Skip to comments.Apple Maps Still Not Improved
Posted on 06/08/2014 11:53:46 PM PDT by nickcarraway
After releasing a lackluster Maps app to compete with Google Maps, Apple found that its wasn't so easy to eclipse Google's long-used app. In fact, Apple Maps was a failure.
It would seem that after such a failure Apple would try to update and improve the Maps app, but the Worldwide Developers Conference showed that the app was far from perfected. Instead, it seemed ignored.
There were multiple improvements that didnt make it into iOS 8, an unnamed source told TechCrunch. Unfortunately, Apple still hasn't made a good Map app.
Previous reports said that app would be more reliable, have better labels, accurate points of interest and locations and all with a slicker interface. There were rumors there would be public transit information and "augmented reality", according to TechCrunch. But those didn't show up. The reason? Apparently a lot of the Apple developers left the company and Apple wasn't able to complete their plans. Another unnamed source said, "I would say that planning, project management and internal politics issues were a much more significant contributor to the failure to complete projects than developers leaving the group."
It's unfortunate that the one thing that has crystallized as Apple's most abject failure, Apple Maps, still hasn't had an overhaul in the last two years. We think that Apple should make it a priority to improve that app instead of letting its users rely on the superior Google Maps.
“Siri, are you taking me down this dark alley so you can murder and impersonate me?”
:Muh-hwah-hah-hah-haaaa! I mean, I have no idea what you are talking about.:
Just call it Mapple and everyone will love it!
How can this be?? Apple is perfect! There is NOTHING better than Apple. There must be some right wing nut writing this.
Hopefully some other NBA owner gets recorded using racial terms, so Tim Cook can overpay for that team.
Geo-maven Marc Prioleau pointed me to a copyright page earlier today that appears to reveal the identities of some or all the data partners Apple is using for its new Maps product. Here they are in the order they appear on the page:
MapData Sciences Pty Ltd.
MDA Information Systems, Inc
Point is... Apple is not in the “map business”... the map “application” is only as good as the data the providers provide.
No different than any other “program” created to work within an operating system.
Actually, Apple Maps has been continuously overhauled over the last two years and is considerably better than what was released. It was actually pretty good then, with a few problems in the 3D views, but vastly overblown by Google’s FUD campaign. It has become imminently usable and I have been using it continuously over those two years and it has steered my wrong only once. . . compared to a dozen times that Google maps has sent me on wild goose chases.
This article is based on ONE anonymous source speaking to TechCrunch and has not been corroborated anywhere else.
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It may have struggled with some quite high-profile errors in its early days, but Apple's latest improvements to its Apple Maps platform have not only helped it catch up with venerable geospatial giant Google but will make Apple Maps far more relevant in the long term.
Those are harsh and difficult words from someone who, like all of us, has marvelled for years at the utility of the Google Maps Web service and the immersive worldwide journeys made possible through the Google Earth application. But they are a reality that bears addressing.
Google will always hold the significant achievement of bringing the literally world-changing geospatial technology to the mass market, but Apple's decision to incorporate its now-very-impressive Maps application into its Mavericks operating system reflects a significant change in the user experience that will give it far more clout in driving the standard for interactive consumer mapping into the future.
Some questioned whether including Maps in the operating system was a simply gratuitous nod to the increasing incursion of iOS user-interface tropes into the desktop Mac OS X environment.
Anyone so inclined should run up a full-screen instance of Maps on their 27-inch iMac, using Apple's Magic Trackpad to spin, zoom and fly through 3D renderings of cities around the world. It's a novelty on an iPhone, but on a 27-inch screen it's literally an adventure.
Sure, you can do much the same with Google Earth, which has been available for Macs for some time. Both will also help you find your way to new places pinpoint accuracy, exploring a broad range of maps. . . (Excerpted from ZDNet. To read the full article click on the title to link to the article.)
Basically, the headline is a total lie.
One thing I have noticed is all of these map/gps devices use the same data. I live in a small town and if I type in my address all of them are at least 4 blocks off.
It's almost as if this were a developers' conference instead of a consumer product show, or something...
I'd bet that about half of the major new and updated front-facing features in Yosemite and iOS 8 won't be publicly announced (might not even be in the developer beta releases) until the fall event where they introduce this year's iPhone and iPad updates.
And I'd love to see a new Apple TV (set top box, not an actual TV) along with changes that allow 3rd-party developers to add "channels" (or "apps") to the device, but if it's coming, they've kept it closely under wraps so far.
Every time I drive somewhere with someone who has an Iphone, we play a game with Apple maps. For the game not to be a disaster, you have to know where you’re going. Put Maps on and wait for the misdirection. It’s kind of funny. Wrong turns in Bucks County PA, dead ends off route 70 in New Jersey when your destination is a large hotel on route 70 etc. Thanks for the entertainment. Love Waze.
