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Major Backlash Looms For Apple's New Maps App 466

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the the-all-embracing-googleplex dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Michael DeGusta writes that Apple's new Maps app is the very first item on their list of major new features in iOS 6, but for many iPhone and iPad users around the world Apple's new maps are going to be a major disappointment as the Transit function will be lost in 51 countries, the Traffic function will be lost in 24 countries, and the Street View function will be lost in 41 countries. 'In total, 63 countries with a combined population of 4.5 billion people will be without one or more of these features they previously had in iOS,' writes DeGusta. 'Apple is risking upsetting 65% of the world's population, seemingly without much greater purpose than speeding the removal of their rival Google from iOS. Few consumers care about such battles though, nor should they have to.' The biggest losers will be Brazil, India, Taiwan, and Thailand (population: 1.5 billion) which overnight will go from being countries with every maps feature (transit, traffic, and street view) to countries with none of those features, nor any of the new features, flyover and turn-by-turn directions. Apple's maps are clearly behind in some key areas, but they will presumably continue to improve over time. Google has committed to making their maps available everywhere, so it seems likely Google will release their own iOS maps app soon, as they did with YouTube, which has similarly been removed from iOS 6." But what percentage of people who actually buy iPhones lost these features?
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Major Backlash Looms For Apple's New Maps App

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  • by danomac (1032160) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:04PM (#41388135)

    Most of their customers will grumble about it, and guess what? They'll still buy the next iPhone. Apple's marketing really helps them here.

  • by Tommy Bologna (2431404) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:06PM (#41388169)
    Hubris will lead to Apple's ultimate downfall.
  • by drunkle j (824263) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:07PM (#41388193)

    Umm, doesn't this only affect those who voluntarily upgrade to iOS6 or the iPhone5? It surely is annoying, but at least they're not pulling a sony (e.g. upgrade-to-iOS6-or-you-can't-use-apps kind of update).

  • by alexborges (313924) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:09PM (#41388217)

    Shut the fuck up. Im in Mexico and I sure as hell know it will be piss poor fucked up here. Google works very, very well but it took them a year to do it right. Apple wont do it right. I just know it wont: where are their vans taking pics and surveying my city? I would know if they were doing it. They are nowhere in sight. This really fucking sucks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:13PM (#41388295)

    5% of India is still what, 50 million people? That's a fair bit of money.

  • by guruevi (827432) <<evi> <at> <smokingcube.be>> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:14PM (#41388335) Homepage

    What kind of tech journalism has emerged lately? It seems like every other story on Slashdot I'm yelling at the journalism and I'm not even a journalist.

    a) iPhone's never had turn-by-turn direction built-in, this is a new feature which the Google Maps app never had.
    b) iPhone's used to have Google Maps app built-in, this will simply be released by Google for free. A 1 minute workaround which most if not all iPhone users are already familiar with. Apple used to have a contract to build-in Google apps, they don't anymore for whatever reason so they rolled a better solution themselves.
    c) Apple is not preventing Google or anyone else to continue using the Google Maps features. It still works in the Safari browser including current location through HTML5.

    This is yet another guy trolling for page views about things that everyone already knew months ago and nobody complained because it's not a big deal. I don't know why /. is enabling such people.

  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:18PM (#41388417) Homepage Journal

    OTOH, Google Maps on the Blackberry was the one killer app that made me go Android as opposed to, say, a Nokia N800. It's probably the one thing that has had the most profound impact on my life and travels... now I rarely / barely plan anymore... I just pop out the map and let it tell me where to go to explore.

    Though I'm a bit pissed that Google replaced Yelp ratings with Zagat. Zagat puts way too much emphasis on decor over food quality. Maybe they're a bit more consistent, but I was more interested in what the locals thought. If a small town on the outskirts of a national forest I was exploring on the backroads really thought their Burger King was the best place to eat, then I'd know to push on.

  • by Nushio (951488) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:18PM (#41388423) Homepage

    On the plus side, between the new iPhone connector and the loss of features like Google Maps, Android's just looking like a nicer alternative. :-)

  • turn-by-turn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by feldsteins (313201) <scott@scottfelds t e in.net> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:22PM (#41388473) Homepage

    Why is Apple always the villain around here? Remember that one time when Google implemented turn-by-turn directions for iOS maps app? Yeah, me neither. Besides, I trust Apple more. With them, I'm the customer. With Goolge I'm the product...with my personal information being sold to advertisers. Google already reads my email, knows my web searches, sees my RSS feeds and more. I want them also knowing where I go?

  • sensationalism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by th1nk (575552) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:22PM (#41388475)
    "Apple is risking upsetting 65% of the world's population"

    Are you fucking kidding me?
  • by ugen (93902) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:32PM (#41388617)

    Was Google banned from Appstore? If not, their mapping app will be (if not already) available as a free download for all.

