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Apple's new iOS 6 Maps support automatic offline use for a wide area

post #1 of 174
Thread Starter 
Vector maps in iOS 6 are so efficient that Apple can cache a very large surrounding area for offline browsing and GPS navigation when traveling outside of WiFi or mobile data coverage.

Introducing iOS 6.0 Maps
Using Maps Offline
2: Maps and visualizations
3: Transit directions
4: Map labels & local search
5: Routing & traffic

Going offline with vector maps



Apple's new Maps are a huge leap over iOS 5 maps in pure technology: the use of vector maps (mathematically described, resolution independent map information rather than static bitmapped pictures of map tiles) enables fast, sophisticated navigation of 2D and 3D views with fluid panning, rotation and perspective, in contrast to the flat, static map images provided by Apple's previous version of the app.

Using vectors also results in much less data use (an estimated 80 percent less), as your iPhone can download large areas of maps faster (eating up less of your data plan and battery).

The efficient outlines can also work offline far further after you lose your data connection. For example, while iOS 5 Maps would load Google's map tiles of the immediate area being browsed at a couple zoom levels for offline browsing (generally less than a 10 mile radius), Apple's new vector maps, once loaded in San Francisco, allowed us to browse an entire continent of high level maps (state outlines) while offline, north from Anchorage, Alaska to Lima, Peru and from Honolulu, Hawaii to Montr?al, Canada.

At a highway level detail, we could actually navigate most of California, and on a simplified level, the western half of the United States. There were detailed street-level maps available of areas we'd never even looked at while online, as far away as Salt Lake City, Utah (about 740 miles or 1200 km east). Thanks to vectors, you can even view these offline maps in 3D perspective.

iOS6Maps.Offline.100512.001.jpg


This vastly expanded new capability allows travelers to load detailed maps for a very large area and navigate around via GPS, which remains active even if you turn mobile roaming off (or lack wireless service in that location). Under iOS 5, it was tricky to maintain 2D cached map tiles for even significant part of a single city.

Even more surprisingly, iOS 6 Maps also loads basic satellite images and major city labels for the entire globe. When you switch to hybrid mode while offline, Maps overlays its cached vector road paths and city labels over higher quality satellite images that let you visualize the Earth's topography in useful detail over more than a 100 mile (160 km) area, also in 3D perspective view.

When taken offline, the old Maps under iOS 5 wouldn't show anything beyond the local, bitmapped map tiles already downloaded, nor any portion of the rest of the globe, even on a basic level. Additionally, the static, bitmapped nature of iOS 5's Google map tiles meant that even if there were some standard and satellite images cached, the app couldn't layer them together to present a hybrid view (and it also lacked any ability to show those maps in 3D perspective).

No real alternative vector maps for iOS 6, yet



Native apps by Google and Nokia (for Android and Windows Phone, respectively) also use vector maps, but their web sites available to iOS users still use bitmapped tiles. The technology to support vector maps in a web browser (WebGL) isn't quite there yet, and so far is still pretty taxing even for desktop computers. To bring vector maps to iOS 6, these companies would need to offer a native app.

Conversely, the web's current limitations in supporting 3D vectors also suggests Apple has no immediate plans to bring its iOS Maps to the web (like Google and Nokia have via bitmaps), although it may deliver a native Mac app (or integrate features into iPhoto's geotagging Places feature, for example) for desktop users.

If Google does port its Android maps to iOS, it will certainly also use vectors. However, Google's existing native app for Android doesn't currently offer the same kind of benefits Apple's new Maps has; when taken offline after loading maps around San Francisco, Google's native Android Maps could only zoom out enough to show the most basic state boundaries for part of the northwest U.S. (zooming out any further, we lost any coverage for California).

iOS6Maps.Offline.100512.002.jpg


Rather than showing navigable road detail for most of California as Apple's Maps do, the latest Android Maps, despite vector support, could barely cover the 49 square miles (126 sq km) of San Francisco after losing connectivity.

Major highway routes degraded to a blocky mess within ten miles of our loaded location, and even city names disappeared after 40 miles (64 km). Highway 101 vanished into dead ends just 70 miles outside of San Francisco.

