Sony Xperia Z3 Review
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Karbonn Sparkle V (Android One)
Micromax Canvas A1 (Android One)
Xiaomi Redmi 1S
Asus Zenfone 6
Asus Zenfone 5
HTC One (M8)
First Impressions: Blackberry Passport
Samsung Galaxy Alpha: First impressions of Samsung's premium mini phone
A date with the Oculus Rift
Windows 9: The bloodiest war for your PC is coming soon
Hot Shots: A Windows game that warps conventional touch based gaming
How tech is taking football to the next level
Classic FPS games are a dying breed
Slowly gathering steam...
The obsession within
Carmick Shift: Can John Carmack and Oculus Rift change the world?
Xolo launches the Q2100 with integrated fingerprint sensor
Samsung India launches Galaxy Grand Prime to compete with the Moto G
YotaPhone dual-screen smartphone spotted on Flipkart
Lumia 930, 830 and 730 WP 8.1-based phones launched in India
Broadband adoption rate improves in India: Akamai report
Moto G 2nd gen launched, available from midnight at Rs. 12,999
Xiaomi goes for the kill, prices Redmi 1S at Rs. 5,999 in India
Xiaomi lists Mi3 cases and power-banks on Flipkart, offers 10,400 mAh powerbank for Rs. 999
Moto G2 expected to be announced on 10 September
Motorola Moto X (Gen 2) smartphone, Moto 360 smartwatch announced for India
Intex Aqua Star Power
Intex Aqua Star HD
Intex Aqua Star
Idea Magna L
Case Study: Optimizing Cyberlink PowerDVD to improve battery life on Intel devices
How to use Parallel Programming with C#
Create a music App with touch, stylus & keyboard control for Windows 8 tablets
How to optimize multimedia & augmented reality Android apps for Intel platform
How to use Intel INDE Media Pack for Android to add video capturing capability for Unity Apps
How to Develop an Intelligent Autonomous Drone using an Android Smartphone
How to get started with OpenCL on Android OS
How to use Intel Cilk Plus to speed up your Android application
How to choose the right engine for your x86-based Android game
How to create sample codes for Video 3D on Android
Nokia Lumia 930 - First Impressions
Nokia Lumia 830 - First Impressions
Nokia Lumia 730 - First Impressions
Microsoft jumps to Windows 10 and rolls back to Windows 7 features
First look: Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Hands On: Nokia Lumia 930
Hands On: Nokia Lumia 730
Hands On: Nokia Lumia 830
Home entertainment projectors to buy
One of the most significant updates to iOS 6 is Apple's new Maps application, which replaces Google Maps as the default, pre-loaded app. It's widely believed Apple did this to scale back its reliance on a major competitor for a key part of its mobile operating system.
It's less likely, though still possible, that Google's licensing terms became too onerous, or that Apple wanted to activate voice navigation for free and Google refused, since the built-in, voice-enabled Google Maps Navigation app has been one of Android's traditional competitive advantages.
Whatever the reason, I was hoping Apple was going to come out of the gate strongly with its own Maps app. After all, Apple has a pretty good history of doing just that. It looks at the market, see what other competitors have done, and then comes in with its own product that often upends existing ideas and with an extra dose of polish.
Unfortunately, it appears that we didn't get this at all. Apple Maps looks gorgeous, and functions well enough on a basic level. But early impressions are that it's a 1.0 app in a 6.0 OS.
For example, reports are already pouring in saying that Maps is coming up with some strange ideas about how to get places. Google went through this sort of thing years ago. Waze is going through this now, as crowd-sourced directions are great for avoiding traffic, but not so good at optimizing routes when behind the wheel. It takes years of refinements to get this right. So far, it appears Apple's vague mix of TomTom, Waze, and other sources isn't panning out so well yet. It sure isn't TomTom's fault, incidentally; its devices have been great at routing for years.
We'll be testing iOS 6 Maps much more heavily over the next week, particularly as the iPhone 5 arrives. Existing iPhone 4S owners who upgrade to iOS 6 get the same feature set, while those with the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 get most, but not all, new iOS 6 Maps features - like voice navigation and flyovers. But even today, just with some basic testing, it's clear Google Maps retains a serious advantage in many key areas:
The maps themselves. The city maps we're seeing in iOS 6 Maps certainly look attractive, but they're also kind of bizarre. For example, zoom in and out, and Apple's app has a really curious way of deciding which neighborhood names and landmarks are important, and which aren't. In the above screenshot, I'd probably pick four or five neighborhoods before highlighting the tiny Koreatown and Meatpacking Districts: Chelsea, Gramercy Park, Murray Hill, Midtown…
Poor address location. Right here in Manhattan, the app is proving it has trouble finding points of interests as well as even basic street addresses. Even when it has my location nailed on East 28th Street, I typed the full street address of the building I was standing in front of, and the type-ahead search brought up five examples in Brian Head, Utah. I ran a search on a street address on East 15th Street in Manhattan, and it delivered a red pin on Marlborough Road in Brooklyn—not only was that incorrect, but it defaulted to Brooklyn, since Brooklyn has an East 15th Street, instead of Manhattan. I put in my father's old store, which has been open in Brooklyn since 1976, and Maps lists it as a Jewish Center in the middle of the block. He didn't own a Jewish Center. Around the Web, people are noticing it gets entire neighborhoods wrong, and someone found it gives the wrong city name for Berlin in Germany.
No street views. Google Street View started as a fun and curious experiment in San Francisco years ago, but has since blossomed into something truly extraordinary that works in many major metropolitan areas. Google added it to show destinations during voice navigation, too, although that's minor in comparison to its day-to-day importance on the ground. It's gone. Apple's flyovers are really cool, but they only work in a couple of cities; it's probably going to take Apple just as long as it did Google to build this into something truly useful.
Missing public transit information. This has already been widely reported, and it's a big one if you live in a major city. There's no bus, subway, or train information—schedules, stops, and transit times are all gone. It essentially means that if you're on foot, you can no longer rely on the Maps app to give you directions or even show you nearby stops to head to. Fortunately, you can still access Google Maps for this info via the browser, although that's decidedly less convenient, and it doesn't allow for simultaneous GPS location as you're walking.
Poor 3D driving interface. Aside from possible routing issues, Maps doesn't offer a useful 3D interface while driving. It features the next step prominently in a fake green road sign, and the distance to it; that's great. But the ETA and distance remaining is crammed into the top status bar with a very tiny font. There's no current road speed or speed limit display. You can't tap the display to repeat a voice command in case you didn't hear it. There's no traffic info on screen. Google Maps Navigation isn't perfect, but a lot of this stuff is present, and the interface works well on the road.
Poor traffic reporting. I've really come to rely on Google's shaded traffic reporting, which is based on three colors (green, yellow, red) and shows at a glance exactly what you're up against before you start driving. That's gone with Apple Maps; instead, you get some red dotted lines showing… something. I'm assuming congestion. This being Manhattan, that's not very helpful. There are a lot of people here. There's always congestion.
Copyright © 2010 Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc