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Apple iOS 6 GM brings improvements to Maps app, adds Flyover for New York and others

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
With less than one week to go before Apple unleashes iOS 6 to the public, the company seeded the mobile operating system's golden master to developers, showing slight tweaks and performance enhancements to its first-party Maps app.

Maps NY
Flyover of New York City. | Source: Apple


According to people familiar with the progression of Maps in iOS 6, the recently-seeded GM has brought a number of changes to Apple's first in-house mapping app including Flyover support for new cities like New York and Rome. The most recent version of Maps introduced Flyover data for a number of major international metropolitan cities, however New York was omitted for unknown reasons.

A major feature that sets Maps apart from rival products is its use of custom algorithms to fill in Flyover details like shrubbery and trees. The iOS 6 GM brings further improvements in this area, as zoomed images reveal smoother borders around foliage and advanced rendering that gives the appearance of "leaf-level" detail.

Maps Detail
Shrubbery and tree rendering.


Unlike Google Maps' StreetView, which blurs out license plates and faces, Apple looks to be employing an automated masking system that will leave only a "ghost image" of vehicles behind.

Maps
Automated car removal.


Finally, a small tweak to the UI comes in the "cityscape" icon, which takes the place of the "3D" asset when viewing areas that have Flyover data. The app also said to feel more sprightly than previous builds and more detail is apparent on certain rendered structures.

Apple's Maps app will roll out as part of iOS 6 on Sept. 19.
post #2 of 31
Love how they put their phone in privacy mode before taking those screen shots :-)
post #3 of 31
I think it's more interesting that the remaining battery drops 3 percentage points in the space of 4-minutes.
post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by APG1959 View Post

I think it's more interesting that the remaining battery drops 3 percentage points in the space of 4-minutes.

and there's a place on the map called Battery Park!

post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by akf2000 View Post

and there's a place on the map called Battery Park!

Nice catch!  

 

Yeah, 3 percentage points in, what, five minuets?  It's not an iPhone 5, of course, which should have stronger battery.  Still it sounds like we should be plugging these babies in when we're using these super-rendered, 3D modeled-on-the-fly, automated, voice directed directions from our post-pc, hand-held devices which only a few years ago would could classify as supercomputers...  

 

But perhaps that goes without saying. 


Edited by Shogun - 9/13/12 at 2:54am
post #6 of 31
I like
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post #7 of 31
Now they just need more midsized cities globally. Plenty of smaller Tourist Destinations I'd like to see, in the near future.
post #8 of 31

The new maps are still awful compared the old Google maps. :( Train and metro stations are shown as an icon, rather than display the name of the station. In a big city like London, that's a major problem. 

 

It also doesn't distinguish very well between footpaths and roads.

 

I was hoping for better from the GM.

post #9 of 31

Let's hope for a good traffic data. That's all I care.

post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

The new maps are still awful compared the old Google maps. :( Train and metro stations are shown as an icon, rather than display the name of the station. In a big city like London, that's a major problem. 

 

It also doesn't distinguish very well between footpaths and roads.

 

I was hoping for better from the GM.

Not sure why that's a problem?  If there's an icon you know the station is there...  You can count the number of stops, you can watch on your phone as you move through the city.  I do see it could be more convenient... 

post #11 of 31

This seems cool, except it will probably be years before it is mature enough to be of any use to me. The good thing about Streetview is that Google has it almost everywhere by now,

post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

Not sure why that's a problem?  If there's an icon you know the station is there...  You can count the number of stops, you can watch on your phone as you move through the city.  I do see it could be more convenient... 

 

 
You can see a station is there but you don't know which one it is. You don't know if it's the one you want or whether it's on the right line that you need to get home.
 
If you're in central London, there's likely to be multiple stations on the same map. You have to click on each icon in turn to find the one you want. It's a major usability failure.
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Love how they put their phone in privacy mode before taking those screen shots :-)


Privacy Mode? I assume this is sarcasm but I must be missing something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by APG1959 View Post

I think it's more interesting that the remaining battery drops 3 percentage points in the space of 4-minutes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

Nice catch!  

Yeah, 3 percentage points in, what, five minuets?  It's not an iPhone 5, of course, which should have stronger battery.  Still it sounds like we should be plugging these babies in when we're using these super-rendered, 3D modeled-on-the-fly, automated, voice directed directions from our post-pc, hand-held devices which only a few years ago would could classify as supercomputers...  

But perhaps that goes without saying. 


Whoever captured the images was doing performance testing and downloading new apps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooch View Post

This seems cool, except it will probably be years before it is mature enough to be of any use to me. The good thing about Streetview is that Google has it almost everywhere by now,


Except for the 99% of the Earth's surface which isn't captured.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

 
You can see a station is there but you don't know which one it is. You don't know if it's the one you want or whether it's on the right line that you need to get home.
 
If you're in central London, there's likely to be multiple stations on the same map. You have to click on each icon in turn to find the one you want. It's a major usability failure.


I actually agree to some extent; however, the user can click on an individual station which will then provide a location label. I hope that developers will provide a map layer with such information. I will also say that considering the location and unusual entrances to transit stations, I find Street View would be helpful as well.

At any rate, iOS 6 GM Maps is significantly better than iOS 5 Maps.
Edited by MacBook Pro - 9/13/12 at 5:04am
post #14 of 31
It looks like Apple have also improved their maps data also. I had previously commented (and was bizarrely ridiculed for) that TomTom's data was pretty bad and out of date, mainly that there was a road near me that was completely missing (but was in 3 year old satellite pictures). Now that road is there, and also another nearby road that only opened in the last 4 months, with better accuracy than Google. I wonder if TomTom upped their game in anticipation of the release of iOS6, or if Apple is sourcing map data from others now as well (e.g. I noticed OpenStreetMap is credited)?
post #15 of 31
Good first try...3d rendering is good at home/work with wifi, but not on the road. Google still leads in 1) offline map, and 2) accessible across all devices including PC. Apple needs to create map webpage so that people can plan the trip on the PC (better control), and use it on iOS devices. Hopefully next year.
post #16 of 31
New York as Flyover country? That looks a bit strange. 1smile.gif
post #17 of 31

Me want.

 
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

The new maps are still awful compared the old Google maps. :( Train and metro stations are shown as an icon, rather than display the name of the station. In a big city like London, that's a major problem. 

 

It also doesn't distinguish very well between footpaths and roads.

 

I was hoping for better from the GM.

Agree.

I also wonder if they layout the subway (Tube) plans in top of the basic map like Google did.  I've said it before, but in large cities that have highly developed Subway systems (NY, Tokyo, London, Paris, Beijing) sometimes the exits are very far from the actual station.  The way Google lays out Beijing (for example) is really helpful when navigating the city, since some of the exits there can be more than 100m from the station and sometimes exit on side streets from the intersection.  I'm really hoping for subway and station maps overlaid on the main map.

 

If not, I guess Google better get on the ball and create an app for that.

post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooch View Post

This seems cool, except it will probably be years before it is mature enough to be of any use to me. The good thing about Streetview is that Google has it almost everywhere by now,

Agree.

the lack of street view is really going to be a problem for many.  There was a thread a couple weeks ago on AI that discusses the points.  The article itself was a very Apple-biased article, stating street view is "Creepy" (which is totally NOT the case at all).  I think the conclusion of that thread was that in general, everyone prefers street view over fly over.  If apple even think they want to make the maps app available for OSX, they better get a small army of cars out with 360 cameras.

post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

Nice catch!  

 

Yeah, 3 percentage points in, what, five minuets?  It's not an iPhone 5, of course, which should have stronger battery.  Still it sounds like we should be plugging these babies in when we're using these super-rendered, 3D modeled-on-the-fly, automated, voice directed directions from our post-pc, hand-held devices which only a few years ago would could classify as supercomputers...  

