Apple hands off transit directions to third-party apps in iOS 6 Maps

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  • Reply 41 of 77
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


     


    I'm pretty sure that for my city, nothing is worse than bringing up Maps and having Google tell me how to get somewhere on public transportation. Even their driving directions suck much of the time. I'm better off just asking someone on the street for directions than depending on Google. Consequently, the directions available in Maps are often worthless, so switching to integration with 3rd-party apps like HopStop will be a huge improvement.



    I suspect the cause of the problem is the local transit district and not Google. In my city it works perfectly. In order to provide accurate transit info Google needs to interface with the transit district's database. If the database is garbage that is what it sends to Google. If their database is garbage, most likely their ability to provide on time transportation services is also. In my city, OCTA recently won an award as the best transit service in the US, hence their scheduling interface with Google is top notch.

  • Reply 42 of 77


    I'm happy to say that I drive my brand new car everywhere I go so if Siri can get my there, I'm happy

  • Reply 43 of 77
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member
    sierrajeff wrote: »
    Sorry, if I have to go outside the Maps app to get alternative transit date, I have to say this is a fail.  I don't want to have to bounce around multiple apps trying to figure out the best way to get somewhere.  A specialized activity like hiking or bike trail riding, sure.  But walking and transit are integral for any urban consumer, and I shouldn't have to flick between Maps and one or more 3rd party apps (re-entering all the info multiple times!) to figure out how to get somewhere.

    If the alternative (non-car) data is embeddable as layers within the Maps app, by downloading other 3rd party maps -- that might be OK for your usual locality (even then, you have to know which add-on apps to download - Caltrain, SamTrans, Muni, Bart, etc.), but it's not going to be very user friendly when visiting another city.  If I go to Boston, all the transit data is right there; I shouldn't have to go to the App Store and look for Boston transit apps to add into Maps.

    EDIT: (And for those saying "but including transit and biking, etc. would be way too much data for Maps!", I say "Google's been doing it for years".  Once you've got the incredible complexity of maps, with all the streets [which have to be mapped as individual lanes, with every intersection detailed for appropriate access], buildings, parks, etc., it's actually very little more data to add in transit schedules!)

     

    You do realize the public transit directions in Google are absolutely atrocious? From San Jose to Foster City, Google highly prefers to travel North to East Bay then across the San Mateo Bridge. WTF!

    iOS 6 Maps does provide walking directions.

    There may not be separate apps for each mode of transportation (BART, Caltrain, SamTrans, etc.). For example, there is a website that allows you to plan your entire trip within the Bay Area on a single website rather than planning each segment separately on different websites.

    How do you know "it's not going to be very user friendly when visiting another city?" It is possible that the App Store will present suitable Maps directions Apps based on your current location. We don't know as yet.
  • Reply 44 of 77
    pt123pt123 Posts: 696member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


     


    Which is why all of Google's services, including search, have become mediocre. Google's desire to "take over the world" results in a lack of focus which leads to mediocrity, just as we've previously seen with Microsoft. Apple's strategy of building platforms and focusing on making those as good as possible has, as in the case of OS X and iOS, resulted in better products with better user experiences, and the gap between what Apple and Google offers will continue to widen, in Apple's favor.





    Mediocre? I haven't thought about it much but my Mac and iPhone wouldn't be nearly the products they are not without Google - search, maps, docs, translate, YouTube. Yahoo has search and maps but they aren't nearly as good.

  • Reply 45 of 77
    pt123pt123 Posts: 696member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post





    You do realize the public transit directions in Google are absolutely atrocious?


    I have used Google maps for BART and Muni. Directions and schedules have been spot-on when I used it.

  • Reply 46 of 77
    blah64blah64 Posts: 993member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post


    3d fly-overs are cool but.....how are you gonna see inside of tunnels, buildings, caves, trails lined with trees etc using planes?


     


    You gotta get someone with equipment to physically go and capture all that stuff. Like what google are doing with the street view backpack. 


     


    Maps is no longer about roads. Its about cataloging the entire surface of the earth. I have no doubt apple will at some point make a competing product. 


     




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post



    Exactly! Anyone care to join me in a Kickstarter project for a street level view app? My concept is to simply have iPhone 4S users use their phone to capture 360 degree panoramic photographs then upload said photographs along with the GPS metadata. Based on all the apparent backlash about the current lack of street level views in a beta app we should be billionaires in about 3 minutes upon public release.