    Google stands to lose more in the long run than Apple from this. While I appreciated being able to use public transportation schedules in Bangkok and Hong Kong on my iPhone, that's a small convenience. At the same time having my location, movements and destinations sent to Google in exchange for this convenience is not particularly desirable. I went along with this for the lack of reasonable choice.

    Now that a different mapping solution is available, my location will "only" be sent to Apple and their partners. As long as they don't sell this information to Google (that's what competition is good for) this is one less element of comprehensive profile on me that Google can build.

    As far as features go, I am sure in time Apple's own maps will get public transportation info for other countries.

    BTW, Google public transportation info was off quite a bit (both in US and elsewhere) making it sometimes less than useful. Hope Apple does better. As far as traffic goes, in my experience Google is wrong more often than not (other than generally painting everything yellow-red during rush hour, which is self-evident). They apparently use returned data from mapping apps on mobile devices to gauge traffic conditions (here, another reason they need app on iPhone) I stopped using their traffic information a while ago.

    Disclaimer: I don't *like* any large enterprise or product. I use iPhone because it best fits my requirements for mobile device. I am also a Windows and Mac user, and develop software for Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD and a few other platforms. :) In case any of the "anti apple" crowd pull out their usual fanboy slogans.

  • by Karlt1 (231423) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:38PM (#41388759)

    It's strange that after a decade, if the only thing that Apple had going for it was marketing, that no one else has figured out how to market a product......

  • by kthreadd (1558445) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:39PM (#41388769)

    Most of their customers will grumble about it, and guess what? They'll still buy the next iPhone. Apple's marketing really helps them here.

    And unlike most Android phones even as old as three year old iPhones get the update.

  • That's fine. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ilsaloving (1534307) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:39PM (#41388773)
    They can do whatever they want with their Maps application, as long as they don't block Google from releasing their own. It's one thing to block other people's applications (such as browsers) because they provide insignificant functionality compared to what you already have. But this is a whole different matter. It's unacceptable to eliminate important functionality that you advertised and that people rely on. It's even worse if you do it because you have some childish pissing match with another company. Sony pulled this shit and paid a serious price for it (although IMO they haven't paid enough). I would hope that Apple learns from Sony's mistake.
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:39PM (#41388781) Journal

    Did you even read the article?

    (Of course not... this is slashdot).

    Countries where the iPhone wasn't available aren't counted among the nations affected (because they aren't. It wasn't available there before, so not having it now makes no difference).

  • by OffaMyLawn (1885682) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:50PM (#41388985)

    I am currently an iPhone user, but never bought into the whole "Apple can do no wrong" aspect of things. It was a functional device that allowed me to do what I wanted with it.

    But I'm not going to buy an iPhone 5 when my upgrade comes around in November. I was honestly considering a Lumia, but not if all I'm going to be given the option of (being on Verizon) some lower end model. If they do pick up the 920, then I may seriously consider giving it a purchase.

    Otherwise, I'll end up with an S3. I'm not married to any particular type of phone (had the original Moto Droid, with no real complaints) but I do tend to dislike when companies do things that just don't seem to make sense from a consumer standpoint. I am aware they don't want Google anything on their phones anymore, for obvious reasons, but I don't like anything done at the cost of experience. Being petty and spiteful really does not serve others well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:56PM (#41389075)

    BULLSHIT!

    There is NOTHING forcing you to upgrade to iOS6 other than getting access to the new features in iOS6.

    You can still connect to iTunes, iCloud, etc.

    For fuck's sake, I know we fucking hate all things Apple, but can we stop spreading bullshit?

  • by Mike Buddha (10734) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @01:05PM (#41389219)

    Your argument makes no sense.

    You equate "rolling your own" proprietary application with F/OSS "movement". This is incongruous..

    You equate Android support with support for F/OSS. This is not necessarily the case.

    The OP stated that Apple's new connector and the loss of Google's applications as a reason to consider using Android, and you made it into a nonsensicle rant against F/OSS.

  • by sexconker (1179573) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @01:13PM (#41389353)

    On the plus side, between the new iPhone connector and the loss of features like Google Maps, Android's just looking like a nicer alternative. :-)

    Ok, so let me get this straight:

    Slashdot readers, and especially the multitudinous Fandroid faction, who, by and large, value supporting a computing platform based on its "philosophy", are now going to argue that Apple sticking with an on-again, off-again "Partner/Competitor", (Google), who can take their ball and go home at any time is actually preferable to them "rolling their own" Mapping solution?

    If so, the F/OSS "movement" has just jumped the shark on their entire philosophy.

    1: The preferred situation is for Apple to develop their own maps/etc. program and let it live alongside Google's (and Microsoft's - Bing's maps are great, but there's no live navigation / etc.) and let the users choose.

