Why My Next Phone Is Not An iPhone, From An Apple Fanboy [Opinion]

featured my next iphone   Why My Next Phone Is Not An iPhone, From An Apple Fanboy [Opinion]I have been called an Apple fanboy on numerous occasions, so I may as well accept the moniker and move on. Yes, I love Apple products, and I shudder at the thought of touching Windows. I have no less than 5 Apple devices in my home – a desktop, a laptop, two phones, and the latest iPad – but as of last week they were joined by a lovely little HTC One X, an Android phone. What could have possibly induced such madness and out-of-character purchase? One word – maps.

Directions To Nowhere

Along with iOS6 came a brand new mapping application, the product of multiple technologies and data-sets acquired over the last few years, with road data from leading brand name TomTom – and brand new turn-by-turn navigation feature for anyone with an iPhone 4S or 5. Now, I’ll be the first to admit the turn-by-turn interface is quite good – Siri announces the way in her ever dulcit tones – yet all the directions in the world won’t help if you can’t find the correct destination in the first place. It comes down to what you might call points of interest.

Points Of Interest

Google’s offering has had years to gather intelligence, crowdsourcing the task of marking locations and paying thousands of people to keep the information up to date and relevant. It knows about pretty much anywhere in the world, even that small local store down the road, and makes an intelligent guess at what you’re referring to.

Apple Maps Has Neither

Here’s a quick example: I tried to find “Earls Court”, a famous exhibition center in the middle of London – Apple gave me one result – in Africa. “Harry potter studio tour”? Somewhere in America (uh no, it’s in the town of Leavesden, UK). There’s even a Tumblr blog set up with user submissions of how dumb the app can be.

maps hongkong   Why My Next Phone Is Not An iPhone, From An Apple Fanboy [Opinion]

Honestly, it’s pathetic. I can’t use turn-by-turn anyway on my iPhone 4, but finding the locations in the first place has always been essential for me. Having spent 8 years of my adult life in Kyoto, I am not intimately familiar with every nook and cranny in and around London; I only started driving this year.

For driving directions, I’ve previously relied upon an (expensive) third party navigation app called Don’t Panic. It isn’t great, and suffered the same lack of POIs as the Apple maps app does; but at least I could get vaguely close, and then switch over to Google Maps to find the exact location.

Why not just downgrade, back to iOS5, you might ask? Well, no one likes to downgrade and it wouldn’t fix the core problem anyway. I want a good navigation solution, and nothing has provided me with this on iOS. iOS6 was supposed to fix all that. I would have happily upgraded to the iPhone 5 for turn-by-turn directions alone. I was waiting for that feature ever since it was first announced at the WWDC. What we were promised, and what we received is vastly different.

I’m sure there will be people who do downgrade back to iOS5 for this reason though, and they will find that apps slowly drop support and refuse to install updates; they’ll be forever stuck in some kind of limbo. Or we can wait around for a new Google Maps app to be released, which still won’t have turn-by-turn and is unlikely to arrive anytime soon.

Google Wins Mapping

Google has spent many years gathering information and locations for their superb mapping product, and it’s going to take Apple a long, long time to catch up to anywhere near the same level of quality. I don’t doubt that in the long run, Apple will come back with a fantastic mapping product, something exemplary to suit their gorgeous hardware.

Until then, I need a solution. Tim Cook even went as far as to offer a public apology, admitting their mapping solution wasn’t up to scratch and even suggesting competitors products that could be used instead; but that’s not really a solution, and it’s just not good enough. It is very much out of character for Apple though, so read into that what you will.

At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

apple maps   Why My Next Phone Is Not An iPhone, From An Apple Fanboy [Opinion]

Must Have Car

Distinctly lacking from the new maps are walking directions and public transport. Apple added one feature (turn-by-turn) and took two away. Like most sane people, I don’t drive into central London – I take the train, and walk. Disregarding the fact that Apple doesn’t know my destination anyway – even if it did, it wouldn’t be able to show me how to get there using anything other than a car. I’ve resorted to using the Transport For London journey planner website, but it’s not the same; it’s not integrated and it still only gets me vaguely to the right place.