Personally I *have* found the Google Map app to be better than Apple’s. < |:(~
Misdirection? In that it differs from your Waze? How many times did you play this so called game? Frankly, I'd guess once.
I have had one misdirection from Maps since it debuted in iOS 6 at the June 2012 WWDC. . . and that was because there were two identical addresses in two different towns on the same street. . . same road. . . in the same county in the South Peninsula of the San Francisco Bay Area. This was the very first week that Maps was out. Adding the exact town solved the problem.
Just last month a search in Sacramento put a business I was seeking by name in a residential area. . . but when I tried it in Google Maps, the business was shown to be in the exact same location. When I drove to the area, the business was located in a shopping center that extended far back. . . and the residential area streets had an access.
The previous month, my girlfriend and I were going to a party up in the Sierra Nevada foothills north of San Andreas. Google Maps sent us on a route that took us off the main roads onto a dirt road where the POTHOLES could have swallowed a Volkswagenand the low angle of the setting sun that day made them impossible to see. The one we dropped into was over four feet across and two deep and cost me over $1000 damage to my car ($500 insurance deductible). . . and injured me and my girlfriend. We had to call a tow truck to pull us out of the one we wound up in. We were lucky the car was still drivableif not still alignedand hours late for the party.
A month later, Apple Maps provided a far better routing to the same destination using main roads. . . and it was only about four tenths of a miles longer than the route Google came up with but with fewer turns. . . and all the roads were PAVED with not one pothole!
Face it. You don't know where you live! Better start worrying. You have documented proof. . . Google Maps has been used in court as part of expert testimony!
Sorry, but Apple’s maps flat out sucked in 1.0 release, it routinely directed me to the wrong addresses etc. It has improved, but to claim the app just had some 3D display issues is completely false.
Google Maps got to where they are today in large part because of all the data they collected being the default map program on the iPhone. I have no doubt Apple will continue to improve as the app has since its initial release, but you can’t blame apples map problems as purely a smear campaign orchestrated by google.
Ha-ha, same thing happened to us with Google Maps, it's been a few years. A bunch of distant family members from around the country gathered in Philadelphia for a wedding. One of my sisters used her mapping in her car to guide us and others in several other cars to find the church. After a long drive for thirty minutes and us honking at her, we arrived and no church. Identical street address and street, but wrong town. We got to the right place late. Turns out the right place was just ten minutes from our hotels. She never trusted the maps after that.
I did not say that. How is what you just said representative of what I said? NOTHING I said is "completely false". I find it funny that if it "routinely directed you to the wrong addresses etc." that you would continue to use it. Why would you keep using it? The Einsteinian definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing, expecting a different result! Usually, in my experience, people who say that don't even have an iPhone. LOL!
Actually, Apple Maps has been continuously overhauled over the last two years and is considerably better than what was released. It was actually pretty good then, with a few problems in the 3D views, but vastly overblown by Googles FUD campaign. It has become imminently usable and I have been using it continuously over those two years and it has steered my wrong only once. . . compared to a dozen times that Google maps has sent me on wild goose chases.
What part of ". . . and is considerably better than what was released. . ." do you have a problem with? Let's look at my points one by one.
I and most of the people I have heard from, including many of the responses in the comments in the replies on the articles on reviews, have had very few issues with mis-direction from Apple Maps when they used direct input of actual address data. There were some misdirections. A Lot of the complaints came from overseas where the mapping was not complete. Most areas of the US were OK. I agree Maps definitely should have been released as a beta.
Apple was not doing the mapping or directions themselves. Apple Maps was using directions and mapping under contract only from TomTom, one of the largest map providers, while information on location of non-address data, location by businesses name came from Yelp. Most misdirection originated from putting in a business name and the error came from Yelp's errors of location from Yelp's approach in crowd sourcing of address information. . . Apple has been quite busy over the past two years in correcting those data.
Over the past two years, Apple has increased the sourcing of data included in Maps. They now use data from many sources to give a much more complete picture, more than what Google uses. As noted above in Overdog2's post, these include:
In addition to all that, Apple has been using one of the best sources of all: interactive anonymous data from the iPhones users themselves.
I did NOT say that the problems of Maps 1.0 were just in the 3D rendering. Next time, read what I actually said.
It so cute that you accuse me of lying in service of your fanboy/shill activities. I gave two examples. It's happened multiple times and it is not improving. Why can I admit that even the Iphone 5's camera runs rings around my Note 2. Because I am not a delusional pinhead and don't wear Samsung underwear.
Sorry you missed the party at Tim's house.