 

But perhaps that goes without saying. 


GPS radio is a battery killer

post #21 of 31
I hope the new Apple maps come to OS X too.
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post #22 of 31
I prefer my Prius nav system over TomTom. Prius says "next right" when a turn is coming up. TomTom tells you the number of yards/feet to the turn instead and sometimes TomTom's calculated distance is wrong and I go right past the turn. "Next right/left" is a much better method for turn by turn.

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post #23 of 31
is there really a correlation between ios releases and the amount of data that is available as 3d flyover? or is that jut coincidence during the beta cycle? does apple really need to release an ios update to make additional maps data available as 3d flyover? if so that seems to be a very inefficient process.
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post #24 of 31

Wouldn't it be great if a company like Google were to write a competing app for the iPhone?

Don't they have some kind of map service thing?  

 

Of course, they'd have to put turn-by-turn directions into the app to make it competitive.

post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

 

 
You can see a station is there but you don't know which one it is. You don't know if it's the one you want or whether it's on the right line that you need to get home.
 
If you're in central London, there's likely to be multiple stations on the same map. You have to click on each icon in turn to find the one you want. It's a major usability failure.

 

Or you could, you know ... take your eyes off the phone for one second (!) ... and look at the map provided in every tram car and in every station, or look at the signs posted in every station as you go through, or listen to the voice announcements of the station names over the PA, or, or ...

post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooch View Post

This seems cool, except it will probably be years before it is mature enough to be of any use to me. The good thing about Streetview is that Google has it almost everywhere by now,

 

Indeed.  Apple is being kind of vague about what's supported and where and when it will be supported as well.  

 

Officially, no 3D buildings and therefore no fly-over exists outside of the USA. Period. 

 

On the other hand, they've shown off fly-overs of London, England and Sydney, Australia.  Lots of folks in the UK are probably expecting that 3D fly-over will be available in their countries.  Whether it will or not is debatable, but it's clear that a lot of people expect it at launch already when (officially at least), it isn't going to happen.  

 

When you add to that the fact that *last* year's innovation (Siri) was also USA only and that Siri only becomes available to faraway places like "Canada" with iOS 6.0, it seems likely that almost all of the 3D functionality of iOS maps will only become available *next* year, with iOS 7.  

 

So for folks like me living in Canada, we lose street view, bus directions, walking directions and gain ... nothing.  

 

At least until September 2013, I guess.  :-/

post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post
Whoever captured the images was doing performance testing and downloading new apps.
Except for the 99% of the Earth's surface which isn't captured.
 

 

Actually Google has pretty good coverage of North America, Western Europe, and Australia. South America, Africa, and Asia need some work. They have a handy map you can reference: http://gmaps-samples.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/streetview_landing/streetview-map.html

post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Wouldn't it be great if a company like Google were to write a competing app for the iPhone?
Don't they have some kind of map service thing?  

Of course, they'd have to put turn-by-turn directions into the app to make it competitive.

Not to mention with iOS having over 90% of mobile web traffic you'd think they'd have a financial interest in doing so!
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post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

Or you could, you know ... take your eyes off the phone for one second (!) ... and look at the map provided in every tram car and in every station, or look at the signs posted in every station as you go through, or listen to the voice announcements of the station names over the PA, or, or ...

 

That only works if you're inside the station. And if I'm inside the station, I don't need to know where it is (!). I'm talking about when I'm out and need to find the nearest suitable station.

post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

The new maps are still awful compared the old Google maps. :( Train and metro stations are shown as an icon, rather than display the name of the station. In a big city like London, that's a major problem. 

 

It also doesn't distinguish very well between footpaths and roads.

 

I was hoping for better from the GM.

 

Rather than just moaning,  try tapping the icon for the station.

 

Its not a paper map.  All the text doesn't need to be shown all the time!

post #31 of 31
None of this matters if you don't have google maps.
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