Taking maps offline manually with Android



Offline Maps, a new feature in Google's Android Maps released this summer, lets you manually select a regions you can save to your device. However, Google limits this support to an area of about a 50 mile (80 km) radius. Google provides full detail for offline map regions, but the area of coverage is much less than Apple's iOS 6 Maps caches automatically.

iOS6Maps.Offline.100512.003.jpg


Just outside the manually saved offline region (indicated by the horizontal line in the third image, above), Android Maps degrade into an unusable blur just 40 miles away from our location. Apple's automatically cached offline maps gracefully scale down in detail to remain useful, a much better implementation of vector map technology.

To capture greater detail of specific areas for offline use in Apple's iOS 6 Maps, all you have to do is zoom in on the regions you want to view offline. After zooming into street level maps in Fairfield, Santa Cruz, Antioch and Sacramento, the new Maps allowed us to zoom back in at the same level of detail to all those areas once offline.

Additionally, Android Maps will not allow you to bring up its layers menu without a data connection, making it impossible to try to load satellite images or a hybrid view for offline use, even for areas captured with the Offline Maps feature.

If Google's latest version of Android Maps is any indication of what it will offer iOS users, it needs to put a lot of work into its vector maps imaging to catch up to Apple's technology in Maps. At the same time, we'd like to see official support for saving offline maps of specific areas within iOS 6 Maps, because it's not clear how long or how much detail Maps saves for you after you've browsed a region.

There's no doubt that the "automatic offline support" in Apple's new Maps is infinitely better than the old iOS 5 Maps, however. It's also surprising that Apple hasn't made available for sale specialized packages of offline maps, such as national parks or regional trails, hiking and camping maps, and similar detailed, offline maps for iOS 6 users.

In addition to better handling of offline maps, Apple uses its new vector maps to progressively reveal detail on the map, as the next segment details.

Introducing iOS 6.0 Maps
Using Maps Offline
2: Maps and visualizations
3: Transit directions
4: Map labels & local search
5: Routing & traffic
post #2 of 174
Problem is you can't then search and initiate navigation after being off line, like you can with Nokia maps.
post #3 of 174
"Conversely, the web's current limitations in supporting 3D vectors also suggests Apple has no immediate plans to bring its iOS Maps to the web (like Google and Nokia have via bitmaps)..."


That's certainly a plausible reason for that but I think WebKit's dominance, the number of browsers that support WebGL, and what I've read about the ease to install WebGL support on IE 6+ browsers means it's not something they couldn't do.

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post #4 of 174

Oh no heaven forbid we hear some thing positive about Apple Maps in iOS6.  OMG help me I was never lost and can be found.

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post #5 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Problem is you can't then search and initiate navigation after being off line, like you can with Nokia maps.

 

If it's not there there is not much point:-

 

 

 

Nokia Maps

 

 

 

iOS 6

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post #6 of 174

The flack maps has gotten is despicable and insane, and has really made me lose faith in humanity. What a bunch of whiny, entitled, spoiled brats we've become. There are so many incredibly impressive things about this product, and what Apple has managed to accomplish at LAUNCH is positive insane. I can't believe flyover is now mocked and defined as 'garbage' and 'crap' because of people desperately looking for the worst looking stuff at the worst angles, ignoring the fact that 99% of the time it looks stunning. I've browsed 20 cities in 3D and my mind gets numb trying to imagine the level of work that must have taken, as well as the technical ability, algorithms, etc to make the 3D look near photo realistic. We're talking entire cities rendered, with residential areas, not just the core downtown. The cartography is gorgeous. Vector maps cache brilliantly and are incredibly well designed. Turn by turn has been flawless in my experience. Yes, there's missing/wrong data which there inevitably will be. But the fact that Apple hasn't gotten a shred of credit for the package, which in many ways is superior to Google maps (design of cartography, flyover, turn by turn interface, caching, iconography, etc) from a company that has never been in the mapping business, is just depressing.

 

Yeah, lets bitch and mock imperfections when an entire city is being rendered in 3D, while the competition is using flat jpegs, thats not petty or anything. Just imagine the bandwidth costs Apple is incurring for this compared to flat tiles. Its insanely ambitious. 

post #7 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

The flack maps has gotten is despicable and insane, and has really made me lose faith in humanity. What a bunch of whiny, entitled, spoiled brats we've become. There are so many incredibly impressive things about this product, and what Apple has managed to accomplish at LAUNCH is positive insane. I can't believe flyover is now mocked and defined as 'garbage' and 'crap' because of people desperately looking for the worst looking stuff at the worst angles, ignoring the fact that 99% of the time it looks stunning. I've browsed 20 cities in 3D and my mind gets numb trying to imagine the level of work that must have taken, as well as the technical ability, algorithms, etc to make the 3D look near photo realistic. We're talking entire cities rendered, with residential areas, not just the core downtown. The cartography is gorgeous. Vector maps cache brilliantly and are incredibly well designed. Turn by turn has been flawless in my experience. Yes, there's missing/wrong data which there inevitably will be. But the fact that Apple hasn't gotten a shred of credit for the package, which in many ways is superior to Google maps (design of cartography, flyover, turn by turn interface, caching, iconography, etc) from a company that has never been in the mapping business, is just depressing.

 

Yeah, lets bitch and mock imperfections when an entire city is being rendered in 3D, while the competition is using flat jpegs, thats not petty or anything. Just imagine the bandwidth costs Apple is incurring for this compared to flat tiles. Its insanely ambitious. 

The problem is there are more Apple Haters than lovers.  There are mega corps who want to see Apple fail.  This was a successful campaign.  Kinda like politics but worst.  At least in politics there are some boundaries.  But in the tech world there is no mercy.  Especially when you have 10s of millions even 100 million on legal teams and strategists to hurt the other guy.  If Steve Jobs was still alive he would have brought this stupid map issue to its knees and any one who caused or made it a problem would have trembled at the mere thought of facing the man.  This too will pass and Maps will be a mega app for the iPhone and iPad.

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post #8 of 174
It's actually quite impressive how much it remembers when you turn on Airplane mode. The detail and range is staggering. I'm quite liking (warming up to) the new Maps app, but it could use a bit more polishing.

It's the detail I miss from the old Google API iOS5 maps app, such as border boundaries, creeks etc… Yelp! is quite nice, but it is only as good as the crowd uses it. This means not all restaurants, POI, etc are covered. Hopefully this will included in the near future.

I don't care for transit stuff as it was never available in Australia anyway (that I know of) and street view (which I hardly use) is available in another app (Live Street View).

BUT, I'd really, really like the routing logic updated. It does not pick the best routes and always seems to ignore or bypass tollways; why is that? This should be available is settings, i.e., ignore tollways, freeways, ferry crossings etc.. It should also have a choice of shortest or fastest route. These things are currently missing (not that the iOS5 version ever had it though).
post #9 of 174
Is offline caching in iOS 6 Maps actually saving to flash memory or only showing what's resident in RAM? For example, the iPhone 5 has 1GB of RAM so is the offline cached area smaller in 512MB RAM devices like the iPhone 4S or 256MB RAM iPhone 3GS? If you load an intensive game like Infinity Blade II and switch back to Maps is the same map area maintained?
post #10 of 174
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post #11 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

Is offline caching in iOS 6 Maps actually saving to flash memory or only showing what's resident in RAM? For example, the iPhone 5 has 1GB of RAM so is the offline cached area smaller in 512MB RAM devices like the iPhone 4S or 256MB RAM iPhone 3GS? If you load an intensive game like Infinity Blade II and switch back to Maps is the same map area maintained?


in iOS caches are usually in the filesystem, there is a local (to the app) sub directory for tmp files. Alot of apps (dropbox, goodreader, browsers) even allow the user to adjust the max size of this space), the files are therefore stored in the flash memory of the app and eventually in the RAM for the current viewed part. The worst then after running Infinity blade II is thet the app wil have to refetch from flash to RAM to display

post #12 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider 
Vector maps in iOS 6 are so efficient that Apple can cache a very large surrounding area for offline browsing and GPS navigation under Airplane Mode or when traveling outside of data coverage.

