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Thursday, December 13, 2012

World Civilization Saved from Collapse as Google Releases Maps App for iPhone!

Posted by on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 1:01 PM

All is apparently right with the world again now that the Google Maps app is available for the iPhone. Yippee! I'll probably download it myself, if only for the superior transit routing option.

That said, I've been using the Apple supplied Maps app for the past couple months, and I don't see what all the fuss was about. The turn-by-turn voice instructions have proven a boon, and they haven't guided me off course once. They're sometimes slow to recalculate when I stray from the plan, but the old app didn't automatically recalculate at all. (Or provide turn-by-turn voice instructions.)

Yeah, I know the data behind Apple's app is reportedly better in Seattle than it is in a lot of other cities. But I live in Seattle. So it's been fine. Different, but fine. And certainly a helluva a lot better than the nothing we had before we all got smartphones.


Comments (13) RSS

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NotSean 1
Apple's software update for receiving podcasts - a new app instead of within itunes - is a disastor. Especially considering, uhm, the etymology of the term.
Posted by NotSean on December 13, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
care bear 2
Being able to look up public transit directions is the number one, main, only reason I use a maps app. This is a happy day for me.

Also, Siri directed me to a dead end where I could see, but not get to, Home Depot a couple of weeks ago. It was kind of funny but mostly frustrating.
Posted by care bear on December 13, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 3
What @2 said. Using transit apps, linked to using several clicks from the Apple map, is almost unusable.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on December 13, 2012 at 1:16 PM · Report this
emor 4
I did not like the Apple maps because:

1. No street view or terrain maps on iPad. I used both for planning bike rides and the like frequently.

2. Terrible (but slowly improving) data. For instance, National Parks in Washington were not labelled for a long time.

3. Major jatural features, like rivers, are totally omitted frequently. Important for me because I use my phone on long bike rides to assist navigation.

4. Search was terrible. Typos eliminate results, and it was very unpredictable. For example, searching "Mt St Helens" finds some weird business in Liverpool, England. Seriously. Try it!

The new goggle maps is better, but not perfect. I was hoping for integrated bike routing. And still no iPad version.
Posted by emor on December 13, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
What @2 said. Apple Maps was awful for this and while I tried others, they seemed to be more confusing than they were worth. Using another app to get down to Georgetown this weekend, it wanted me to go from Queen Anne to Downtown to Capitol Hill to Georgetown and I couldn't get any other option like, say, the 106.
Posted by Chris B on December 13, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this
Afreet 6
My only real complaint about the Apple Maps app was the lack of public transit directions. And the 3D views and rotation were pretty slick.
Posted by Afreet on December 13, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
exactly... when i misspell brouwers in fremont as "browers" it knows it. (instead of providing for me some therapist in fremont like apple maps did last week.) plus of course transit.
Posted by so happy on December 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 8
What "nothing" before smartphones? You didn't know how to read a map or a timetable?

The one thing I like about the Apple map app was that its traffic option shows accidents. But it also only highlighted trouble spots with a broken line, as opposed to google map's use of green, yellow and red. So that was kind of a wash. Otherwise, it's simply inferior in every other way.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 13, 2012 at 2:14 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 9
Siri on my iPad mini told me to strangle the people outside Westlake who accost people with binders. Sadly, neither map app warned me about those assholes. And until they do they are worthless
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on December 13, 2012 at 2:26 PM · Report this
Another agreement with @2. Apple's Map app has been more than adequate for my driving needs*.

I used the new Google Maps app this morning, and it works almost as well as the old app.

*My only complaint with the new mapping apps (both Google's and Apple's) is the inability to step through directions when you route from "Current Location". In the old app, it got your current location and used that as a static point for directions, so you could step through the whole list. I haven't found an intuitive way to do that in the new apps.

Minor complaint, but still.

Also, I can't seem to make it step through transit directions, even with static locations. That may just be my failing, though.
Posted by xizar on December 13, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 11
@1 and @2.

Siri told me to Stop Coltrane today. Or was it Stop Coal Trains?

hard to tell, I was underwater at the time, thanks to the navigation.
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 13, 2012 at 2:36 PM · Report this
I used maps before to figure out public transit and to skip ahead and plan out biking and walking routes. That was impossible to do with Apple Maps.

I am overjoyed Google maps has returned to the iPhone.
Posted by catherineblaeksmith on December 13, 2012 at 3:12 PM · Report this
@10, you can do this - at the top, where there is a box for the current step, flick it to the left with your finger - basically, you scroll through the steps that way
Posted by diane b on December 14, 2012 at 7:38 AM · Report this

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