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iOS6 Maps Apple takes a battering as complaints soar


Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 27 Sep 2012

pocketgpsworld.com
Whilst Apple continue to face a barrage of criticism over their iOS6 mapping app, what isn't clear is how some of the issues came to exist in the first place.

The many errors in place and street names are particularly odd given they are correct in the original TomTom and Waze data. One hypothesis is that Apple have merged the data and in doing so these errors have crept in.

Also the lack of decent satellite imagery in places has irked users, many rely on them to locate recreation grounds and other places that traditional address lookup wouldn't find accurately.

Another area that simply isn't working is address search and POIs. Addresses can't be found, POIs are missing or show locations that have long since gone.

Where it works it works well with the new navigation element attracting particular praise. But as the map data is riddle with errors you'd be mad to rely on it. In Apple's defence, Google refused to permit Apple to uses the guided navigation feature available on Android and this is cited as the main reason they chose to develop their own solution.

The place name errors ought to be fairly easy to resolve and to fix quickly. The data is off-board so once they can identify how the errors were created they can resolve them without an update to the app itself. Similarly, satellite imagery is widely available and Apple have the cash to buy them.

But the POIs are not so easy to fix quickly and the search facility will need major work. As the title of this item suggest, it can only get better - we hope.



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Comments
Posted by tomtom_shareholder on Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:47 am Reply with quote

If Berlin is on antartica, islands appear in oceans where there are no islands and even one village has streets that are all named 'fuck1ng' something went terribly wrong.

I have informed myself quite well on this subject, but it's beyond my imagination what happened here. I even heard some wispering that someone messed up with the maps deliberately. Sound rather farfetched to me really. I think Apple should give the answers.

Now their only statement is "our maps will improve because they are cloud based". That's just lame.


 
Posted by Tobas on Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:11 pm Reply with quote

I guess cloud based because the map data isn't on your iphone. They can amend the data constantly and it's instantly reflected on your phone rather than having to push an app or map update out every time as Navigon and TomTom would have to do.


 
Posted by MaFt on Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:05 pm Reply with quote

johnboy290 Wrote:
I agree regarding the "cloud". What on earth does that mean? What's different between cloud-based storage and pushing out an app/map update via the Apple store? I heard the comment on TV and immediately thought "" and no-one questioned it!!


The difference is quite a lot actually. The maps app itself is built intot he iOS software so the only way to update the app or any features in it is to do a full iOS firmware update.

The maps and data are all 'in the cloud' - i.e. they are not stored in the app itself. This is *very* important because it means they can correct POI locations and street names etc on the server and when the app runs it will be pulling this new data.

MaFt


 
Posted by MaFt on Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:08 pm Reply with quote

tomtom_shareholder Wrote:
even one village has streets that are all named 'fuck1ng' something went terribly wrong.


There's a town in Austria called f-----ing. In Bradford we have lots of roads called Bradford Road, Bradford Street, Bradford Avenue. On some mapping data they drop the 'road', 'avenue' etc to save space - this could simply be a similar situation.

MaFt


 
Posted by Duddy on Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:11 pm Reply with quote

More iPhone C*** ups (inc Satallite) see http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1589831_looks-like-a-bumpy-landing-apple-maps-on-iphone-put-dip-in-manchester-airport-runway
Manchester airport with a valley in the middle of the main runway


HUAWEI P30 Pro (new edition) with Speedtrap Alert & alcatel1 for SatNav
CoPilot 10 with CamerAlert
RoadHawk in-car video
Reading glasses getting thicker as is my waist
Retired but want to go back to work for a rest.

 
Posted by Lui-G on Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:40 am Reply with quote

Exclamation It is amazing that a company with such a reputation for fine detail would release such a half-baked product.

As mentioned in the article, they have the money, and they even state that they are using data provided by TomTom, so it baffles me that there's so many phonetic typos in place names... Did they hire a team in India to hand-type the information from an atlas? (That could explain many of the errors) Or maybe they got Siri 2.0 to search the Internet and build up the data based on what it could find... Those are my two best guesses as to how this could happen.

There's many cases of place names being YEARS out of date...

I really think that this is a "in-house Apple-grown" database, rushed, with typos warts and all.

As for satellite imagery - why is it that iCloud.com's Find my Phone website has satellite imagery for Brighton, but the Maps App does not... Apple already have the images, but they are not using them.

It's astounding that they could mess up to this level just one year without Steve Jobs.

Most of all, I'm disappointed. I couldn't care less for built-in navigation (I have a few good apps for that on all my iOS/Android devices), but the satellite imagery and most of all street view are what I miss the most.

On the plus side, I discovered that Bing do an iOS app which includes their great bird's eye view perspective, and streetview is available through some free 3rd party apps (none of which are great) - though I hear Google will add streetview to their mobile web site so that may solve my gripes.

Still, I'm shocked that despite all the feedback developers sent Apple since the first beta came out, they went ahead and pushed this live. iPhones in general will be known to have "bad maps" for many years to come. It's going to be a long-term costly mistake, and perhaps marks that Apple has finally peaked.


 
Posted by MaFt on Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:52 am Reply with quote

Lui-G Wrote:
As for satellite imagery - why is it that iCloud.com's Find my Phone website has satellite imagery for Brighton, but the Maps App does not... Apple already have the images, but they are not using them.

They are still using the Google Maps API for Find my iPhone website Very Happy

Lui-G Wrote:
It's astounding that they could mess up to this level just one year without Steve Jobs.

Totally agree! I think he'd be shocked at the appalling lack of secrecy about the iPhone 5 prior to it's launch as well :/ There was nothing new for people to find out about - it had all been leaked, the design, the features, the new earphones, the new connector....

Lui-G Wrote:
Most of all, I'm disappointed. I couldn't care less for built-in navigation (I have a few good apps for that on all my iOS/Android devices), but the satellite imagery and most of all street view are what I miss the most.

Yep - they have the money to buy more up to date images (in fact, they probably have enough to buy Belgium!!) so the question is, why haven't they?

Lui-G Wrote:
Still, I'm shocked that despite all the feedback developers sent Apple since the first beta came out, they went ahead and pushed this live. iPhones in general will be known to have "bad maps" for many years to come. It's going to be a long-term costly mistake, and perhaps marks that Apple has finally peaked.

Sadly Apple are Apple regardless of what developers and customers tell them, in the end *Apple* will decide what it is we want :/ And yes, fully agree, Apple will be known as 'the bad maps company' for quite some time...


 
Posted by Anita on Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:02 am Reply with quote

MaFt Wrote:
There was nothing new for people to find out about . . .

Yes there was - the bad maps! Rolling Eyes


Anita
TomTom VIA 135 - App 12.075,
UK map 1095.11581
Samsung Galaxy S8

 
Posted by MaFt on Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:13 am Reply with quote

Anita Wrote:
MaFt Wrote:
There was nothing new for people to find out about . . .

Yes there was - the bad maps! Rolling Eyes


From what I understand developers with beta access to the maps app had already been moaning about them...

MaFt


 
Posted by AntonM on Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:36 am Reply with quote

Steve Jobs would never have allowed this, had he still been around. is this the start of the slipping of his uncompromising standards? I hope not -- Apple has thusfar been a major trailblazer in the PDA field.


Anton

 
Posted by MaFt on Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:05 pm Reply with quote

They've apologised: http://www.apple.com/letter-from-tim-cook-on-maps/

They have also recommended using various competitors maps :D

MaFt


 
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