     


    You should check in with these folks:


     


    http://realplaces.com


     


    They do exactly this, but in a low-tech way with fully user-generated content.  You can go inside, outside, in a cave, wherever.  Looks like they could benefit from some "appification", but they have the idea and basic tools.  


     


    My 2 cents; it's very cool, but it takes more time than many people are willing to commit to create these "places".  On the other hand, it's only going to be successful if there are thousands (or millions) of regular folks out doing this and linking their places together.  Something needs to get jump-started!

  • Reply 47 of 77
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member
    pt123 wrote: »

    Mediocre? I haven't thought about it much but my Mac and iPhone wouldn't be nearly the products they are not without Google - search, maps, docs, translate, YouTube. Yahoo has search and maps but they aren't nearly as good.

    That is Google propaganda.

    iOS Maps is now and has always been an Apple app. The difference is who managed the geographic data and infrastructure while the user interface was provided by Apple.

    Search works exceedingly well without Google. Google Search is mediocre. Bing (and Yahoo) appear to now provide the best results of the top three search engines. You can see for yourself at any number of comparison sites. Google heavily favors Wikipedia and similar sites among other issues. As an example go to Yabigo and search for "how many unique iphone users."
  • Reply 48 of 77
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,897member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I suspect the cause of the problem is the local transit district and not Google. In my city it works perfectly. In order to provide accurate transit info Google needs to interface with the transit district's database. If the database is garbage that is what it sends to Google. If their database is garbage, most likely their ability to provide on time transportation services is also. In my city, OCTA recently won an award as the best transit service in the US, hence their scheduling interface with Google is top notch.



     


    They are all based on the same data from transit agencies. Google's directions tend to be the worst, so I suspect the problem is with Google.

  • Reply 49 of 77
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


     


    They are all based on the same data from transit agencies. Google's directions tend to be the worst, so I suspect the problem is with Google.



    You could be right in that perhaps a locally based provider would meticulously clean up the data once it was received where as Google just takes what they send them. If the data is corrupt then Google uses it anyway. I base this hypothesis on the fact that Google's transit data is near flawless in OC which I am attributing to the data being high quality in the first place.

  • Reply 50 of 77
    sierrajeffsierrajeff Posts: 366member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by virginblue4 View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post



    3d fly-overs are cool but.....how are you gonna see inside of tunnels, buildings, caves, trails lined with trees etc using planes?




    I'd prefer to be able to see full cities and one day maybe large areas of the planet in 3D than see the inside a cave or a tunnel....


     


    I'd prefer to have usable, detailed transit schedules and similar functional features, than some cool-looking gimmick that I'll never use and serves no substantive purpose.

     

  • Reply 51 of 77
    sierrajeffsierrajeff Posts: 366member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post





    How do you know "it's not going to be very user friendly when visiting another city?" It is possible that the App Store will present suitable Maps directions Apps based on your current location. We don't know as yet.


     


    But you see, to me that's "not very user friendly" at step one.  If I fly to Boston for business, to Honolulu for vacation, etc., I don't want to have to think "OK, now that I've landed I've got to go to the App Store and see if I can find the transit layers I need..."


     


    "Plug and play" was the mantra that made Apple successful, and I think the point that people like me are making -- respectfully -- is that Apple seems to be getting away from that -- to us the message "You just have to go to the App Store... then locate the transit collection... now find the city you need, and download the one or more apps that correspond..." is not simple, it's not the sort of "plug and play" that we're used to getting out of Cupertino.

  • Reply 52 of 77
    pt123pt123 Posts: 696member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post





    That is Google propaganda.

    iOS Maps is now and has always been an Apple app. The difference is who managed the geographic data and infrastructure while the user interface was provided by Apple.

    Search works exceedingly well without Google. Google Search is mediocre. Bing (and Yahoo) appear to now provide the best results of the top three search engines. You can see for yourself at any number of comparison sites. Google heavily favors Wikipedia and similar sites among other issues. As an example go to Yabigo and search for "how many unique iphone users."




    I try not to get caught up in who wrote the app or what some obscure website says about who is better, just that the it works well. And from my experience, Google stuff really works really well.

  • Reply 53 of 77
    pt123pt123 Posts: 696member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by virginblue4 View Post





    I'd prefer to be able to see full cities and one day maybe large areas of the planet in 3D than see the inside a cave or a tunnel....




    Yeah from my computer with a larger screen. Not so much when on the tiny screen of my iPhone while on the go.

