Why Apple's Transit Maps are rolling out so slowly

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  • Reply 21 of 37
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 4,163member
    Kanjo said:
    I don't agree. My take of the same WWDC 11 minute  maps"session" video.
    https://atadistance.net/2016/07/03/apple-maps-cultural-curation-or-cultural-imperialism/


    "What crap! Here, read my blog".

    To his eternal credit, DED actually did.

    lostkiwibadmonk
  • Reply 22 of 37
    kitatitkitatit Posts: 54member

    kitatit said:
    I get it that it's a big task building out Apple maps, but every time I see Apple do a multi billion dollar buy back, I think how many people around the world they could employ on a temerry or permanent basis to do the local hands on mapping and data entry required to accelerate the build of Apple maps. 

    Now I'm no expert on the value of buy backs, but the tens of billions spent don't seem to be good value in regards to Apple maintaining its "It just works reputation"

    What good have the buy backs really done  except line the pockets of self interested twerps like Carl Ichan? See ya Carl......

    Spend this money on maps and on debugging iOS before each release. With this much money to throw around, Apple maps should be the gold standard in every way.  Apple maps isn't bad, but it's not fantastic and that's what we expect when we pay top dollar.

    Maps is absolutely essential to most people I know with a smart phone. My girlfriend and many fellow iOS users, have abandoned using Apple maps altogether, which is a real shame. I was helping a workmate look for a house to rent and was showing him the property using flyover. He was amazed as most people are. He didn't even know where to find Apple maps on his phone. It was buried in a folder collecting dust. 

    Say Apple maps to many people and their response is "What's that" or "Google maps is much better"  Unacceptable for a company with this much cash. Yes, share holders are important too but take care of the foundation of your success first..... Your customers.... They are your best sales reps. I encourage my friends and family to use Apple products but sometimes, the product doesn't sell itself.

    Spend the money Apple, before the perception and catch phrase becomes "It just doesn't work"
    Unfortunately, you can't simply throw down twice the money and build out products or services twice as fast.

    As Steve Jobs once said--when being castigated by a shareholder over the decision to delay Mac OS X Jaguar in order to focus on iPhone in 2007:

    "I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that was the case, Microsoft would have great products."

    Apple is spending money to build out new services. If it could move faster, clearly it could because it has lots of money (particularly for overseas projects like the Indian dev centers and Chinese retail stores. But you can't simply go faster by throwing around more money. If you could, Google would be growing faster and successfully entering new businesses like hardware products and robots. Instead, they're just blowing money into flames. 

    It's easy to look at Maps and wonder why certain things are (apparently) being prioritized (like Flyover Tours) while essential details in big cities with large numbers of users (and core features like search) appear to be languishing. But easy problems are easier and faster to solve. The hard stuff takes time to figure out.

    Stock buybacks are a no-brainer because investors see too much accumulation of cash as a negative, because cash holdings count against how well the company is effectively using its capital. Returning it to shareholders via buybacks improves these metrics by getting rid of the cash and effectively investing it into Apple itself. 


    You may hear your circle (and columnists) talking about how much better they think Google Maps is, but actual users are (statistically, as in scientific evidence) preferring to use what's already on the phone. Google will have to be more than just a little better to remain something that anyone at all (currently about a third) actively seeks out. As Apple's Maps continue to improve, the number of people seeking out an alternative drops. 
    Hi Daniel, thanks for the constructive and useful insights. 

    Cheers Kit:)

  • Reply 23 of 37
    redhandedredhanded Posts: 34member
    I've navigated around London since the mid 1960's and never felt the need for this sort of data. Back then all we had was an A-Z street map (in a book). That had a Tube map on the back. That was it.
    All I need now is the Tube Map (ingrained in my brain by now), somewhere to find the first and last train/tube/bus times and the Tube line status. This is available at the entrances to stations.
    There will be almost always another tube along soon. Even Overground (North London Line) runs most of the day every 10-15 minutes. There are indicators at most stations that tell you when the next train will be along and where it is heading.
    Seeing some people totally confused by far too much information the other week in central London I stepped in to offer my help.
    Two minutes later the group were on their way. They were in sight of their destination (<200yds away) yet the directions said take a bus.
    I see this almost every day in London. People need to use their eyes a lot more and rely less on the devices in their hands.
    Just my bent penny's worth.
    Technology can be of use - for example - status updates on lines.  I have an app that gives me alerts if there is a problem on specific lines between certain times so if I'm about to leave work and see there are perennial District line signalling problems happening, then I go to a different station for a different route home.

    Also I think a lot of people in London may know the bus routes around where they live or work, but don't have a clue outside this area so having this in an app is great.