StreetView

Along with the loss of Google also went StreetView – replaced by a 3D-flyover mode (again, only for more recent models); but it’s not in the slightest bit comparable to StreetView. It was obviously just a bit of eye-candy; the supported cities are few and beyond showing off the feature to friends, it quickly lacks any real-world usage.

3d maps   Why My Next Phone Is Not An iPhone, From An Apple Fanboy [Opinion]

Abandoning The iOS Ship?

Not entirely. I’ve been pretty vocal about the lack of good quality apps on Android beyond the Google owned products. There just aren’t as many, and of those, most are low-quality amateur offerings. But that doesn’t matter so much on my phone. I still have an iPad for the occasional game and media consumption; my phone is a navigation and communication device – that’s all.

More strongly in my mind is the issue of why Apple removed Google maps in the first place; it has emerged that they still had a year on their contract to licence Maps. Yes, it’s true that Google wasn’t letting them have turn-by-turn and that the Android app is far superior, but at least the core mapping product would have remained stable and functional. I fear a lot of people will jumping ship to Android because of this. It is a rare moment when an Apple product comes up short over their competitors.

What about you? Are you considering switching to Android, or do you not understand what all the fuss is about?

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98 Comments -

josh

I am not sure I understand the exodus from iOS because of Maps? There are plenty of other map programs, for one, and it was feature that was obviously rushed due to licensing with google, so it can only get better.

I think people are way to dependent on technology to tell them where to go and what to do. If you don’t at least look at text directions before you go somewhere to have a general idea, then its your own fault.

Aditya Roy

and it shouldn’t take long to rectify the map bugs.

James Bruce

There’s not plenty; I’ve tried the best navigation solutions, and they lack POIs. Google Maps on iOs used to have POIs but not driving directions; it’s never been ideal. Apple is trying to combine and fix that, but its not that easy.

Easy – text directions? As in, from google maps?

Lisa Santika Onggrid

Well, some people never use Maps app, like me, but there are people who depend their life on it. Like James pointed, he wasn’t familiar with London maps, and it’d also be useful when say, you’re going abroad for a vacation.

Anonymous

I don’t think Apple Map will catch up with Google anytime soon. Use both and you will see the differences. Apple just doesn’t have the mapping data to match. And they just can’t throw money at it to catchup in one year.

If you people are way too dependent on technology, why are you using iPhone/iPad?

Kevin Norberg

No, I will definitely NOT be downgrading to Android or any other phone, now or anytime soon. Why throw out the baby with the bathwater?!

For those who have issues with the iPhone’s iOS Maps (and many clearly do), there’s a very simple solution:
• Open Safari on your iPhone
• goto: maps.google.com
• bookmark that page to your Homescreen

Use as an alternative to Apple Maps until Apple upgrades and improves theirs.

James Bruce

That doesn’t help with navigation functions, and its going to take *years* to get maps at the same level.

Still, I like your use of the word “downgrading” to Android. Nice. I say – throw out the baby *and* the bathwater if both are starting to smell. ;)

DB

LOL….downgrading. I upgraded from Apple 2 Android. Going back 2 Apple would be a downgrade for myself & our business. Everyone has their favs…mine changed from Apple 2 Android.

Andy

I have never used the maps app.

WTF is the big deal about it?

James Bruce

.. it sucks now.

Joel Lee

Did you even read the article? Maybe then you’d know what the big deal is about.

Laga Mahesa

I’m with you on this one.

James Bruce

That doesn’t really invalidate the argument though, does it? Just because you personally don’t care about the mapping functions doesn’t negate the opinions of millions of others who do.

Laga Mahesa

For me, I’m not trying to negate it, just trying to understand it. If it were, say, the contacts app or something equally central, then I’d understand.

Mike

Using the Contacts app as an analogy lets pretend that Google made the Contacts app, and each entry stored a phone number, address, email, etc. From the Contacts app you could call someone, or send them a text. If Apple got rid of it and replaced it with a Contacts app that only stored phone numbers it would still be fine for many people with limited use needs. The suggested workaround in this case would be to bookmark the Google Contacts website that contained the same info as the old app. You wouldn’t be able to call or send right from that same interface.

