
post #27 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Actually, I am expecting to be be blown away by something that far exceeds Google. Apple don't normally enter a new area, be it phones or tablets and now serious mapping, without making everything that went before obsolete.
Of course at first many won't get it, as with iPhone and the 'you can't type with two thumbs on a tiny plastic keyboard' that greeted it, so I fully expect many to scream for a year or two that Apple failed. Only when their favorite products start copying Apple will they change their tune. By which time of course the patent case will be going to court. .

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Yep indeed I do. Have had since 1979.

 

 

Your faith will be rewarded although navigation with dynamic routing (often improperly referred to as "turn-by-turn" directions) is likely to be the "killer feature" for the next version of iPhone:

 

 

  • Accoring to Jessica E. Vascellaro and Amir Errata of the Wall Street Journal, Maps is used by more than 90% of U.S. iPhone users (although no data source is provided) which virtually guarantees success for any new version of Maps with relatively comparable features to the current version

 

 

 

  • Placebase Maps with “Pushpin” is a rival to Google Maps with extensive APIs including over 12,000 variables and layers

 

 

  • C3 Technologies solution is superior to Google Maps 3D due to photorealistic imagery with higher resolution than Google Earth (10 cm) including street level photography using oblique imagery and user generated images rather than SketchUp 3D modeling

 

 

 

  • According to his LinkedIn profile, Apple has hired Ethan Sorrelgreen, formerly of NextBus which is known for realtime transit data

 

  • According to their LinkedIn profiles, Apple has hired Scott Dudgeon and Valerie Yakich previously of Inrix, provider of traffic information, directions and driver services

 

  • There are many components of Apple Maps that aren't affiliated with Google:  From the iPhone 4S Legal Notices:  
    • Property parcel data for USA. © CoreLogic Inc., 2011.  
    • Map data © Getchee, 2011.  
    • Business Listing data © Localeze, 2011.
    • Mapping data for Australia and New Zealand. © MapData Sciences Pty Ltd.Inc., 2011, PSMA www.nowwhere.com.au/lic/NowWhereLic.htm
    • Postal data © DMTI, 2011. This software contains Postal Code OM Data copied by Apple under a sub-license from DMTI Spatial Inc., a party directly licensed by Canada Post Corporation. The Canada Post Corporation file from which this data was copied is dated [insert date].
    • © TomTom
      • MultiNet® data of Austria 
      • MultiNet® data of Denmark 
      • MultiNet® data of Northern Ireland 
      • MultiNet® data of Norway 
      • MultiNet® data of Russia 
      • MultiNet® data of Switzerland
      • MultiNet® data of The Netherlands 
      • MultiNet® data of France
    • Neighborhood data © Urban Mapping, 2011.
    • Map data © 2011 Waze.

 


Edited by MacBook Pro - 6/5/12 at 9:08am
post #28 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

I'm a little perplexed by how big this news appears to be ... Really!? [A phone]?
What I have been using [before] 2007 is perfectly fine. How revolutionary could any offering from anybody be?

From the first printed maps, to the current state of affairs, [phones] are evolutionary, not revolutionary. I really don't see what anybody, even Apple could innovate here.
So really, why is this NEWS?

I've heard that before (see above).

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post #29 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Yep indeed I do. Have had since 1979.

Me too, however when you are an Apple fan you tend to have selective amnesia. Apple has made some crap too. Performa TV, inkjet printers , IIci, emate, emac,  even the first iMacs had a lot of hardware issues. 

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post #30 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


With the list of Apple equipment you show on your footer you write you would abandon the platform over maps. Something doesn't seem quite right there./ smile.


True, something is not quite right. Apple is lately turning into corporate penny pinchers and the rumors of abandoning the products I do care about like Mac Pro and 17'' MBP are not helping either.

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post #31 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

 

WTF?!?

 

What is there about Apple that would make you think they would turn the clock back 20 years!!??

 

Sure, I bet there will be elements of the new maps that will suck in the first iteration but at the same time Apple's maps will most likely offer a few things not available in Google Maps.

 

Mapping and creating mapping applications and server infrastructure to support 100 million users is not exactly Apple's core competency. Right now Google maps work, and work really good, and this is crucial have amazing world wide coverage. And even things like street view work for a surprising number of places world wide.

 

What makes you think Apple will have this data as well for random places around the world. Is Apple going to invest millions of dollars and drive through cities around the world to record streets or launch dedicated satellites to create 3d maps of places to match or better Google? Have they done this already or are they launching a product that will take several generation before it catches up with Google as of now?

 

Maps and mapping is not a UI problem. It's a data acquisition problem first. And then server infrastructure to make it available to ridiculous number of concurrent users second. Only then is it a device UI and presentation problem. 

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post #32 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post
Back up... Father's Day update?

 

That was put up the last time it went down, when they were adding the Nest thermostat.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post
I think that Apple's maps will kind of suck at first.

 

We really need to prepare for this. We need to be shouting it at ALL users here, old and new. Get them in this mindset NOW, before it's too late. Yes, it will have Siri integration for absolutely everything, and it might even have turn by turn. But it WILL suck at first. There's no doubt about that.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario View Post
…street view… 

 

Street View is a gimmick, you know.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
WTF?!? What is there about Apple that would make you think they would turn the clock back 20 years!!??

