20 September 2012

Anil Dash: “Who benefits from iOS6's crappy maps?”

Obviously, Apple's going to fix as many of these bugs as they can. I'm not pretending they're incompetent or somehow want to deny people access to good maps on mobile devices. But the simple fact is: When you buy an iOS 6 device, you get a worse experience for search and no ability to get transit directions out of the box, both of which are significant downgrades from iOS 5. Anil Dash

If it’s that bad in the US, I can only imagine how much worse it will be in my home country, which must barely be a spec on Apple’s radar. But, as usual, there is no shortage of Apple apologists:

What’s missing from this conversation is that map usage is critical. Regardless of Google’s PR success in the Atlantic’s unintentionally misleading Google Ground Truth infomercial, more than half of Google’s mobile map usage is going away in the next month or two. I love the Atlantic, but they got punkd. Usage makes maps better a lot faster than software does. Scott Rafer

So let me get this straight: Apple is offering an inferior product to paying customers in order to collect data and maybe make it better sometime in the distant future and to get an upper hand in their petty mobile war with Google? But I thought the whole idea behind paying for gadgets and software was to be in control, to be safe from tracking, to be the customer, not the product!

I wasn’t thrilled when Google announced Map Maker for Romania – basically saying “hey, we don’t care enough about your country to invest in proper maps, but please map your country for us and make us lots of money through ads later” – but what Apple’s doing is even worse; they’re doing it to paying customers! While Google is only after your data and offers its products for free – sort of – Apple is charging people to use its unfinished maps, since you can only use them on an iOS device. Furthermore people who don’t get the same quality with Apple Maps will probably immediately switch to the Google mobile version or the native app, if Google ever offers one - I for one plan to do so. That kinda defeats the purpose of collecting data from Apple devices…

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