  • Reply 54 of 77
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,679member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Voluntary or involuntary 'crowd sourcing'?


     


    If the latter, there are clearly privacy issues. If the former, why should I trust the data without knowing what percentage of how big a 'crowd' is being 'sourced' from?



     


    Reporting traffic has to be completely voluntary... you need human interaction to actually see that there is traffic and report/submit it to Apple.


     


    It's actually very easy to validate real traffic reports versus fake... it only takes a dozen or so "reports" from different devices, within a specific area and time frame to verify an accurate report. Not only that, Apple could get the information from transportation departments as well.

  • Reply 55 of 77
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,679member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post



    The likely proposed workflow by Apple is to ask Siri to "Open Hiker's Handbook" then use the app for directions, said app would use the embedded Maps functionality though.


     


    Sounds to me like it'll be handled the same way Passbook is. You download the original app and it registers its data with Apple's system application.


     


    The same will apply to Maps. I can download, say, a Metro Bus schedule application. It would register its data with the system through the Maps API and that information would be available to the system map and viewable in any application that makes use of the system's maps view.


     


    This platform type architecture would allow almost any kind of information to be inserted into a map... Imagine downloading a Metro Zoo or national park app and it registers itself with the system map and allows the map to show points of interests.


     


    The possibilities are endless.

  • Reply 56 of 77
    lerxtlerxt Posts: 186member
    Apple thinks of and sells their maps as an improvement but it is a backward step. We loose street view and get nothing useful back. It really is a downgrade of capability.
  • Reply 57 of 77
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    lerxt wrote: »
    Apple thinks of and sells their maps as an improvement but it is a backward step. We loose street view and get nothing useful back. It really is a downgrade of capability.

    So spoken, automatically-updating turn-by-turn is "nothing useful"?
  • Reply 58 of 77
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,254member
    Developers would do well to take a look at TripView Sydney on the Australian App Store. The best implementation of transit app I've seen by far.
  • Reply 59 of 77
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


     


    Reporting traffic has to be completely voluntary... you need human interaction to actually see that there is traffic and report/submit it to Apple.


     


    It's actually very easy to validate real traffic reports versus fake... it only takes a dozen or so "reports" from different devices, within a specific area and time frame to verify an accurate report. Not only that, Apple could get the information from transportation departments as well.



    That's not how crowd-sourced traffic works. It doesn't depend on users "reporting" anything. Instead it takes constantly updating location data from your device to register your travel speeds over various road classifications, combines it with others traveling that roadway plus reports from public agencies, and compares that to the historical traffic speeds for that segment for a snapshot of what they think traffic conditions are. Not foolproof but it's generally fairly effective. That's the "live" portion. They can also predict some future traffic issues with advance notice of local special events. They almost certainly are using TomTom's Live Traffic database IMO.  


     


    So yes, by agreeing to the terms for Apple maps you more than likely will be required to share your location. That would of course still be voluntary as no one forces you to accept Apple's terms of service.

  • Reply 60 of 77
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member
    sierrajeff wrote: »
    But you see, to me that's "not very user friendly" at step one.  If I fly to Boston for business, to Honolulu for vacation, etc., I don't want to have to think "OK, now that I've landed I've got to go to the App Store and see if I can find the transit layers I need..."

    "Plug and play" was the mantra that made Apple successful, and I think the point that people like me are making -- respectfully -- is that Apple seems to be getting away from that -- to us the message "You just have to go to the App Store... then locate the transit collection... now find the city you need, and download the one or more apps that correspond..." is not simple, it's not the sort of "plug and play" that we're used to getting out of Cupertino.

    You just ignored the crux of my post. I just explained that the workflow might not be "You just have to go to the App Store... then locate the transit collection... now find the city you need, and download the one or more apps that correspond..."

    You might simply access maps, ask for public transit directions and, are presented public transit app that provide directions in the current geographic location within the same user interface view.

    mjtomlin wrote: »
    Sounds to me like it'll be handled the same way Passbook is. You download the original app and it registers its data with Apple's system application.

    The same will apply to Maps. I can download, say, a Metro Bus schedule application. It would register its data with the system through the Maps API and that information would be available to the system map and viewable in any application that makes use of the system's maps view.

    This platform type architecture would allow almost any kind of information to be inserted into a map... Imagine downloading a Metro Zoo or national park app and it registers itself with the system map and allows the map to show points of interests.

    The possibilities are endless.

    Essentially correct.
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