 

Because Street View is the most important thing in the entire world, and any mapping system that doesn't have it exactly the same way that Google has it is an utter failure and will be the death of all mapping applications.

post #33 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario View Post

 

Mapping and creating mapping applications and server infrastructure to support 100 million users is not exactly Apple's core competency. Right now Google maps work, and work really good, and this is crucial have amazing world wide coverage. And even things like street view work for a surprising number of places world wide.

 

What makes you think Apple will have this data as well for random places around the world. Is Apple going to invest millions of dollars and drive through cities around the world to record streets or launch dedicated satellites to create 3d maps of places to match or better Google? Have they done this already or are they launching a product that will take several generation before it catches up with Google as of now?

 

Maps and mapping is not a UI problem. It's a data acquisition problem first. And then server infrastructure to make it available to ridiculous number of concurrent users second. Only then is it a device UI and presentation problem. 

I totally agree 100%. Google maps is constantly updating their data, perhaps as often as yearly or less, as I have noticed the satellite view and the street view of my house has been updated a number of times and the bus schedules are constantly changing, which they keep up with as well. Given the frequency of the updates required it is entirely possible that a competitor, given enough financial investment, could duplicate the necessary data collection within one year. And then they need to sustain it at that frequency as well.

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post #34 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario View Post

 

Mapping and creating mapping applications and server infrastructure to support 100 million users is not exactly Apple's core competency. Right now Google maps work, and work really good, and this is crucial have amazing world wide coverage. And even things like street view work for a surprising number of places world wide.

 

What makes you think Apple will have this data as well for random places around the world. Is Apple going to invest millions of dollars and drive through cities around the world to record streets or launch dedicated satellites to create 3d maps of places to match or better Google? Have they done this already or are they launching a product that will take several generation before it catches up with Google as of now?

 

Maps and mapping is not a UI problem. It's a data acquisition problem first. And then server infrastructure to make it available to ridiculous number of concurrent users second. Only then is it a device UI and presentation problem. 

 

Apple's core competency is not having a server infrastructure to support 100 million users?!

 

WTF, dude?!

 

Mapping and creating mapping applications... maybe... but not knowing about server infrastructure???... give your head a shake.

 

You sound like Ballmer as he was laughing about the iPhone.

 

Read my comment again...

 

"What is there about Apple that would make you think they would turn the clock back 20 years!!??"

 

Apple has entered new territory (for Apple) 3 times in the last 10 years and dominated from the first step.


Edited by island hermit - 6/5/12 at 8:17am
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post #35 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario View Post


True, something is not quite right. Apple is lately turning into corporate penny pinchers and the rumors of abandoning the products I do care about like Mac Pro and 17'' MBP are not helping either.

I hope we see a new Mac Pro in a few weeks 1smile.gif
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post #36 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Me too, however when you are an Apple fan you tend to have selective amnesia. Apple has made some crap too. Performa TV, inkjet printers , IIci, emate, emac,  even the first iMacs had a lot of hardware issues. 

I don't have any amnesia actually, I remember everything very well. Don't forget that when they made that low end crap (and we all know it was the various morons Apple had as CEOs back then who were to blame) what else was available out there as an alternative ... DOS then Windows in one form or another.

Believe me, I was very happy with all my Apple gear. After Apple ][s. ///s, Lisa and Mac Plus, SE 30 etc. etc.I had top of the line Mac IIs as they evolved through to Mac Pros and now MBPs. It isn't as if I haven't also had PCs from the first ever IBM PC that was available (shipped into the UK as a grey import), XT , Osborne Portable, Victor and everything up to todays stuff. So I am not an Apple only user, just an Apple only fan.
Edited by digitalclips - 6/5/12 at 8:27am
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post #37 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
Because Street View is the most important thing in the entire world, and any mapping system that doesn't have it exactly the same way that Google has it is an utter failure and will be the death of all mapping applications.

 

He/she talks like street view will no longer be available on Apple products.

 

If he/she wants street view then go to Google Maps.

 

My guess is that Apple will offer something a tad different... an application where maps is what is important... not looking to see the colour of someone's house.

Hmmmmmm...
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post #38 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Me too, however when you are an Apple fan you tend to have selective amnesia. Apple has made some crap too. Performa TV, inkjet printers , IIci, emate, emac,  even the first iMacs had a lot of hardware issues. 

 

IIci??!

 

I had a IIci for my business and it was one of the best computers I've ever used. Very easy to upgrade, fast and highly dependable. One of Apple's most successful computers.

 

I think you got your model numbers mixed up.

 

IIsi maybe.

Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #39 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

 

He/she talks like street view will no longer be available on Apple products.

 

If he/she wants street view then go to Google Maps.

 

My guess is that Apple will offer something a tad different... an application where maps is what is important... not looking to see the colour of someone's house.

I think that is the concern: There will be no Google Maps on iOS. If Apple replaces the default maps application on iOS they will likely disallow Google from releasing a stand alone maps app as it would violate their rule of no app can duplicate core iOS functionality.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #40 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

 

IIci??!

 

I had a IIci for my business and it was one of the best computers I've ever used. Very easy to upgrade, fast and highly dependable. One of Apple's most successful computers.

 

I think you got your model numbers mixed up.

Really? I hated everything they released after the IIfx until the 9500. All those si ci xi were mediocre at best.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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