    Having said that, Apple Maps implementation of transit information in London is currently mediocre at best.  My preference would be to use the maps on Transport for London website or third party apps who have implemented far more functionality using the Transport for London data feed than Apple currently have.
  • Reply 24 of 37
    hagarhagar Posts: 121member
    Kanjo said:
    I don't agree. My take of the same WWDC 11 minute  maps"session" video.
    https://atadistance.net/2016/07/03/apple-maps-cultural-curation-or-cultural-imperialism/
    Great post! I am also convinced that Apple just linked up some external sources (Yelp, Trip Advisor, Tom Tom), threw them together and assumed it would all work out. Well, you're right, it doesn't. And the fact that Apple simply refuses to update things, implies they still don't know how to deal with the corrections sent by its users. Luckily things have been improving. Slowly.

    The centre of Brussels (Belgium) became a large pedestrian zone, and prior to rolling it out, the city council informed all major map makers about the upcoming changes to avoid traffic chaos. Google immediately updated the map. Apple didn't, and now we are 13 months down the line and the map of the centre of Brussel is still outdated. The city and users reported it over and over again. To no avail.

    While I can appreciate that Apple wants its transit data to be correct, the history of Maps does not back this claim up. They don't shy away from incorrect data. And second, I rather have some basic data, than no data at all:
    - step 1: add info on stops and lines (provided by the agencies)
    - step 2: add realtime transit data (provided by the agencies)
    - step 3: add underground maps of stations, exit signs and names, local naming conventions, etc (provided by Apple)

    Step 1 and 2 are a must and this data already exists. Step 3 is merely nice to have. Icing on the cake. But it shouldn't block rolling out steps 1 and 2. If I know where the metro station is and where the line will take me, I can figure out how to navigate in the station. It's been done by millions of people everyday. Without Apple Maps Transit. 

    frantisek
  • Reply 25 of 37
    alexmacalexmac Posts: 49member
    cropr said:
    The explanation of DED is pathetic: there is only one reason for the slow roll out and it is called incompetence driven by lack of experience and management attention.  It takes way too long to launch services in local languages with local content.  It is not limited to Apple Transit Maps, other services like Siri, Apple News, Apple Pay suffer from the same disease.  Apple is a very US centric company (with a global sales channel).  Google on the other hand is a really global company.  Public transport integration was added to Google maps for a whole country at a tenfold speed Apple is adding just a single city
    I totally agree. How is it possible that Google has all the cities?  At this speed, in 200 years will cover the rest of the world... Too sad Apple
    edited July 2016
  • Reply 26 of 37
    alexmacalexmac Posts: 49member

    maclvr03 said:
    ipilya said:
    Here in Spain.... I have learned to never trust google mapping!!! As much as I love Waze (yes I know its not google maps) - its directions are simply horrid and surprisingly, Apple maps has worked out for me very well. Which is a shame because the crowd sourced data in Waze is indispensable
    I too do love Waze crowd sourcing. However their directions suck. If I know where I'm going I just have Waze up but I don't rely on it otherwise. I thought Google bought them? If so, why aren't they using Google as the search for directions? 

    Personally I'm always more comfortable and trust Google maps more than Apple Maps. 
    For me, in Spain Waze works super. IMHO by far the best routes. 
  • Reply 27 of 37
    bellsbells Posts: 140member
    dougd said:
    I always use Google Maps, wish it was a selectable option on IOS
    I suppose you like peanut butter as well. Not sure what your comment has to do with the article.
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 28 of 37
    rhoninrhonin Posts: 59member
    Apple has a long way to go.  Here in Los Angeles (USA) we have transit on Apple Maps.  Too bad it is incomplete.  Even worse, when I compared it to Google Maps there were mismatches.  Then comparing to the transit timetables, Apple Maps was incorrect.
    It is great to see Apple doing this.  However it feels like they are dumping an incomplete / incorrect beta on us and  calling it "a good thing".

    btw, when I travel I skip AM and just use GM or the local app.  Don't have time to play and take a chance.  
    edited July 2016
  • Reply 29 of 37
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    The real reason is yet another one: management attention, or rather lack thereof.
    Because management is busy trying to make the world a better place through politics...
  • Reply 30 of 37
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    g-news said:
    The real reason is yet another one: management attention, or rather lack thereof.
    Because management is busy trying to make the world a better place through politics...
    utter bullshit. Cook commenting on the tragic loss of life when two police departments execute citizens in no way reduces the ability of the apple's implementers working on development. stop smoking crack.
    hagar
  • Reply 31 of 37
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    You're not very good at detecting stylistic exaggeration, are you? The question remains though: why does Cook have to comment on every single social issue, while the managers of Microsoft, Google et al just try and make their products better.
    Commenting on GLBT, gender, minority, racial etc issues is all good and important, but not really a priority for a computer manufacturer, now is it?
  • Reply 32 of 37
    jlanddjlandd Posts: 873member
    g-news said:

