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NYT: iOS Maps another internet services blunder for Apple

post #1 of 444
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A New York Times report on Friday says Apple's new iOS Maps app and corresponding service is another casualty of the company's lack of focus in offering reliable internet-based services, and reveals the original iPhone wasn't planned to have mapping software until mere weeks before its debut.

iOS 6 Maps
Apple's Maps has been widely criticized since its debut alongside iOS 6. | Source: Apple


The publication cites a former Apple iPhone software engineer familiar with the matter who said late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs requested a mapping solution be included with the original iPhone "just weeks" before it was scheduled to be unveiled in 2007, alluding that the service was more of an afterthought than a planned feature.

According to the source, two engineers were tasked with creating a maps app for the original iPhone's presentation and the company ultimately struck a deal with Google to use the internet search giant's mapping data.

Executives at Apple were reportedly surprised by the popularity of the Google Maps-powered app, and quickly became leery of the large amounts of user metrics data Google now had access to, said an unnamed former Apple executive.

The anecdote serves to paint a larger picture of Apple's reported lack of attention to building internet services that match the level of polish seen in its hardware. The Times claims "numerous interviews" with former Apple employees "made it clear that Mr. Jobs and other executives rarely paid as much attention to Internet services as they did to the devices for which Apple is best known."

Maps on iPhone 5


Citing various Apple attempts at such services, including the much-maligned MobileMe launch and now-defunct Ping social music network, the publication noted an apparent inability to make an internet-based product that worked.

?I always felt if you had to name an Achilles? heel at Apple, it?s Internet services,? said former Apple product designer Andrew Borovsky, who previously worked on MobileMe. ?It?s clearly an issue.?

Creating an internet service from the ground up is no easy task, even for a company as large as Apple which had already seen success with iTunes. Former Apple executives claim the disappointing performance of MobileMe was a "symptom of a lack of appreciation" by company execs, including Jobs, of the difference between an online service and an online store. Tantamount to the arguable lack of foresight was the iPhone maker's secrecy, which wouldn't allow services like MobileMe to be thoroughly vetted before launch.

As for the new iOS Maps app, another former executive said colleagues still with Apple are "embarrassed by it," claiming the current problems are due to the merging of map data coming from a variety of sources. Some of this data is said to be flawed.

Incomplete Data
Google Maps' building data (left) compared to same view on Apple's Maps (right).


Apple CEO Tim Cook on Friday apologized to customers dissatisfied with Maps in iOS 6, trying to stem the flood of criticism targeting the new app's shortcomings.

?I think there?s a bigger question of whether hardware companies can be services companies,? said Leslie Grandy, a former Apple manager responsible for the Online Apple Store.

It appears Apple has little time to rectify the situation, the publication said, as smartphones become increasingly reliant on internet service, an area where Android maker Google has the "home-turf advantage."
post #2 of 444
Lol

So apple struggles out of the gate with their map app which shows obvious potential for being the best app for maps once they fix a few things.

Googles already copying in their own misguided way (a 45 degree bitmap is still a bitmap).

And then to try to lambast all of apples Internet services because of this? Laughably reaching. Trying a bit too hard.

Mobile me had launch trouble because of how ambitious it was and quickly became known for being awesome. Not a negative.

Ping sims never was. And that's ok. Apple is just used to making everything they do perfect and desirable. So when ping turned out to not be all that wanted, they shuttered it. Much like google with its many experiments. And it's not like apple killed an ecosystem. Zune anyone? "plays4sure" yeah right...

In fact, from MobileMe to iTunes, to iCloud, apple seems to "get" Internet services like few companies do.

Apples headed in the right direction with maps. They'll have it in top form inside a year. That's saying a lot considering googles head start.

Here's hoping apple goes into the search business as well.
post #3 of 444

So far using Maps in my area seems to be ok when I looked for things. It pinned them correctly. But we'll see I suppose the more I use to see how it performs. It can only go up from here with future updates. 

post #4 of 444
Woah! Apple has been in the internet services space longer than most players out there today, going as far back as the free iTools.

Microsoft had Hotmail which was basically email and IM, Apple had the email, personal web pages, was in the cloud (iDisk) long before many others.

Sure, they have had a couple of hiccups along the way with the launch of MobileMe and now the new Maps perhaps should have been left to bake in the oven a little longer (although, as this website has been pointing out the issues with Maps have been exaggerated, to say the least, and in some cases fabricated).

None of this justifies any conclusion that Apple either is not good at or not dedicated to Internet services.

As to the comments about Maps on the iPhone, I recall reading from the Apple/Samsung litigation that iPhone%u2019s design was completely overhauled only months before it was unveiled. But even so, the iPhone was only unveiled because of all the regulatory approvals it had to go through before launch, which would have outed the device months before Apple had planned to launch it. So, in fact, it is a bit misleading to call Maps on the iPhone an %u201Cafterthought%u201D just because work may have begun only a few weeks before it was unveiled.

Apple has a reputation for excellence, and deservedly so. It seems people have come to expect a lot from Apple and then magnify the mishaps when, as Tim Cook acknowledged in his open letter, Apple has not met its own exacting standards.
post #5 of 444

Sorry, edited this in Pages before pasting into the web form; second last paragraph should read:

 

As to the comments about Maps on the iPhone, I recall reading from the Apple/Samsung litigation that iPhone's design was completely overhauled only months before it was unveiled. But even so, the iPhone was only unveiled because of all the regulatory approvals it had to go through before launch, which would have outed the device months before Apple had planned to launch it. So, in fact, it is a bit misleading to call Maps on the iPhone an "afterthought" just because work may have begun only a few weeks before it was unveiled.

post #6 of 444
Am I the only one who thinks the NYT's version of journalism consists of kicking a man when he's down. I have to roll my eyes with each new "unnamed source"
post #7 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypoluxa View Post

So far using Maps in my area seems to be ok when I looked for things. It pinned them correctly. But we'll see I suppose the more I use to see how it performs. It can only go up from here with future updates. 

Exactly.

The handful of street addresses I've tried with Apple Maps have worked. Then again... most street addresses have been around for a while... unless it's a brand new subdivision or shopping center.

Where Apple will have to improve is points-of-interests and other data.
post #8 of 444
Seems like nowadays we can rely on NYT to have a dig at Apple at every unfortunate incidents.
post #9 of 444

Hey New York Times,

 

WHO OWN'S THE LARGEST ONLINE MUSIC STORE THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN?

 

Bunch of f**king bozo's.

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post #10 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypoluxa View Post

So far using Maps in my area seems to be ok when I looked for things. It pinned them correctly. But we'll see I suppose the more I use to see how it performs. It can only go up from here with future updates. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

Exactly.
The handful of street addresses I've tried with Apple Maps have worked. Then again... most street addresses have been around for a while... unless it's a brand new subdivision or shopping center.
Where Apple will have to improve is points-of-interests and other data.

Maps will never be fixed until it gets a built-in street view. We'd been spoiled.
post #11 of 444
I call it FUD.

J.
post #12 of 444
Prediction: Apple will have the best mapping service within a year.
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post #13 of 444
I agree. It is all about trying to stir up more anti Apple sentiment. The article is even titled in a way to mislead and get eyeballs. It reads at first glance as if the current solution was a last minute idea. This is tabloid journalism at its worst and a trend here on AI also and frankly turning me off reading AI more and more.

It seems AI is more interested in attracting Apple haters these days. I am going to go read Mac Rumors now and I may not be back here much as I used to be.
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post #14 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post


Maps will never be fixed until it gets a built-in street view. We'd been spoiled.

If you like street view use goof, er, goog map. You need not use Apple map app.

post #15 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Prediction: Apple will have the best mapping service within a year.

I'd say Apple will have the best mapping service in many regards within a year. There new Maps for iOS 6 is already worlds above iOS 5 in many regards, but some of that is because of Google's poor backend offerings. I haven't directly compared it to Google Maps on Android and Nokia Maps on WinPh7 but I suspect Apple Maps would best them in some ways right now.

I'm not sure I'll think Apple has the de facto best mapping service if they don't offer every major feature that is currently available by others. A street view service, for example, would be needed.