Laga Mahesa

To Mike: True, but that’s a bit of a stretch. This is a phone, after all. Contacts is a core feature of phones, while mapping is a core feature of GPS devices. To extend this to ridiculous levels, what you’re saying is that maps and contacts have the same weight as Angry Birds.

April Eum

lmao maps shouldn’t be the sole reason of you switching to android..there are many faults with the iphone 5 that should be making you reconsider to android.

James Bruce

Well, I don’t have an iPhone 5, so I can’t really find faults in it. What might you be referring to? “Too light it feels like I might drop it” is something I’m hearing a lot of. Other than that though….

April Eum

i don’t think “too light it feels like i might drop it” is a legitimate reason haha. i’m not saying i’m a victim of a faulty iphone 5. but there is a whole lot of scuffs, purple haze, maps (already stated), the clutter noise by the camera/home button, all were probably been addressed by iphone 4/4s line, but just thought these should have been fixed. except scuffs/maps since those were new features. the way apple handled these issues were also not as professional IMO. phil’s statement on scuffs right out of a brand new box because aluminum? should have been more like we’re sorry, return it and we’ll provide you with a new one that you paid for.

i just wish apple kind of took their heads out of their own rear. and start to think about customers once again and not solely focus on their time on trying to patent every single product and win trials. but i can say people buying these phones are likely because of apple hype now. i got mine for $200 for new upgrade, i wouldn’t spend 250$ on S3 for sure, but i sure as hell would have had a hard time paying an iphone 5 for $250. each penny toward apple now counts. it has to be worth. every. single. cent. to me now. iphone 5 was a major wow factor, but also a major disappointment. a major wow as in: 298479382 units sold and another 0928349284 people are waiting for their backordered iphone 5! and a disappointment as in: oh..why did i buy this product again, because it has LTE and it’s a bit fast? wait. weren’t there 40948509 other androids who already had LTE and speed wasn’t dramatically a loser, SG3 is just as fast by means of their user interface, you’ll never know what’s fast now, only benchmark shows numbers statistics.

obviously we don’t go: OH I AM NOW EXPERIENCING 1.3 GHz of speed on this phone, NO, you go to benchmark apps we probably purchased for .99 cents at the app store and then we say the numbers.

we’re not using phones to photoshop my instagram photos while writing my essay all while watching finding nemo simultaneously. haha.

now i just got carried away hahahah T_T sorry

James Bruce

Heh, don’t be sorry. I’m not sure those complaints are valid though; I’m fairly certain all camera phones are affected by lens flares of purple light, and aluminium is going to scratch whatever the case (out of the box though, yeh that’s a bit quick). Apple gets the limelight, because they’re Apple. Same with the cases of worker abuse in China, despite being one of the best employers there. It’s easy to hate on the big guy.

Anonymous

my sgs3 doesn’t have any lens issues , in fact compared to my wifes iPhone 4 it doesn’t have a single scratch on it and i don’t bother to look after it , heck i even dropped it off a 2 story building to prove my point (did the same to my sgs1 (all if got was a couple of scratches on the edge)
now I’ve repaired iPhone’s that were dropped from 30 cm and the screen was totally screwed admit-ably allot cheaper to repair (even with OEM products) but it shouldn’t have broken in the first place

Pete

Hello, shameless linkbaiting. I had hoped the siren’s call of deliberately stupid, agitating articles had escaped a great website like MakeUseOf.com. Sadly not, even this website is not immune to the low road of technology “journalism”.

I shouldn’t even bother arguing with Jame’s clearly flawed reasoning for dumping an entire ecosystem over the temporary loss of one feature of modern smart phones. But even if James exclusively uses his phone to help him navigate this dark and dangerous world – I utterly fail to see how the temporary inconvenience of Apple’s half-baked mapping solution justifies dumping an entire ecosystem. You are the most fickle self-proclaimed fanboy I have ever seen.

I’m sure it’s not lost on the author that Google is working on bringing their veteran mapping application to iOS as fast as they can (while also deservedly having a chuckle at Apple’s expense). He also ignores numerous third-party mapping options that are both highly functional (Bing, MapQuest, and the rather impressive Google Maps webapp, for example).