That's a huge improvement over the last version of maps. All they need to do to improve any inaccuracy people find is have a crowdsourcing feature directly in the app so that people can report an issue wherever they find one. These requests can get logged to a server with a unique ID and queued based on frequency of submission so the most important inaccuracies are fixed first. Fraudulent submissions can have their unique ID ignored from the queue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider 
The technology to support vector maps in a web browser (WebGL) isn't quite there yet, and so far is still pretty taxing even for desktop computers. To bring vector maps to iOS 6, these companies would need to offer a native app.

They could use other open standards:

http://www.giscloud.com/apps/map-editor
http://editor.giscloud.com/

but the performance isn't as high as WebGL yet:

https://www.scirra.com/blog/58/html5-2d-gaming-performance-analysis

so there would be no smooth zoom. It would have to rasterise at predefined levels. It'll just take a few generations before the hardware is fast enough though and will likely come sooner than cross-platform webGL support. I'd like to see webGL gain traction but security is the priority.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider 
There's no doubt that the "automatic offline support" in Apple's new Maps is infinitely better than the old iOS 5 Maps, however. It's also surprising that Apple hasn't made available for sale specialized packages of offline maps, such as national parks or regional trails, hiking and camping maps, and similar detailed, offline maps for iOS 6 users.

I agree - the cached way of doing maps do mean that updates are totally automated but they could have an in-app purchase for special offline maps at say 99c. Say you go abroad and know you will never have data access, you could manually buy and load a detailed map of the region you are going to.
post #13 of 174

very cool, Apple, I like me some offline map shitz.

post #14 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

The flack maps has gotten is despicable and insane, and has really made me lose faith in humanity. What a bunch of whiny, entitled, spoiled brats we've become. There are so many incredibly impressive things about this product, and what Apple has managed to accomplish at LAUNCH is positive insane.

 

 

The iPhone is premium product and so people expect a premium experience. The great thing about the original iPhone was that it didn't try to do everything - instead it focused on the basics. It gave you the best phone, the best e-mail client, the best music player and the best web browser. Other phones can better cameras or more features, but that didn't matter to iPhone users.
 
The new Apple Maps app seems to focus new features over the basics. The fundamental features, especially when outside of the US and China, are a significant step backwards. A lot of aerial photography is B&W, obscured by clouds or doesn't zoom in very far. Places are mislabeled and major landmarks aren't labelled at all. Instead, we've got some highly advanced new features that are let down by poor basic features. Turn-by-turn navigation is great but doesn't work so well when it tries to route me via a pedestrian footpath.
 
It feels unfinished. If people want to be beta testers, they can buy a cheaper Android device.
 
This topic is boring now though. Virtually every other site has moved on. I think it's time for AI to move on.
post #15 of 174

Thanks for the article. This explains why I can successfully use the maps through a very sparsely populated area of Tn,Ga, and Al with a hiccup. These maps work great for me and the explanation deserves more press coverage. It appears one should browse the intended use area over WiFi or LTE before getting on the raod in an area of weak cellular coverage. If I wanted to criticize Apple, I would suggest they give users the explanation you gave rather than letting the situation get out of contol.  Thanks

post #16 of 174

Technically the new maps app is brilliant, for use as a GPS to get someone from A to B it's pretty much up there with the best. But where it falls down is the low res or black & white maps that covers much of the world and missing data in terms of where things are.

 

Simple example, open up google maps in the browser and the school, chip shop, supermarket, post office, off licence etc etc are all listed around me. Open up Apple Maps and you get the road names and nothing else at all.

 

As a GPS it's class, for everything else that we have come to expect of maps on the iPhone/iPad it's useless.

 

Sure, in the US it's better than in the UK or anywhere else but that is not really an excuse.

 

Yes it will get better, yes one day it will be superior in every way to Google Maps, yes if I wanted to I could live in my browser for map data but that is hardly a premium experience is it.

 

Apple Maps is a beta product, the apology from Tim as nice a guy as he is does not make up for that.

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post #17 of 174
....for offline browsing and GPS navigation under Airplane Mode....