I was recorded by a Navteq True car whilst standing in line for my iPhone last week. I didn't even know they were doing such a service. If Apple can license this tech it appears to be much better than the game of Myst running on a 200MHz Pentium PC that we currently have from Google Street View.


Now, I'm sure someone is saying "But Apple won't use Navteq because they want to own the entire mapping service." Not true. They still license several aspects of Apple Maps with TomTom, Waze, Yelp, and at least a dozen others. Owning your own maps doesn't mean not contracting with others for support.

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post #16 of 444

So, NYT...

 

 

 

...did you also check Google Maps? It's no better. The monument is in the middle of the street and the bus stop in the green.

 

 

 

But who cares? Everybody navigation to this location using Google Maps or Apple's Maps will find it.

post #17 of 444
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post #18 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'd say Apple will have the best mapping service in many regards within a year. There new Maps for iOS 6 is already worlds above iOS 5 in many regards, but some of that is because of Google's poor backend offerings. I haven't directly compared it to Google Maps on Android and Nokia Maps on WinPh7 but I suspect Apple Maps would best them in some ways right now.
I'm not sure I'll think Apple has the de facto best mapping service if they don't offer every major feature that is currently available by others. A street view service, for example, would be needed.
I was recorded by a Navteq True car whilst standing in line for my iPhone last week. I didn't even know they were doing such a service. If Apple can license this tech it appears to be much better than the game of Myst running on a 200MHz Pentium PC that we currently have from Google Street View. Now, I'm sure someone is saying "But Apple won't use Navteq because they want to own the entire mapping service." Not true. They still license several aspects of Apple Maps with TomTom, Waze, Yelp, and at least a dozen others. Owning your own maps doesn't mean not contracting with others for support.

Thanks for the link. The Navteq system seems to be the road based equivalent (with more bells and whistles) to the SAAB flight based recording system, they would fit together like a hand in a glove! I hope Apple is either licensing this or buying this company!
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post #19 of 444

Regardless of what the what Google tries, Apple maps architecture's technology is years a ahead of Google Maps and Google knows this and Apple knows this.  Google knows that the maps will be toast soon.  And when layers of map information start coming out from third parties, Apple Maps superiority will really show.

 

Google's static 3D images are crap.  Even their street view is inconsistent with plenty of omissions.

 

Apple Maps' issues are much easier to fix than Google-Maps' architectural deficiencies.

 

Time will tell.

post #20 of 444

Regardless of what the what Google tries, Apple maps' technology is years a ahead of Google Maps and Google knows this and Apple knows this.  Google knows that its maps will be toast soon.  And when layers of map information start coming out from third parties for Apple Maps, its superiority will really show.

 

Google's static 3D bitmaps are crap.  Even their street view is inconsistent and with plenty of omissions.

 

Apple Maps' issues are much easier to fix than Google-Maps' architectural deficiencies.

 

Time will tell.

post #21 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Thanks for the link. The Navteq system seems to be the road based equivalent (with more bells and whistles) to the SAAB flight based recording system, they would fit together like a hand in a glove! I hope Apple is either licensing this or buying this company!


Yeah, before I knew about the Navteq system you may recall that since iOS 6 Maps beta was out I was suggesting such a system that would use tech similar to Flyover to do a digital mapping that would allow users a 3D street view. I really hope this comes to fruition in iOS 7. I'd think Navteq having a couple years to map, at least, the US would be sufficient time.

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post #22 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post

Lol
So apple struggles out of the gate with their map app which shows obvious potential for being the best app for maps once they fix a few things.
Googles already copying in their own misguided way (a 45 degree bitmap is still a bitmap).
And then to try to lambast all of apples Internet services because of this? Laughably reaching. Trying a bit too hard.
Mobile me had launch trouble because of how ambitious it was and quickly became known for being awesome. Not a negative.
Ping sims never was. And that's ok. Apple is just used to making everything they do perfect and desirable. So when ping turned out to not be all that wanted, they shuttered it. Much like google with its many experiments. And it's not like apple killed an ecosystem. Zune anyone? "plays4sure" yeah right...
In fact, from MobileMe to iTunes, to iCloud, apple seems to "get" Internet services like few companies do.
Apples headed in the right direction with maps. They'll have it in top form inside a year. That's saying a lot considering googles head start.
Here's hoping apple goes into the search business as well.

 

Well said.

post #23 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Prediction: Apple will have the best mapping service within a year.

I think that's only going to happen if Apple releases a web-based version of their mapping app. There's a lot of iOS users but there's significantly more web users. That's important for a service that relies on crowding-sourcing.
post #24 of 444

I haven't seen any problems in the places that i've searched for.  I wonder how many people or search attempts for locations and directions are actually going to be affected.

 

Also, this just seems like a cheap shot at Apple.  I remember when MapQuest and Google Maps first came out and they both were spotty in giving proper directions.  I couldn't reliably use either one.

 

Yeah, I think Apple should have put more resources when they started to develop the app in cleaning up how it integrates information from various sources.

 

Safari, on the other hand is MUCH faster, which was a welcome improvement.

 

Either way,  I find it funny that Cisco stopped selling their own Android tablets and now they own around 12,000 iPads internally.  I guess Cisco doesn't like Android enough to continue using it internally.  Maybe they know something the media hasn't covered.

post #25 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Seems like nowadays we can rely on NYT to have a dig at Apple at every unfortunate incidents.

 

NYT is just a online newspaper. Fortunately for them there are an endless Apple haters read and comment on every Apple-related post. Well, that makes a lot of traffics then.

post #26 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Thanks for the link. The Navteq system seems to be the road based equivalent (with more bells and whistles) to the SAAB flight based recording system, they would fit together like a hand in a glove! I hope Apple is either licensing this or buying this company!


Excuse me, but this is about the 30th post I've seen saying that Apple should buy Navteq.  And it's time to kill this meme:
 

Quote:
Navteq is a Chicago-based provider of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data and is a major provider of base electronic navigable maps. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nokia but operates independently.

 

All we all clear now??  Apple has money and talent to throw at this issue - but in terms of BUYING a company, they're gonna have to throw it somewhere else.  Which does, one supposes, leave licensing, if they're truly the best alternative, as MS has influence at Nokia, and are lately more focused on suppressing Google than crossing swords with Cupertino.....

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post #27 of 444

First off, most of these articles written for many of these publications like the NYT are written by journalists with questionable backgrounds in Technology.  Most of them aren't really trained in computer science, programming, engineering.  Most of them have a journalist background.

 

Journalism is just another fancy name for sensationalism to sell newspapers.  Apple is a big target due to their success and these newspapers have always knocked Apple every time an issue comes up and they are typically much nicer to the lessor quality alternative when they have BIGGER problems.

 

I've talked to several Android users that are frustrated with their products and can't stand how their Samsung S III sucks.

post #28 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I think that's only going to happen if Apple releases a web-based version of their mapping app. There's a lot of iOS users but there's significantly more web users. That's important for a service that relies on crowding-sourcing.

That is another necessary feature. If you try to share your Apple Maps from iOS right now the hyperlink is maps.apple.com/... but it will instantly switch to maps.google.com when it hits Apple's server. I can't image they will want to keep that up.

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post #29 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post

Maps will never be fixed until it gets a built-in street view. We'd been spoiled.

I didn't even know the old maps had Street View until I read about it a few months ago. I guess "drop a pin to use Street View" wasn't very intuitive.

So obviously I didn't cry when they took it away.

But I am enjoying the new turn-by-turn navigation that the old app lacked.
post #30 of 444

Something I read about the new Google Maps that really isn't getting much attention.

 

I heard that in order to use their new version of Google Maps for iOS6 that one has to jailbreak iOS 6.  First off, if this is true, why is that?   Is the new Google Maps not on Apple's App Store? if it isn't, why wouldn't they submit it? Are they afraid Apple will find out that it is written to gather information that might be considered malware?  

