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Consumer Reports praises Apple's iPhone 5, but dings disappointing Maps

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Consumer Reports has called the iPhone 5 a "notable improvement" over its predecessor, but criticized Apple's new Maps application in iOS 6 as not up to par.

The GPS navigation team at Consumer Reports has been testing the iPhone 5, and determined that Apple's new Maps application in iOS 6 has "much maturing to do" before it can compete with other turn-by-turn services. Still, the consumer advocacy group's initial impressions of the iPhone 5 have been largely positive following last Friday's launch.

The organization has found that the iPhone 5 is a worthwhile improvement over the iPhone 4S "in spite of a mapping app that's disappointing, at least so far." Though iOS 6 Maps were highlighted as the "biggest drawback" of the iPhone 5, Consumer Reports also said the software is "likely to improve over time."

Still, Consumer Reports did have a few positive things to say about Maps in iOS 6 ? namely the simple interface designed by Apple.

The organization also praised the larger 4-inch display of the iPhone 5 with reduced glare, and the lighter weight as compared to the iPhone 4S. Their testing also found that the new 4G LTE radio is speedy and the A6 processor helps to load content faster.

The camera, however, was found to be just a "modest step up" from the iPhone 4S. They found that still shots and video look crisper and sharper with the iPhone 5, but did not find any apparent improvements in low lighting footage.

iPhone 5


Consumer Reports made waves in 2010 when it ranked the iPhone 4 the best smartphone available on the market, but later changed its stance and stated it couldn't recommend the iPhone 4. The group tested the iPhone 4 inside a controlled radio frequency isolation chamber, and found that covering the bottom left corner of the handset with one's bare hand could reduce reception.

The group took a more favorable view of the iPhone 4S when it was released last year, stating that any reception issues were addressed with the updated handset. And this year, it tested the new iPad and found the device could reach temperatures of 116 degrees Fahrenheit, calling it "warm but not especially uncomfortable if held for a brief period."
post #2 of 30

"Because we can't comprehend the idea of a product not being 100% perfect, we cannot recommend the iPhone 5 at this time. We'll let you have a Galaxy, though."

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #3 of 30

indeed, check out the full story at their website: www.consumerist.com

best website ever for consumers.

 

/*cough*

post #4 of 30
Originally Posted by Mugzy View Post
indeed, check out the full story at their website: www.consumerist.com

best website ever for consumers.

 

Looks like they really care about their readers!


We'd like to take the opportunity to update you on our current technical difficulties and what we plan to do going forward.

 

So… no actual update on the status, just… still down. Not telling us what they're doing, just… 


Even AI wasn't taken down for duration of the Huddler transition; it was just down for a few hours when the forums were finished and then pushed out later that day.


We are working (day and night) on an interim solution that will allow us to keep the content coming.

 

It's called a backup server, where you have a copy of the site stored. You use that… and it's back up.


Our readers are the best, and anyone who says otherwise probably does PR for Bank of America.

 

Oh, yeah, these guys are certainly unbiased in their reviews.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #5 of 30

And CONSUMERS have just handed Apple over 5 million units in sales. 

 

 

Everything comes out in the wash when the Consumer Satisfaction reports start rolling in. Where the rubber meets the road. Guess where the iPhone5 will be?  The usual . . .

 

Just like the iPhone 4 that CR couldn't recommend. 

post #6 of 30

Used the turn by turn directions over the weekend - they're awesome!  Only problem I had - the voice is waaaaay too loud when you're playing music.  It mutes the music - which is great - but then screams at you at full volume, "TURN RIGHT IN 2 MILES!!!!!"

 

If I hadn't been expecting it, it would have scared me half to death.  As it was, it was terribly distracting.  Apple needs to fix this so that the volume of the voice is no louder than the volume of the music you're currently playing.

post #7 of 30

As long as maps.google.com works this whole thing is overblown

 

 

Also I was surprised to see the walking directions still in maps this past weekend. I thought Apple said that those were going away

post #8 of 30
@sunspot ...you can change the map volume in Settings>Maps. Maps work great for me too.
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunspot42 View Post

Used the turn by turn directions over the weekend - they're awesome!  Only problem I had - the voice is waaaaay too loud when you're playing music.  It mutes the music - which is great - but then screams at you at full volume, "TURN RIGHT IN 2 MILES!!!!!"

If I hadn't been expecting it, it would have scared me half to death.  As it was, it was terribly distracting.  Apple needs to fix this so that the volume of the voice is no louder than the volume of the music you're currently playing.