As soon as I am in airplane mode GPS is unavailable, what am I doing wrong?...
post #18 of 174

I can't reproduce this. I just looked at Melbourne, Australia on Apple Maps on my iPhone. A city that I've never looked at before in maps. I let Maps sit at the default zoom level on Melbourne and waited several minutes, then turned on flight mode. I wasn't able to zoom into Melbourne (maps got blurry) and I was only able to see a little bit more than the original rectangle around Melbourne when zooming out.

post #19 of 174
MapsWithMe for iOS and Android has full offline support for vector maps of all countries in the World (OpenStreetMap data is used).
post #20 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
I agree - the cached way of doing maps do mean that updates are totally automated but they could have an in-app purchase for special offline maps at say 99c. Say you go abroad and know you will never have data access, you could manually buy and load a detailed map of the region you are going to.

If it's based on open maps, then why charge anything for it? Especially if you are already caching a lot of this data today. I suspect this will improve drastically over the new month or three. I live in the US, so I'm very pleased wit the new app, but I do still think the complaints are overblown with most posts claiming complete buggary but never posting a credible example. I've yet to see any impacting credible complaints posted other than missing foot traffic info (subway stations, etc) for folks overseas or 'bad' addresses that lack things like zip codes.

I do think they need to incorporate this data and simple search even for those without Siri. No reason this couldn't read back names and dates with the appropriate voice libraries downloaded rather than relying on Siri to read off turn by turn. Even if it was a simple 'Turn Left in 50 Feet" rather than Turn Left on Marshall Street in 50 Feet". Throw the older devices a bone ;)

 

I'm fortunate to have the latest pad and phone but half of my household doesn't. I would much rather have them using a spoken nav than trying to look at a phone for directions and being distracted.

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post #21 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

The problem is there are more Apple Haters than lovers.  There are mega corps who want to see Apple fail.  This was a successful campaign.  Kinda like politics but worst.  At least in politics there are some boundaries.  But in the tech world there is no mercy.  Especially when you have 10s of millions even 100 million on legal teams and strategists to hurt the other guy.  If Steve Jobs was still alive he would have brought this stupid map issue to its knees and any one who caused or made it a problem would have trembled at the mere thought of facing the man.  This too will pass and Maps will be a mega app for the iPhone and iPad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

The flack maps has gotten is despicable and insane, and has really made me lose faith in humanity. What a bunch of whiny, entitled, spoiled brats we've become. There are so many incredibly impressive things about this product, and what Apple has managed to accomplish at LAUNCH is positive insane. I can't believe flyover is now mocked and defined as 'garbage' and 'crap' because of people desperately looking for the worst looking stuff at the worst angles, ignoring the fact that 99% of the time it looks stunning. I've browsed 20 cities in 3D and my mind gets numb trying to imagine the level of work that must have taken, as well as the technical ability, algorithms, etc to make the 3D look near photo realistic. We're talking entire cities rendered, with residential areas, not just the core downtown. The cartography is gorgeous. Vector maps cache brilliantly and are incredibly well designed. Turn by turn has been flawless in my experience. Yes, there's missing/wrong data which there inevitably will be. But the fact that Apple hasn't gotten a shred of credit for the package, which in many ways is superior to Google maps (design of cartography, flyover, turn by turn interface, caching, iconography, etc) from a company that has never been in the mapping business, is just depressing.

Yeah, lets bitch and mock imperfections when an entire city is being rendered in 3D, while the competition is using flat jpegs, thats not petty or anything. Just imagine the bandwidth costs Apple is incurring for this compared to flat tiles. Its insanely ambitious. 

Mocking imperfections is one thing but dropping off an entire feature- StreetView is never mentioned by iLovers. Why is that?
post #22 of 174
Everyone has been so eager to jump on the new Maps hating bandwagon, no one even bothered to look at the positive aspects it brought to mapping in iOS. I understand people's frustration, but I've been using iOS 6 since it's early Wed release and having used it almost every day the experience has been mostly pleasant. That's not to say the database is perfect, it obviously has some glaring omissions... but weighing the good and the bad, and knowing Apple will not stop improving it until it rivals Google's database, I have no reservations making it my go to navigation app.
post #23 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post


Mocking imperfections is one thing but dropping off an entire feature- StreetView is never mentioned by iLovers. Why is that?

 

That's simply not true, there are plenty of comments from people who complain about the missing StreetView. For me personally I don't care about StreetView at all as I've never really used it anyway.

post #24 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post


Mocking imperfections is one thing but dropping off an entire feature- StreetView is never mentioned by iLovers. Why is that?
 