The author also ignores that Apple hasn’t been deeply humbled by how their mapping solution has been received, and is making rapid improvements. I’ll accept it may be too little too late for some, but it’s not like iOS users are without any options there’s a whole section in the App Store for those like James who truly struggle to find their way home.

There are plenty of reasons to prefer Android to iOS. There are plenty of reasons to prefer iOS to Android. It depends on your needs. Apparently, James’ needs are generating revenue for MakeUseOf.com and learning how to fold a map or use the App Store to find a mapping program that does suit his apparently demanding needs.

James Bruce

Oh, now I’m self proclaimed? Heh. Can’t win either way, eh?

I didnt dump the whole ecosystem. Did you read the article? I own an iPad, my wife has an iPhone still, and I solely use a Mac desktop and laptop. I own http://ipadboardgames.org , and it provides a sizeable portion of my income. Hardly abandoning an ecosystem.

Dave Parrack

Shameless linkbaiting would imply the core of the article is untrue or being overstated to drive traffic. Neither of which is true. James is a huge Apple fan, and yet has bought an Android fan because of the iOS 6 Maps debacle.

The fact that it generated such a lengthy response from you suggests it was more than worthy of writing and of appearing on MakeUseOf.

Anonymous

The end question is this does it work like its supposed to
the simple answer is no it doesn’t then why should we buy them

Snakebite

Stop bashing James guys.

Last week, the left indicator of my Ferrari stopped working and I had to sell it to buy a manure truck.

Joel Lee

At least a manure truck will actually take you where you want to go.

Vipul Jain

made my day!
thank you sir! XD

James Bruce

Ferrari apologised, but couldn’t supply a new indicator for at least a year, and suggested you butcher a part of an old mini instead. There’s a pretty good Porche sitting in the dealers that’s free when you buy petrol from them anyway though, so don’t know why you went for the truck.

Lith

That truck’s probably way more reliable than your Italian compensation stick anyway. It might be slower, but it can do more and more importantly, won’t explode into flames at the stoplights for no apparent reason.

Arron Walker

I’ve always felt Apple fall short honestly – overpriced and locked down. Whenever I saw that price, my jaw dropped, and I walked away. It’s called “apple tax” for a reason. That said, I think the old iPod nano’s where utter gems, I still have a second generation 8gb with me.

Laga Mahesa

Compared to high end android devices, there’s little difference in pricing, and with android you don’t get the extremely long term post sales support.

Arron Walker

… I think that’s the first argument in apples favour I’ve ever thought was reasonable. ^_^ However, high end, we have a choice. We can get a phone exactly as good as we want. I admit though, the current high ends are silly, the Galaxy S3 is overpriced. I’ve never heard anything good about apples support though… except now, exactly how long is this support? Most people I know change phones every year. There are those of us though, who keep our models a bit longer than that.

Laga Mahesa

Agreed on all you said. I was very keen on the original Note until I saw the price. Knock a couple of hundred dollars off and I’d be willing to overlook the negligible support Samsung gives its customers.

I keep my phones essentially forever, either handing on for use in the immediate family, as a development reference or as a general ‘tool’. That last has only been possible with iPhones; before my 3Gs I had a Nokia N95 which still, in my opinion, has one of the best cameras on a mobile. That I use when I go clubbing, as the low light ability on that thing is phenomenal.

Now, my 3Gs – I bought it on launch, my first Apple device, and it just got upgraded to iOS 6. Three and a half years or so and 3 (from the original iOS 3) major OS versions. Yes, it doesn’t get all the latest OS toys, but it does get the under-the-hood improvements, which is far more important. Last month I used it to take a 2-week timelapse session at my school, using my Ipad as a progress monitor. Without the updates I doubt that would have been possible.

muotechguy

The UK has a two year guarantee on all electrical goods; you can get the battery replaced for free within that period, for instance.

Lith

Only in certain countries, or more precisely, the launch countries like US, England, Singapore, Australia, maybe Japan, and a few others. iPhones tend to cost around the same as a high-end Samsung or Sony with a contract. In countries that don’t offer carrier subsidies, the iPhone tends to be much more expensive than flagship Android handsets.

Buying outright/unlocked, there’s not much difference, but most people can’t really justify paying that much in one go. Think about it for a second, an iPhone 5 or Galaxy Note 2 costs about as much as a low/mid-range laptop.

Laga Mahesa

You could be right, it’s hard to find price comparisons in other countries. Here in Indonesia, though, the launch price of the Note was 6,800,000 Rp., ($715 US) whilst the current 16 Gb iPhone is about the same, ranging between 6.7 ($705 US) and 6.9 million ($725 US). Comparing build quality alone eliminated the Note for me.

As for people not being able to justify it – this is a shame, as carrier subsidies, I feel, are responsible for a general lack of concern when it comes to mobiles. No one looks after them. As you say, they cost the same as a laptop yet people have less regard for them.

High end mobiles are far more flexible and useable. I sold my top-of-the-range Asus laptop when I realized I hadn’t used it for 3 months. As a teacher I do all of my work – lesson planning, presentations, grading – on my iPad and my iPhone. All that work now takes much tess time to accomplish and I now have more time to interract with the kids individually.

I’m going to buy a top range MacBook Retina only because it can replace my aging desktop and allow me to develop for OSX and iOS without jumping through numerous hoops.

Edwin Williams

Ever since I got a kindle, rooted it, and put the google marketplace on it makes me want to jump ship over to android. The customization ability is what really gets me going. I still like the iphone and use one everyday, so it’ll have to be something bigger than the Maps app to get me to switch phones :)

Laga Mahesa

Hundreds of dollars vs fifty at most for a third party mapping application? I’ve never used Google maps as it requires you to be online, which is never guaranteed, and many of the hits are bogus as people are incapable of accurately locating buildings when adding pins. I dunno about the states, but searching for an extremely well known hotel in Jakarta will result in about ten pins scattered all over the city.

Sygic, on the other hand, is online for social and cloud purposes only, and has always been extremely accurate. This whole brouhaha about mapping has puzzled me greatly – may as well gibber and complain about Notes or some other random default app people end up replacing anyway.

James Bruce

What’s hundreds of dollars? A new phone? Mine was free. Anyway, I’ve tried all the best Navigation apps (I get review copies, so they’re free too), and ultimately none of them performed that well for me – either bad directions vs google, wrong traffic times, or lack of POIs. I was hoping Apple maps would release something to finally offer a good solution to rival Google navigation – but they didn’t. Far from it.

Laga Mahesa

Free? That’s cheating! ;’D

Max

Switching ecosystem because of a map app … cool story bro :S

James Bruce

Damn, it’s a phone; hardly an “ecosystem” switch. Again, READ the article. I won’t be switching my iPad, iMac, or Macbook Pro for anything.

Max

Hey James. Right, I didn’t read the article, sorry about that !

I’m just tired of people complaining about maps, let alone switching phone because of this. Sure, I don’t use maps that much and when I need turn-by-turn, I usually rely on TomTom so I’m not very affected by “poor maps” ..

The few times I used Apple’s Maps, it was OK. Looks like I’m not alone – http://blumenthals.com/blog/2012/10/10/what-do-consumers-think-of-the-iphone-map-app/

muotechguy

Not sure where you’re located, but it seems like America is going to have less of issue with maps; in the UK, we always get diddled on features and coverage.

Max

I’m in Canada so I’m used to be left out of some nice things also. However, this time, the maps (in my city at least) aren’t that bad.

scott boyer

Apple should have anounced that they were introducing there own mapping software. And that it was a work in progress. Before they took 2 million orders and delivered a inferior product. Apple users should me upset.

Laga Mahesa

Those weren’t orders for dedicated GPS units; mapping is a tiny part of the feature set.

James Bruce

There isn’t much else that changed though, really.