    2: The open source "movement" has nothing to do with Android. Android is no longer open source. It hasn't been since 2.2.Something. The latest version is always closed and you have to pay Google to get in on it. The older versions are released as open source (AOSP). Good luck getting them to work with your closed hardware, closed radio, etc., and if you're an OEM good luck competing with the OEMs who paid up and are launching devices with one major version ahead of you every single time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @01:14PM (#41389377)

    That's how cults work.

  • by tysonedwards (969693) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @01:20PM (#41389447)
    Amazing how Apple can risk upsetting 65% of the world's population when they've only sold products that could be effected by this change to *up to* 4.6% of said world population, with the likely number falling well below that due to repeat sales to the same individuals.

    Let's do the math:
    World Population: 7 Billion
    Number of iOS Devices Sold: 400,000,000

    iPhone 2G Units Sold: 6.1 Million
    iPhone 3G Units Sold: 20.25 Million
    iPod Touch 1st - 3rd Generations Units Sold: 32 Million
    iPad 1St Generation Units Sold: 19.48 Million

    Total iOS Units that will not get the "New Maps": 77.83 Million
    Total Effected iOS Devices: 32,617,000

    Does it suck that their offering is less mature than Google's, of course, however Google has also announced that they will be providing an updated version of their Maps app via Apple's App Store, so if you aren't happy with what the mighty Apple provides, than give it a couple weeks and let someone else fill the void.

    It is just amazing to think that people really think that companies like Apple really have the power to impact the lives of 65% of the world population through changing a back-end web service on a small subset of their devices.
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @01:22PM (#41389501) Journal
    They don't just have marketing. They also have products that suck marginally less than their competitors. They also make different bad UI decisions, so once you're used to one usability disaster, moving to the competitor's usability disaster is even harder.
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @01:33PM (#41389683)

    Mod parent up, not down.

    If I didn't know better, sometimes I'd believe that 3/4ths of slashdotters were astroturfers fighting the battles of their overlords.

    Will Apple make their clientele suffer the death from a thousand cuts by cutting the quality and openness of their devices? That's for Apple to decide. Apple is by no means a democracy.

    As for Google, you sacrifice most of your personal info to get the juicy maps. Is there a solution where locational privacy and great maps intersect? Not in the "free" model, but perhaps there is in the "open" model.

  • by curunir (98273) * on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @01:35PM (#41389727) Homepage Journal

    As an iOS user, I'm actually happy with the iOS 6 situation. The Google maps on iOS lags behind the version in Android because it's part of the core OS and only gets updated during OS upgrades. As a third-party app, Google will be free to update Maps more often.

    The only way that the new development becomes a negative is if either Apple pulls App Store shenanigans with Google's Maps app or if Google doesn't put in the effort to keep the app current. Otherwise, this is a huge win for iOS users...we get an app that sits idle most of the time but has the cool flyover feature and we get a more current version of Google Maps.

  • by tooyoung (853621) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @01:44PM (#41389881)
    Also odd that people would repeatedly buy products for a decade that lack what they want, and that is all accomplished through the magic of marketing. Maybe this perception is actually wrong and people evaluate whether they like a product and make repeat purchases based on that decision. Maybe perception of a product is different from a hardware spec and a feature list.
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @02:15PM (#41390359) Journal

    "Google will have Maps as a standalone app..."

    Do you have a qualified reference for this, or are you making assumptions?

    And what evidence do you have that Apple will not simply reject any possible future Google Maps app on the basis that it "duplicates internal functionality"?

  • by camperdave (969942) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @02:24PM (#41390479) Journal

    They don't just have marketing. They also have products that suck marginally less than their competitors.

    Actually, no. That's the beauty of marketing. You can have products that suck MORE, and not just marginally, than your competitors, and still turn a profit. With good marketing, a customer will BELIEVE they have $The_Best$, even though objectively it ain't so.

  • by Goth Biker Babe (311502) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:30PM (#41392031) Homepage Journal

    What I find incredible is the arrogance of commenters like this who think they're the only ones immune and who have seen the light.

    I don't give a shit about marketing. I trust marketing people as much as the next liar. I went around, tried devices, and bought an iPhone because I liked what it did. Just that. I recently bought a Google Galaxy Nexus as a new phone. Its was a waste of money. Not because its bad. Just because I don't get on with it and prefer my iPhone. BTW I bought both of them out of contract and they cost the same.

    I'm not buying an iPhone 5 because the 4 does everything I need it to do. I wont be buying another Android phone because they don't work how I like and the 4 does everything I need it to use.

    One day the hardware will fail and I'll have to make a decision. When that day comes I'll go and assessed the hardware again. There are people who will buy stuff just because its Apple just as there are people who wont buy stuff just because its Apple. But there are also a lot of intelligent individuals who have compared, contrasted and bought Apple because the like them. Oh and different people have different priorities and they may not be the same as yours so don't judge them based on your requirements.

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