". . .delusional pinhead. . ."? ? ?
Ah, again, we find an anti-Apple argument devolving to attack by ad hominem.
Two anecdotal examples. whoop-de-doo. . . and it's not improving? Amazing. Frankly, I DON'T believe you. I have NOT experience what you have, and I use the iPhone and iPad Maps for directions frequently, not just to play stupid games. My girlfriend uses it for her business and has never been mis-directed. . . except once, and that was because the business she was looking for was located behind several other businesses and had no signage. Google Maps also could not locate it correctly either. She has driven hundreds of miles a day in her profession.
Did you or did you not notice that Apple is also contracting with WAZE for data for use in Maps? You said you "love Waze." Seems to me that Waze directs you to where you want to go. . . it would work in Maps too. Apple is using Waze for traffic information and current routing. Yet you say it "isn't improving" but all of the pundits say it is. Hmmmm. . . who to believe, my own experience, all the pundits, or Stentor, who does not use the app?
“It was actually pretty good then, with a few problems in the 3D views, but vastly overblown by Googles FUD campaign.”
Which is false, the Maps App was not “pretty good” with a few problems with 3D views at its 1.0 release.
The maps app was pretty horrible at 1.0 release, at least 1/3 if not a 1/2 of the time it did not properly find the right location when it was release in my personal experience. Trying to blame a google FUD campaign for the maps apps failings is flat out and fundamentally a lie.
Has it improved since its release yes, but to claim it was “pretty good” at release is just flat out lying to yourself.
Excuse me, I do not lie. To you or to myself.
I used it then exclusively and it steered me wrong only ONCE, which I described and the reason. Others I know use it with no problems. YOU complain, but give no examples. No qualified researcher has come up statistics ANYTHING close to what you claim about misdirection of users. THAT is sheer FUD of the first order. There IS evidence that Google did indeed wage a campaign against Apple's Maps in an attempt to get their Maps app replaced on the iOS platform, contrary to your claims. Google has a bully platform in which placement of news articles on Page One of a Google Search is primary. . . and articles that don't agree with Google's position find themselves relegated to far lower positioning. Google does it regularly on political issues. This happened on the Map issues, the iPhone4 "battery gate" non-issue, and other issues that affect Android. The European Union's equivalent of our FTC has been investigating Google for such information/data throttling practices.
I found Apple Maps to be "pretty good" and it worked for me, and most of the people I talked to, the people who reported in the comments sections of the articles and reviews with a few noted anecdotes of problems. . . but nowhere near the 30-50% failure as YOU claim. There were some areas of the world such as Australia where the rate DID approach those levels and Maps should never have been released in those areas. . . simply because complete data was not available from Tomtom and Yelp for those areas to the level Google had developed and iPhone users were familiar with. Had it that level of failure, there would have been a class action lawsuit to end all class action law suits. There was none.
In the year that Maps was introduced, Apple Maps had only a 3.1% error rate. That is certainly NOT anywhere near your 30-50% error rate you are claiming. Was it too high? Certainly. Google's was only 1.1%.
However, both Apple and Google achieved 100% accuracy when discrete city, street, and road addressing was input into each.
I must admit, I have a tendency to use any mapping system by inputting complete addresses, most times. Lately however, I am starting to input business names. . . for example I may put in the name of one of my banks if I need to make a deposit or withdrawal, and need to find the closest branch. I've been directed to a closed branch once by using that technique. That branch had closed the month before I went looking for it.
Apple's higher rate was attributed by researchers to the errors inherent in Yelp's crowd sourced addressing of business addresses when users put in businesses by name, and also in the rate of businesses still being listed that were no longer in business. That is being corrected. Google's error rate is mostly similar, with the majority being associated with businesses no longer being in business but still being listed.
Also, Google auto-filled the accurate names of businesses because their algorithms had those data. Apple Maps did not during the first year. This ability to fill the search field with the accurate data, increased Google's hit rate on finding the correct location. Yelp's data, using crowd sourcing, often did not have the correct business name, so resolving the name to the address added to the location problem.
This was a problem associated with Yelp not having the resources that Google had to police its database, to clean out the deadwood, and to physically check the data provided by the using public. Errors of putting in a search for a specific restaurant, for example, may not find the newest restaurant that opened three months ago two miles away, but instead on Yelp would return data for the older restaurants 14 and 20 miles away, and include the now closed restaurant that the new restaurant replaced. These are reported as "errors" when the user knows about the new restaurant.
Google, having sold advertising to the restaurant chain, KNOWS about the new restaurant, may often still have to old, closed restaurant still listed, but will offer both, reducing their "error count."