Uzumaki May

As Pete said, choosing between iOS and Android is a matter of needs. Whatever fits yours the most, it’s the best for you. In James’ case, his primary need was left unattended by Apple and, while other users are right in talking about many very good Mapping apps available on App Store, he weighted his options and decided to give Android a try.
James, I just hope you don’t regret the decision because of the different OS. There’s a HUGE difference between iOS and Android experiences (IMO, at least), and I don’t know if an Apple-exclusive like you would be able to adapt to Android.
On another thought, you COULD have kept you iPhone with iOS 5 since you own an iPad and could use the latter updated apps on it without losing that much. Did you think about it?

James Bruce

I’m not sure if I could have kept iOS5 actually, because as a registered dev I was running iOS6 a while ago and downgrading was blocked. Reagrdless, the mapping solutions on iOS5 weren’t perfect either – I get why Apple tried to make their own. Google Maps was accurate, but no turn by turn; other apps weren’t accurate, but had TBT. Combine the two in one awesome Apple app. That’s what I was waiting for; I had hoped the beta iOS6 was just buggy or lacking in map data, but turns out that was how the final version is too. So I guess this decision has actually been a while in the making.

I’m adjusting ok to Android, though ugly-ass apps are annoying; everything is just so amateur compared to the polish of most iOS apps. The customization is nice, but not such a big deal for me. I don’t think I’ll be rooting anytime soon. I am looking forward to finding lots of cool stuff to do though; people seem to rave about tasker, will have to check that out.

In the end, it is just a phone to me; I didn’t play games on my iPhone. Maps, navigation, email, news, RSS, browser – that’s basically the same on any platform (well, apart from maps, obviously)

Billie Bob

This is a stupid article.

James Bruce

This is a tremendously insightful and useful comment. Thank you for taking the time to express your valued opinions today.

Vipul Jain

I have never used iOS but have tinkered with a friend’s 4s .
And when i clicked this article i was really hoping to see some major flaws, i being an android user (and maybe a fan too) could use to tease my apple friends, such as Pricing, Less flexibility and Maps.

But an article only to criticize maps, and also citing it as a reason to abandon an OS, this one seems like a personal vendetta against Apple.

James Bruce

A personally vendetta? For what? Providing the best desktop OS, ever? Making me more productive? Kicking my life into gear all those years ago, turning me from a gamer into a website developer? Providing a large portion of my income for supporting the iOS platform with games reviews at http://ipadboardgames.org ? Yeh, I *totally* hate that evil Apple corp.

The very fact you’re looking for “material to tease your friends witth” tells me you’re not really tackling this objectively. This was a personal opinion piece, about the annoyances I have with maps mainly. I couldnt care less about pricing and customization, nor would my editor have approved some moronic “apple vs android” piece.

Vipul Jain

well in that case, the article is fine but the title is not.

James Bruce

What’s wrong with the title?!

Vipul Jain

umm, because you have written an article on why you will ditch an OS that has

provided the best desktop OS, ever, making you more productive, kicked your life into gear all those years ago, turning you from a gamer into a website developer, Provided a large portion of your income for supporting the iOS platform with games reviews at http://ipadboardgames.org

just because it got ONE feature wrong.. :D

Evan Fenner

Apple should have at least given maps a beta tag as it did with Siri and maybe made it an option as opposed to forcing it.

James Bruce

That would have been an excellent idea.

Anonymous

Please folks, don’t need to use profanity. It only make you dumb! I’ve a new iPad and sort of regret that I upgrade to 6. I used Google maps a lot as I take the transit all over town. With Apple map, that isn’t available. The one with my transit company isn’t anywhere as good as Gmap. As for Apple being able to catch up to anytime soon. I really don’t think that will happen as Google has a 10 yr head start. And it is their DNA to gather information. I know Apple has a lot of $ but it takes time to get that data. IMO, if Apple is smart, they will just Google put an app on App Store. It will buy them sometime to make their app better. Fortunately for me, I have a Blackberry and Google Map works just fine on there.

James Bruce

Thanks Steven, excellent points. Though personally, a Google Maps app just won’t do it for me; I wanted to upgrade, not just keep the same old semi-working solution.

Imya Last

The best GPS is Waze.And it’s also free.So WTF with maps?Never used them

James Bruce

Thanks, I’ll check it out – its for android too, I see. Would you say it’s better than Google’s own navigation offering though?