You can change the volume in Settings.
post #10 of 30
Johnnyb0731, can you show me Street View on maps.google.com on the iPhone? How about public transportation information? I didn't think so. Apple Maps has low res images and far less features than the Google Map app that it replaced. The negative reports are valid, they are not overblown. It is an embarrassment that Apple released a competing app that can't compare to the one it replaced. The flyover feature is pointless eye-candy that no one would find beneficial, unless you fly a helicopter to wherever you go. Thankfully, another AI member pointed out that there is an app called Streetviewer that provides the Google Street View data for those that need and use the feature.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Johnnyb0731, can you show me Street View on maps.google.com on the iPhone? How about public transportation information? I didn't think so. Apple Maps has low res images and far less features than the Google Map app that it replaced. The negative reports are valid, they are not overblown. It is an embarrassment that Apple released a competing app that can't compare to the one it replaced. The flyover feature is pointless eye-candy that no one would find beneficial, unless you fly a helicopter to wherever you go. Thankfully, another AI member pointed out that there is an app called Streetviewer that provides the Google Street View data for those that need and use the feature.


The web app has everything but street view including public transportation. I guess I just never really found the need for streetview on the phone

post #12 of 30
Sure maps failed to wow and street view is a major loss but we'll just have to be patient and in the meantime Google will release an app to get us through but all this crying about the new dock connector perplexes me. Really, it's innovative, easier to use, so much better in every way. The old one is clunky by comparison. Ok I admit the cost of the adapter is a bit rich but it's technology and not just some plastic clip. In 6 months this will all be forgotten.

You have to wonder is Samasung are releasing all the negative press about scratches etc. questionable if you ask me.
post #13 of 30
I agree with Consumers Report that the map app sucks.
post #14 of 30
Originally Posted by Rodent View Post
I agree… …that the map app sucks.

 

I am thoroughly shocked and struck dumb at the sheer surprise of learning this information.


Edited by Tallest Skil - 9/24/12 at 4:19pm

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #15 of 30

So how long has smartphone GPS performance formed part of Consumer Reports reviews?

 

Amazing how their nitpicking suddenly becomes the most important issue when Apple is involved.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunspot42 View Post

Used the turn by turn directions over the weekend - they're awesome!  Only problem I had - the voice is waaaaay too loud when you're playing music.  It mutes the music - which is great - but then screams at you at full volume, "TURN RIGHT IN 2 MILES!!!!!"

 

If I hadn't been expecting it, it would have scared me half to death.  As it was, it was terribly distracting.  Apple needs to fix this so that the volume of the voice is no louder than the volume of the music you're currently playing.

 

You were operating it in "Mother-in-Law" mode. Switching to "wife" mode is somewhat quieter and less demanding. Avoid the "girlfriend" mode if you don't want to get lost on a backwoods cow path.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyb0731 View Post


The web app has everything but street view including public transportation. I guess I just never really found the need for streetview on the phone

 

I like street view. It lets you travel back in time and see what a street looked like when Bush was president.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #18 of 30
It doesn't look like any of the commenters actually clicked the link and read the review. The article describes the review as "largely positive" and it was. That Consumer Reports found deficiencies in the Maps app should be no surprise. Everything else was positive.

Also, Consumer Reports website is at www.consumerreports.org. Consumer Reports owns consumerist.com, but obviously does not maintain at website anymore.

The anti-Consumer Reports bias on AI is stupid. Antennagate was over 2 years ago. Consumer Reports moved on, so should AI readers.
post #19 of 30
Originally Posted by msuberly View Post
The anti-Consumer Reports bias on AI is stupid. Antennagate was over 2 years ago. Consumer Reports moved on, so should AI readers.

 

I'm sorry, but when you're THAT wrong about something when you're supposed to be an authority on the matter, why should anyone believe what you say about any of the reviews you give for any product?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

 

I like street view. It lets you travel back in time and see what a street looked like when Bush was president.

 

Good assessment, I just looked up my house... Image date: August 2007.

post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

I like street view. It lets you travel back in time and see what a street looked like when Bush was president.
Best joke of the day!

We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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post #22 of 30
I'm disappointed CR doesn't slam the iPhone 5 for not being Samsung enough.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #23 of 30

Alright idiots. IMO the maps app is awesome. It is perfect. Perfect everything where I am.

 

But, since it is so "widely criticized", I have an idea. Let Apple, with their perfect noncompeting relationship with Google (/s), combine Google's data with theirs...

Is that a good idea?

 

 


Tim Cook using Galaxy Tabs as frisbees

 

Reply

 

 


Tim Cook using Galaxy Tabs as frisbees

 

Reply
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

Alright idiots. IMO the maps app is awesome. It is perfect. Perfect everything where I am.

But, since it is so "widely criticized", I have an idea. Let Apple, with their perfect noncompeting relationship with Google (/s), combine Google's data with theirs...
Is that a good idea?

I don't think anyone said it was perfect. What was said was that it works most of the time. There are errors - just like there are errors in Google Maps, as well. Over time, Apple's data will get better. Whether the errors affect you will depend on where you use it. It appears that the problems are more common internationally and in very remote areas. They will improve - just as Google Maps has improved.

As for using Google's data, Apple can't unilaterally decide to do that. It was rumored that Google would not extend Apple's license - and that is plausible given Google's new move to putting ads in their mapping program.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

Alright idiots. IMO the maps app is awesome. It is perfect. Perfect everything where I am.

But, since it is so "widely criticized", I have an idea. Let Apple, with their perfect noncompeting relationship with Google (/s), combine Google's data with theirs...
Is that a good idea?

It just takes an enormous amount of time to input all of that data. I'm sure some areas are perfect. Some, I'm sure, are less than perfect. In my area all of the streets are fine, however there's a nonexistent StarBucks next door apparently. They'll fix it. I do feel bad for the people who have to input an entire WORLD of data. Seems very menotonous and I could completely see things starting to look the same after a while for most people.

I don't think the resolution scales as well as it did in the old maps app. That may just be an algorithm though. I did check the same maps side by side with iOS 6 and iOS 5 on ipads. It's very noticeable. Some may consider resolution to be mere eye candy, but I do know N.A.S.A. goes to great lengths to improve the resolution of their maps. That said, I don't believe anyone will be landing a rover with their iPad anytime soon. :o)
post #26 of 30

Street view is available with 'Live Street View' and it works much quicker on my Ipad than the old maps app.
 

post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Johnnyb0731, can you show me Street View on maps.google.com on the iPhone? How about public transportation information? I didn't think so. Apple Maps has low res images and far less features than the Google Map app that it replaced. The negative reports are valid, they are not overblown. It is an embarrassment that Apple released a competing app that can't compare to the one it replaced. The flyover feature is pointless eye-candy that no one would find beneficial, unless you fly a helicopter to wherever you go. Thankfully, another AI member pointed out that there is an app called Streetviewer that provides the Google Street View data for those that need and use the feature.

It's called Live Street View...

 

Er, Oops, just checked and discovered there is a StreetViewer app after all!! And it's streets ahead (ha!) of Live Street Viewer. iOS 6 lovers (I'm one) had better grab it before Google yanks its licence from the App vendor :-)


Edited by airmanchairman - 9/25/12 at 4:39am
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by msuberly View Post

It doesn't look like any of the commenters actually clicked the link and read the review. The article describes the review as "largely positive" and it was. That Consumer Reports found deficiencies in the Maps app should be no surprise. Everything else was positive.
Also, Consumer Reports website is at www.consumerreports.org. Consumer Reports owns consumerist.com, but obviously does not maintain at website anymore.
The anti-Consumer Reports bias on AI is stupid. Antennagate was over 2 years ago. Consumer Reports moved on, so should AI readers.

 

The truth is biased. And, the disdain for CR isn't about Apple, it's about them being utterly clueless in their reviews, for everything, for as long as anyone can remember.

 

But, let's look at this instance. The iPhone 5 was released on Friday, iOS, thus, Maps, a couple of days before. Now, I think we can fairly safely assume that CR did not get an advance unit from Apple. That means they got one last Friday, at the earliest. So, how much time did they actually have to, in addition to checking out all the other aspects of the phone hardware, etc, to actually evaluate the Maps app? (Ignoring the question of how many other smartphones' reviews include a review of the mapping software). A day, tops? That's not really time to do a proper review of a text editor, let alone mapping software that covers the entire globe.

 

We can therefore conclude that CR didn't actually conduct a proper review of the Maps software. They don't even have any of their precious criteria for evaluating mapping software. CR's mention of the Maps software is nothing more than "piling on" based on what they've read on the Internet. So much for objectivity, especially when it comes to the iPhone. CR is a fraud.


Edited by anonymouse - 9/25/12 at 6:46am
post #29 of 30
Still holding on to my 3G on IOS 4 (jb). When it came out here in Europe, it was THE must-have gadget. Only some months before, struggling with Oprah on a Nokia was the way to go if you needed to check how trains were doing during a nationwide train fault.

Suddenly a handheld device you could read real webpages on, wherever you went. And could mail like a BlackBerry and showoff Monkey Ball to Nintendo fans.

The new iPhone 5 and IOS 6 don't make the same big change the 3G did compared to what came before and what was around from other manufacturers. Actually I think there is hardly anything I would do with an iPhone 5 which I can't do with my 3G.

I wanted to check train-tables, I wanted to read some quick news-updates, I wanted to have proper e-mail. With the 3G I can, as long as the cracks in the casing don't get worse. It is even a handy darkroom timer and I can send pictures to my wife asking which pack of diapers I need to buy. And, last but not least, I got Google maps ;-).

Not going to get a new phone. Saving up for a MacBook, to be in time when technology finally gets enough GPU in a low power laptop to really make those Retina displays fly.
post #30 of 30
I think Google Maps in iphone had not gone through a major overhaul for so long. It's fresh to see a new competition in this app. And I honestly think the 3D rendering idea is a good solution to the flat Google 2D map look. It will be a major advantage in understanding the surrounding area of the destination you never travel before. Yes, I disagree with rushing the release of the app and therefore having glitches here and there; But I love this new app idea. Perhaps the next version would be better, who knows. But if this is available in Android for free, I will take it anytime!
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