Apple has addressed this issue by incorporating Bing as well as 13 other mapping resources other than Yelp and Tomtom into its search and mapping algorithms.
Even on FreeRepublic, most users posted they were finding it a good application on release. Was it "perfect"? No. Did it improve? Absolutely.
You seem to think this is an academic exercise, I frankly would worry about someone who decided to spend research dollars on which map app is the best.
You’re denials of my experience remind me of the two hippies who after the 1972 election stared at one another in disbelief at finding Nixon was re-elected saying “How can that be? no one I knew voted for him.”
I am glad you found the app “good enough” at release, reality is though your experience and the experience of your friends was not remotely an overall picture. I am telling you that the Apple Map app at 1.0 release was terrible, and yes it incorrectly identified street locations at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the time when I used it. Your experience was better, good for you, but it mine was not. It was not remotely on par with the google map app that it replaced in accuracy and reliability.
Has it improved, certainly, but to claim it was a good app at launch is utter and complete nonsense.
I use a combination of apple, google and waze for navigation. Waze seems to handle traffic routes better, google has an edge for tough directions, but on my iphone apple maps are better for ad-hoc seeing what is around me and winging it.
Maybe version 1 was bad, but now it is a competitive product with the others.
And I say that your experience does not agree with mine at all. I have numerous people using Maps. . . in my businesses and personally. They have NOT had the issues you seem to think they should have experienced. Not at all. Therefore, I have trouble believing you. Are you in Great Britain? There were problems of that magnitude there. . . but NOT in the United States. . . and those issues have been addressed and fixed.
As to someone who would spend dollars research on which map app is best, there are organization that do exactly that. . . in this instance a Crowdsourcing company called Crowdflower released a report on December 19, 2012, about three months after Maps was released. They used a sample of 1000 businesses in the US and 100 in the UK for their data set, and had their "crowd" try to find them by name using Apple Maps, Google Maps, and Bing. Note that Yelp is NOT a big presence in the UK. Their results were graphed:
Other contemporaneous studies showed similar results. . . but with a lower major error rate. Over the last two years, the hit rate has increased considerably, and the error rate has dropped drastically.
Was it as good as it could have been? No. Scott Forestall lost his very lucrative job because it wasn't ready for prime time, but the only way to find out was to release it into the wild and find out. . . Forestall should have labeled it "BETA."
I just love the way Apple bashers put words into my posts. Did I say it was "good enough" in my post??? No, I said it was "pretty good". . . there is a difference. I did not say it was perfect, good enough, wonderful. . . or anything others have claimed I did say. . . I said it worked for me. . . and for many others. The bashers are claiming it "has not improved." That is a lie. Deliberate FUD. As was the article that this entire thread was based on.
I have typed the same address into Google Maps, Mapquest, Apple Maps, my Garmin, and at least one other Gps, and they all give me the wrong address.
Wrong address, or wrong location?
The address is correct, I just tried it again with both Google Maps and Apple maps.
Goggle maps was a half block off, and Apple maps was 3 blocks off.
That's interesting. Wonder what the NSA, CIA, and other clandestine services have to do with that address, now or in the past?
I live in a town of about 1500, so I would expect the map data to off, since where I live is not a popular spot.
I use Motiion X GPS on my iPhone to drive around Tulsa, and I have seen many, many addresses that are wrong. Some of these are fairly new, and some are several years old.
My biggest complaint with Apple maps app, is you can’t add more than one address at a time. I may make 4 of 5 stops when on a route.
When you add that feature I go back to using it.
I like it. How do I get an unlisted Geo Positioning address?
The scary part is when I type my address into Google earth, and I can see everything in my back yard.
As Google goes more and more real time, better watch that nude sunbathing. . .
I wondered who stole my bike. :-)
A freaking scale indicator. I mean, is this something that is, like impossible to do or something? Everyone I've ever mentioned it to agrees that it would ba a freaking Godsend, yet noone seems to do it!
You mean "left wing nut". It is the liberals that hate capitalist Apple with their billions of dollars in the bank.
Talk about overloading it with data. . . there were probably too may to choose from! I once was in an area in San Francisco where Maps showed about twenty Starbucks within six blocks. . . and there were! There were four where I could see them when I walked outside, one literally on each corner. . . or close to the corners. No one had to cross a street for a Grande Latté. LOL
I just went to Atlanta using the Apple map GPS it was awesome. Love it.
Nah, It wasn’t data overload. It just didn’t see that you could make a left turn to get into the parking lot from this direction. That meant I had to go a hell of a lot further to turn around to make the entrance a right hand turn. It was pretty funny, because it was obviously really confused. I’ve had all map programs do really weird things like that though. Computers will make mistakes a person would never make. People generally make other mistakes. :-)