Vipul Jain

In India it is. Since GMaps doesnt offer Navigation here in India, I too use Waze, it’s a little buggy but it performs the main function pretty well i.e. – Navigating :D

Sarah W

Waze is fantastic for finding and avoiding heavy traffic as well as traffic hazards – I live in southern California, so this is a biiiig deal. I don’t like it as much as Google’s navigation (can’t beat that turn by turn!), but I’ve been using Waze more and more lately.

I really liked this article. I went with Android by default at first – as a lifelong Verizon subscriber, I couldn’t get an iPhone when it came time to get my first smartphone. The summer before last, I was faced with choosing between the iPhone and Android, and almost went iPhone except I wanted a bigger screen and 4G LTE, so Android it was again. I’m eligible to upgrade again in March, and I’m already weighing the Galaxy SIII against the iPhone 5, and right now I’m leaning more towards the SIII for the maps issue alone. I would be literally lost without Google Maps. It’s a killer app for me. Things could change by the time March rolls around though, so I guess we’ll see.

Eric Brewer

Waze has a lot of good points, but it was a major battery hog for me. nearly twice the drain than google maps. (android user) It also didn’t find the optimal directions like google did. Never had a problem finding a place, just navigation was ony average. I does do a very good job with those caveats. (at least on android)

Alae Hatoum

The map feature might be important for some but its not that big of a deal for me (I live in Lebanon , the middle east) but what sold me the S III was how superior the hardware is .

There I was at GSMarena comparing a 5 month old phone to the iPhone 5 that has just been released and everything from the Quad Core 1.4 GHz proceesor of tf the S III compared to the Dual 1.2 GHz of the iPhone , the higher screen resolution of the S III compared to the iPhone and the seamless integration with almost all my digital life such as Gmail , Gcal , Picassa , Youtube , Google reader , Google Docs .

Samsung S III Had everything the new iPhone has if not better (including the ability to expand the memory) with half the price .. the jump was only natural for me and so far really enjoyable

muotechguy

The s3 does not have a high pixel density; though the screen is bigger, if that’s what you mean. Comparing hardware is kind of pointless though; especially when you talk about CPU clocks on an entirely different architecture of chip.

Anonymous

The native Apple maps may be undeniably sucky atm.
But an iOS is still better than Android OS By a LONG fucking shot.

Switching from an iPhone to Android because of its maps is like switching from a Mercedes to a Ford, just because the radio doesn’t work all the time.

Come on guys, the maps thing is old news now. I knew about the shitty maps app before upgrading my 4s to iOS 6, and I still did it because its still worth upgrading.

Hey, Mapquest’s voice direction app has been out before iOS 6, it is free, and it works like a charm.

A couple of months from now when my contract expires, I will also be getting my 5.

Mac Witty

Yes, the maps suck. No doubt about it
The long time before the “apology” came did not make it better
I don’t think Apple will be able to catch up with Google maps for a long time
I regret that I updated – looking forward to a Google map app

My main concern is about the future. How much do apple listen to user and what sort of response do they ask for? iOS 6 was “out” among developer for a long time and some reported back about the maps while other took the view that they should only report the bugs. If Apple not change this, well then I change next time

Alex Perkins

The street view picture looks like an earthquake is happening.

Z-rek

I have never used google map for traveling, I occasionally checkout the street view. G map is so bad it’s unusable.

admir

loool :D who the hell would use Montenegro for an example? xD I’m from Montenegro and I was like “wuuut? :O ” when I saw Montenegrin coast as an example of how bad Apple maps are bad !! xD

Kannon Y

Great article James. Thanks for the read.

I remember Justin asking whether or not Steve Jobs would have released the disaster that is the iPhone 5. We can’t say with 100% certainty that he wouldn’t have, but it’s pretty apparent this is not Apple’s best work, by a long shot. Given that the 5-series packs budget phone specs in a premium priced package should give any prospective buyer pause.

Unfortunately, it didn’t give any buyer pause and the 5 sold more than any previous generation of iPhone. Even with the terrible maps package and anemic specs.