Probably because most never use it? This smacks of the whole anti-glare/glossy debates, where most folks just don't care. Maps aren't rocket science. If nav gets you even close, say on the right block, it's a simple matter for any reasonably intelligent adult to find an address in a matter of minutes or even seconds.

 

Claims that the world will end without street view are exaggerated at best. It was a convenience for some, and ignored by the rest. Now you can have your cake, and use it on Safari and we can get on with our lives.

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post #25 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

Is offline caching in iOS 6 Maps actually saving to flash memory or only showing what's resident in RAM? For example, the iPhone 5 has 1GB of RAM so is the offline cached area smaller in 512MB RAM devices like the iPhone 4S or 256MB RAM iPhone 3GS? If you load an intensive game like Infinity Blade II and switch back to Maps is the same map area maintained?

My 4S maintained the Maps even after hard reset.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

....for offline browsing and GPS navigation under Airplane Mode....
As soon as I am in airplane mode GPS is unavailable, what am I doing wrong?...

Airplane Mode shuts down the GPS. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1355?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

 

The GPS works with Data and the connection to the carrier are shut off.

post #26 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post


Mocking imperfections is one thing but dropping off an entire feature- StreetView is never mentioned by iLovers. Why is that?

 

Street view is an irrelevant novelty, as time passes it will continue fading into a snapshot of how things used to be.

 

 

 

Behind that fence there are new streets and houses, it is linked to the maps I posted before from the corner of Ben Lamond and Eagleview, it is nothing like what you would see if you were lost in one of the streets behind the fence, which is no longer there.

 

btw, while I was poking around Google maps I just happened to notice that the single street (in reality) called Longhurst Rd, apparently exists four, count them four times in the world according to Google maps, no wonder people get lost around here.

 

 


Edited by hill60 - 10/5/12 at 5:37am
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post #27 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

The problem is there are more Apple Haters than lovers.  There are mega corps who want to see Apple fail.  This was a successful campaign.  Kinda like politics but worst.  At least in politics there are some boundaries.  ...

 

I don't really agree with your last statement, but it's obviously the case that the entire Maps brouhaha is a Google orchestrated astroturfing and media manipulation campaign. We know this because we know Google spent months reviewing Maps data, and the best "example" they came up with for Maps being wrong, was a "clever" little fake address ad. We know it because we saw the same wave of astroturfers we always see anytime Google wants to spin a PR story hit the ground running with a list of "inconsistencies" on the day Maps was released. The tech media are largely idiots and fall for this stuff uncritically (just like "antennagate") because they don't have a clue how to even go about verifying these claims. They, just like political reporters, print the story they are fed, and care more about the "drama" of the story than the truth. Google, is just, like some politicians, an entirely unscrupulous corporation that will say or do anything to "win".

post #28 of 174
"It's also surprising that Apple hasn't made available for sale specialized packages of offline maps, such as national parks or regional trails, hiking and camping maps, and similar detailed, offline maps for iOS 6 users." In the long run it might be surprising not to issue packs for areas poorly served by mobile coverage but, for now, given the attention that would be paid to any errors, I think wise not to issue packs (especially for a fee).
post #29 of 174
Street view is widely use, as a matter of fact I used it today. Being in denial about Apple Maps is not going to improve the situation.
post #30 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

My 4S maintained the Maps even after hard reset.

 

Airplane Mode shuts down the GPS. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1355?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

 

The GPS works with Data and the connection to the carrier are shut off.

The function of the GPS unit is absolutely independent of the carrier. i.e. GPS works perfectly well in areas with zero net coverage. But for unknown reasons the GPS module cannot be turned on independently while in Airplane mode. Something I hope they fix sometime.

post #31 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

I don't really agree with your last statement, but it's obviously the case that the entire Maps brouhaha is a Google orchestrated astroturfing and media manipulation campaign. We know this because we know Google spent months reviewing Maps data, and the best "example" they came up with for Maps being wrong, was a "clever" little fake address ad. We know it because we saw the same wave of astroturfers we always see anytime Google wants to spin a PR story hit the ground running with a list of "inconsistencies" on the day Maps was released. The tech media are largely idiots and fall for this stuff uncritically (just like "antennagate") because they don't have a clue how to even go about verifying these claims. They, just like political reporters, print the story they are fed, and care more about the "drama" of the story than the truth. Google, is just, like some politicians, an entirely unscrupulous corporation that will say or do anything to "win".