    Commenting on GLBT, gender, minority, racial etc issues is all good and important, but not really a priority for a computer manufacturer, now is it?
    Apple stopped being "a computer manufacturer" quite some time ago.  
  • Reply 33 of 37
    jlanddjlandd Posts: 873member
    softeky said:
    Apple bought "Embark NYC" to fold into Apple Maps and they have now shut off Embark NYC updates. How is NYC Subway in Apple Maps meant to work when an internet connection is required? Embark NYC pre-loaded subway schedules, a subway map and alerts. None of these features work within Apple Maps without an internet connection. Does Apple know that NYC subway is mostly underground and has little cell-based or WiFi connection. Apple, what's the strategy here? Who knows what they're doing?
    You have to run before you can fly. 
    I previously asked Apple for better offline caching, and offline maps would also be great. 
    While it is useful to have data service underground, it's also more typical that a user would calculate a route before they were actually in the subway. 
    In NYC it's much the opposite, in fact.  If you can't access the info while waiting for the train the info may as well not exist.
  • Reply 34 of 37
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,071member
    alexmac said:
    cropr said:
    The explanation of DED is pathetic: there is only one reason for the slow roll out and it is called incompetence driven by lack of experience and management attention.  It takes way too long to launch services in local languages with local content.  It is not limited to Apple Transit Maps, other services like Siri, Apple News, Apple Pay suffer from the same disease.  Apple is a very US centric company (with a global sales channel).  Google on the other hand is a really global company.  Public transport integration was added to Google maps for a whole country at a tenfold speed Apple is adding just a single city
    I totally agree. How is it possible that Google has all the cities?  At this speed, in 200 years will cover the rest of the world... Too sad Apple
    Ultimately Steve Cook just used apple Maps as an excuse to get rid of Scott Forstall.   Likewise Siri.  And since then both products have been ignored/neglected.  
    Google has a deep sustained commitment to Google Maps.   Its been 3 1/2 years since they got rid of Forestal using the Maps beta as the the reason.  
    Why isn't it up to stuff since then.  If the iPhone does not return to positive growth soon Cook should either be firing someone or should be fired himself by the board. 


  • Reply 35 of 37
    sezmesezme Posts: 8member
    In Toronto, Apple Maps will give you decent transit directions, if you tell them where you want to go. But if you just want to find out when the next bus is coming, it's useless. So we need to rely on purpose-build apps made by much smaller developers but with a much deeper understanding of the city.  Would be nice if the transit service in question (in this case the TTC) made their own app that provided accurate times and directions. But instead they let third parties like Apple, Google, and others sort of fumble through near-solutions.
  • Reply 36 of 37
    ted13ted13 Posts: 65member
    softeky said:
    Apple bought "Embark NYC" to fold into Apple Maps and they have now shut off Embark NYC updates. How is NYC Subway in Apple Maps meant to work when an internet connection is required? Embark NYC pre-loaded subway schedules, a subway map and alerts. None of these features work within Apple Maps without an internet connection. Does Apple know that NYC subway is mostly underground and has little cell-based or WiFi connection. Apple, what's the strategy here? Who knows what they're doing?
    The the one that's killing me is the "Embark NJ" is which I was using constantly for NJ Transit train schedule - now there are now alternatives that I know of other than downloading a PDF from NJ Transit's website which is unreasonable when rushing for a train, and keeping an old download doesn't help when they (yet again) change the schedule...   

    Why, Apple, why?
  • Reply 37 of 37
    ted13ted13 Posts: 65member

    jlandd said:

    It pretty ridiculous currently, but I'm assuming Apple is counting on the cellular updates and free wifi (thanks to Boingo antennae) to be completed in all stations as promised in 2017.  They say it's all installed except for 90 stations, but you'd be pretty lucky to be waiting for a train in Manhattan and have service based on my experience.  But they probably saved the hardest for last.  Or maybe they were confused by the figures that included the 40% of the stations that are above ground in the open air anyway?  Regardless, Apple says an offline transit map and schedule like Embark used to be is not what we should be using, so that's that.  I am, however, looking forward to articles abour subway wifi security breaching being the newest craze.
    The one I use on the subway is iTrans NYC which offers both live schedule from the lines that have it (1 through 7) but also off line schedule for all lines, which helps when you don't have a connection as well. Apple could follow that. But the NJ transit schedule kills me, because I always check it while sitting in a moving subway, when there is no connection 90% of the time.   Really, it seems to me these things aren't Q/Aed by local residents who take subways. 
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