 

Why would Google want Apple users to violate their warranty support by promoting Jailbreaking.  to me, that's a bigger story.

post #31 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post


Excuse me, but this is about the 30th post I've seen saying that Apple should buy Navteq.  And it's time to kill this meme:

 

All we all clear now??  Apple has money and talent to throw at this issue - but in terms of BUYING a company, they're gonna have to throw it somewhere else.  Which does, one supposes, leave licensing, if they're truly the best alternative, as MS has influence at Nokia, and are lately more focused on suppressing Google than crossing swords with Cupertino.....

How about Apple buying Nokia? Problem solved. 1biggrin.gif
post #32 of 444
I can't imagine the relevance of reporting that the original maps app was added only weeks before the debut. There were six months from then till the launch to perfect it. Pure sensationalism and weak journalism.
post #33 of 444

NY Times: "an apparent inability to make an internet-based product that worked"

 

That's right. I have used almost exclusively Apple products for 11 years and their Internet services are as reliably bad as their client devices and UI are good.

 

The real waste, the real sad thing, is thinking what they could have done with all the resources they put in to the maps app. What cool client side stuff they could have come up with, if they'd just admit that's what they're good at and outsource everything else.

post #34 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Something I read about the new Google Maps that really isn't getting much attention.

I heard that in order to use their new version of Google Maps for iOS6 that one has to jailbreak iOS 6.  First off, if this is true, why is that?   Is the new Google Maps not on Apple's App Store? if it isn't, why wouldn't they submit it? Are they afraid Apple will find out that it is written to gather information that might be considered malware?  

Why would Google want Apple users to violate their warranty support by promoting Jailbreaking.  to me, that's a bigger story.

Google would need nothing sinister in their app to track users. Once you submit the location to Google they can simply gather all that on the back end.

I have only heard rumours of Google having an app ready, which was followed by rumours that Google doesn't have an app ready. There are several reasons Google might not want an app. 1) There app might just be shit so it will just weaken the way the masses feel right now. 2) They have had web-based maps for a long time now and will even have StreetView in them shortly. 3) Anything to helps make Apple Maps look like less of an issue for iDevice users hurts Google so they might simply hold off for now.

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post #35 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

First off, most of these articles written for many of these publications like the NYT are written by journalists with questionable backgrounds in Technology.  Most of them aren't really trained in computer science, programming, engineering.  Most of them have a journalist background.

Journalism is just another fancy name for sensationalism to sell newspapers.  Apple is a big target due to their success and these newspapers have always knocked Apple every time an issue comes up and they are typically much nicer to the lessor quality alternative when they have BIGGER problems.

I've talked to several Android users that are frustrated with their products and can't stand how their Samsung S III sucks.

I don't understand why you're against buying and licensing. It happens. We see subsidiaries get sold and companies licensing their tech all the time. Apple partners with at least a dozen companies just for their Maps backend.

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post #36 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I think that's only going to happen if Apple releases a web-based version of their mapping app. There's a lot of iOS users but there's significantly more web users. That's important for a service that relies on crowding-sourcing.

I was wondering why OS X doesn't have access to Apple maps yet.
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post #37 of 444

In 3 to 5years, 50% of all NYT readership and revenue will come from iOS Newstand.  Of which, Apple will keep 30% of $  

 

Another clear example of Apple unable to deliver in online services  /s 

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post #38 of 444
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post #39 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Google would need nothing sinister in their app to track users. Once you submit the location to Google they can simply gather all that on the back end.
I have only heard rumours of Google having an app ready, which was followed by rumours that Google doesn't have an app ready. There are several reasons Google might not want an app. 1) There app might just be shit so it will just weaken the way the masses feel right now. 2) They have had web-based maps for a long time now and will even have StreetView in them shortly. 3) Anything to helps make Apple Maps look like less of an issue for iDevice users hurts Google so they might simply hold off for now.

It is a strange position they find themselves in though isn't it. Bring out an app and try to get iOS users back in their revenue stream (90%+ of mobile web traffic) or hope they hurt Apple more by not.
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post #40 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


It is a strange position they find themselves in though isn't it. Bring out an app and try to get iOS users back in their revenue stream (90%+ of mobile web traffic) or hope they hurt Apple more by not.

Why do you think Google wants to hurt Apple? What are the benefits of doing so?

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