I disagree with your statement. Google and the standard anti-Apple fare certainly piled on but Apple did something with Maps they usually don't do: they set expectations too high. What made it worse is that it was directly relatable to another service -and- one that was being replaced.

There was the standard comments about Siri but 1) what Siri could do well Apple clearly noted, 2) Apple labeled it as a Beta service, and 3) it wasn't replacing another service that was better in many ways. Maps is a very different. It's better than iOS 5 Maps in many, many distinct ways but it also has plenty of shortcomings. I've mentioned these since the first Beta and clearly stated that Apple will get bad PR for this.

What they got right is simply no concern when they demoed and showed other things that simply aren't materializing for many users most of the time. If they had stated 1) how much faster it is, 2) that it's vector, not raster, and explained what the benefits are to that, 3) explained why they made the move when they did, and 4) where very honest and upfront about how it's short-term shortcomings I think people would been on-board. When you are playing catchup there is no shame in being the underdog. I think a little humility before its release with a declaration of making it the best mapping app on any device would have prevented much of the media attention and Tim Cook's email.

The lack of under promise, over deliver is why I ultimately blame Apple for an otherwise superb initial Maps offerings. For instance, the UI is the best I've ever used and it works with Siri very well, but that's not ever going to be a common story now.

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post #32 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

The function of the GPS unit is absolutely independent of the carrier. i.e. GPS works perfectly well in areas with zero net coverage. But for unknown reasons the GPS module cannot be turned on independently while in Airplane mode. Something I hope they fix sometime.

Speaking of the GPS on the iPhone. Once your route is loaded it will still follow your location via the GPS and update the map and TbT at the appropriate times. I tested this with Verizon on LTE, hence no SV&D, and it worked great so those wondering about not being able to not use Maps while on the phone need not worry. Of course, the one caveat is that you can't deviate from your path too much because only the route and some surrounding areas will be cached.

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post #33 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I disagree with your statement. Google and the standard anti-Apple fare certainly piled on but Apple did something with Maps they usually don't do: they set expectations too high. What made it worse is that it was directly relatable to another service -and- one that was being replaced. ...

 

Maybe they didn't do their usual incredible job of managing expectations, but that doesn't change the fact that the onslaught of Maps criticism we've seen, starting immediately after its release, along with all the other circumstantial evidence, point to this being a long-planned, extensively choreographed Google PR campaign. Google's fingerprints are all over it.

 

It also doesn't change the fact that most tech reporters (actually, most reporters of any beat) are idiots for whom "the story" is more important than the truth and that they're always more than eager to lap this nonsense up and regurgitate it, especially if it comes with the promise of "access" in exchange. Or worse yet, denial of access if they don't play along.

 

So, you're not really disagreeing, at least not in your actual comments, you're saying Apple deserved it. I disagree entirely with that.

 

And, I think when this all blows over, people get used to Apple Maps, instead of Google Maps, and Apple makes the inevitable refinements that we all know are coming, any intelligent person will realize that Apple Maps was the embodiment of skating to where the puck's going to be.

post #34 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

Maybe they didn't do their usual incredible job of managing expectations, but that doesn't change the fact that the onslaught of Maps criticism we've seen, starting immediately after its release, along with all the other circumstantial evidence, point to this being a long-planned, extensively choreographed Google PR campaign. Google's fingerprints are all over it.

 

Ah, a good old conspiracy theory. 

post #35 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRumpy 
If it's based on open maps, then why charge anything for it?

The basic maps could be free but there could be ones that are paid for like detailed or specialised maps. If you visit a zoo or mall for example, there can be maps for where you go inside. If you travel around, there can be walking trails etc. Some paid, some free.

It's not clear that the standards ones would be free for download though as the data is also from TomTom:

http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/national/apple-aapl-ios-6-review-dutch-satellite-navigation-company-tomtom-comments-on-map-debacle
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/09/20/tech/mobile/apple-maps-complaints/index.html

"Dutch satellite navigation company TomTom, which provided the data for the new map system, told CNN it is not responsible for the way the maps work."

The problem with accuracy seems to be how the data is used rather than the data itself. Perhaps it is mixing Open Streetmaps data in at places or something. But if TomTom license the map data, there might be a charge for a download like they do for their own maps.
post #36 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post

Mocking imperfections is one thing but dropping off an entire feature- StreetView is never mentioned by iLovers. Why is that?

I was on Ars Technica which one would assume has some arguably tech savvy reader talking about how Google added Street View and there was a lot of people that didn't even know it existed in iOS in the first place. You don't miss what you didn't even realize you had. Of course if it's something you knew you had and used then yeah you'll miss it and I've seen plenty of iOS users complain about it. I guess it all comes down to how it affects YOU and your usage. I'm finding Maps in iOS6 a much welcomed experience. I can't believe how outdated the data is for Google. My neighborhood has been built up for over five years and Google still shows it as an open field.

Google Maps in iOS5

iOS5.jpg


Maps in iOS6

iOS6.jpg
post #37 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

 

Ah, a good old conspiracy theory. 

 

Actually, it's not a conspiracy theory at all. Google orchestrating a PR campaign that involves manipulating the media and financing an army of astroturfers doesn't constitute a conspiracy, at least not the last time I checked the definition. It simply constitutes one company's, Google's, plan to attempt to sour the public on competitors products. This isn't uncommon at all, but Google does do it very well, just as Microsoft did for year before them, before they became irrelevant.

post #38 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Maybe they didn't do their usual incredible job of managing expectations, but that doesn't change the fact that the onslaught of Maps criticism we've seen, starting immediately after its release, along with all the other circumstantial evidence, point to this being a long-planned, extensively choreographed Google PR campaign. Google's fingerprints are all over it.

It also doesn't change the fact that most tech reporters (actually, most reporters of any beat) are idiots for whom "the story" is more important than the truth and that they're always more than eager to lap this nonsense up and regurgitate it, especially if it comes with the promise of "access" in exchange. Or worse yet, denial of access if they don't play along.

So, you're not really disagreeing, at least not in your actual comments, you're saying Apple deserved it. I disagree entirely with that.

And, I think when this all blows over, people get used to Apple Maps, instead of Google Maps, and Apple makes the inevitable refinements that we all know are coming, any intelligent person will realize that Apple Maps was the embodiment of skating to where the puck's going to be.

Like with antenna gate I blame Apple because they failed to adjust how the dM ratings are shown on the phone prior to the initial release. They failed to realise that if you have a much better and therefore more sensitive antenna that can place and hold calls at many dB lower than any other phone that existed before it that you can't have your bars read a null a value because people will not understand that the bars are an arbitrary representation of signal strength. If not for that much of the issue would have been nullified.

Same goes for Apple Maps. If they had thought it through they would prevented much of it. They should have known that Google was going to o a smear campaign just as much as Obama should have known Romney was going to lie the other night. Obama lost because he wasn't prepared properly, not because he wasn't prepared at all. You have to gauge your opponent responses to everything you do and if you fail to do that it's your shortcoming, not theres.

Of course Google was going to try to defend its position here. There are few areas where Apple hasn't come in and dominated financially. So far, that hasn't been anything Google does but that can change and with Apple's user base it can change in a short time.

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post #39 of 174
Apple should have mentioned this as a feature when they launched the iPhone 5. Something like "iOS 6 Maps - ensuring you stay lost, even without cell reception!"
post #40 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Street view is widely use, as a matter of fact I used it today. Being in denial about Apple Maps is not going to improve the situation.

 

I used it too, so I could post an example of how useless it is.

 

Being in denial about how pointless Street view can be is not going to improve the situation.

 

Especially when I have shown using examples how both Nokia and Google maps are wrong when Apple maps are right. eg. one of the streets which doesn't exist in Nokia Maps is called Selwyn Ave, Google call that street Longhurst Rd, Google also call part of Glasshouse Bvd, Longhurst Rd and call Longhurst Rd, Longhurst Rd.

 

Note there is only one Longhurst Rd.

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