How often has Apple brought a product to market that was substantially behind the bleeding edge of available technology? A 1.2 GHz dual custom Cortex A-9 with a good GPU isn’t much of a departure from the 4S, that was released last year. Their competition already had phones on the market with double the horsepower. It’s horrendous.

Muo TechGuy

Thanks Kannon, though I don’t think hardware specs really matter. Otherwise I can see nothing compelling about ios6, or iPhone 5. It’s a shame it’s selling so well, because there’s now no incentive to actually make something better. Insane.

Kannon Y

You’re right that CPU ratings are largely irrelevant – the iPhone 5 looks bad on paper, but is actually at the high end of the performance curve in benchmarks (which are also irrelevant). And in a walled garden app environment, with hardware standardization, Apple can squeeze every ounce of performance out of its handsets – whereas in Android, manufacturers leave the performance tweaks to customers and pump out the crap several times a year. For example, Asus was using low quality flash on its Transformer series tablet, which led to i/o problems and bad usability. But on paper, it was a beast of a machine (for a tablet).

Anyway, if the 5 leads to lower than expected sales of the 5S or the 6, they may reconsider their design paradigm. But I suspect most Apple fans are going to rationalize away the performance short-comings: “Apple maps spartan design is far less distracting than Google Maps, and I prefer simplistic, Zen design in navigation apps.”

Anonymous

“It is a rare moment when an Apple product comes up short over their competitors.”
Hang on what competitors apple has fallen short on almost every single part of all of their products. for example
>their 8 core computers still use ddr2 ram (what a crock)
>the iphone 4 wasn’t even using a dual core cpu when every other available product was
> the only advantage most of their portable products had over the competition is their battery life
>the glass in most of their product line is more fragile than my grandmothers fine china
> and once that glass is broken the components have 0 protection
> Id like to say that yep if it breaks the replacements are cheaper but thats only because its such poor quality to start with
> yep the quality of apps on android can use some work . but thats only because theirs lots of free agents creating new ideas all the time for android apples market is limited at best unless you install a jailbreak (which will void your warentee if you get caught you really don’t have alot of choice about what to install
> Android is completely open source apple is completely closed shop
>apple boasts it can’t get viruses (strange how they don’t do that as much anymore) simply because they got viruses..
I find the biggest problem with apple products is quite simply its made by apple I’m certain if they were made by someone else the end result would be alot better.
Point made
kcrwd.com
>

Muo TechGuy

Point not made at all. Hardware is irrelevant.

I agree, the glass sucks. Dumb design choice. But this “once that glass is broken the components have 0 protection” is rubbish. My wifes iPhone shattered at the back. She didn’t notice because she had a case over it, and it still functions fine. It’s still shattered, mind.

This : “because theirs [there's] lots of free agents creating new ideas all the time for android ” .. just makes no sense. Android has poor quality apps because “free agents” are being creative? No, it’s because no professional developers want to work with Android when the revenue is so small due to the ease piracy. Proof: I talk to games developers all the time – the Apple market is cut-throat enough; why waste time developing for Android when your app can be pirated in seconds.

The iPhone has never had a virus without a jailbreak. Give me a link if you think you can prove otherwise.

Jacob Mathew

“Google has spent many years gathering information and locations for their superb mapping product, and it’s going to take Apple a long, long time to catch up to anywhere near the same level of quality. I don’t doubt that in the long run, Apple will come back with a fantastic mapping product, something exemplary to suit their gorgeous hardware.” Yes this is true. While Apple can do it, they do not do it.

Anonymous

Bottom line it is still just a telephone.

B

I’ve been an apple purchaser for more years than i can remember computers phones the lot back to the Quadra days, but i am tired of it, can’t get the hardware, fed up with the marketing. Sick of the so called sleamless interfacing which doesn’t work because of politics and pricing. I’m happy for all you that love it but it’s Android for me from now on.

Altra Attestor

I think there are many map applications because sometimes there are also applications that do not have a complete map.

Pete Gavin

I think you are confusing “Google Maps” with “Google Navigation” (which interfaces with Maps to provide a turn by turn system). I was not aware that “Navigation” was offered to iOS (any version) at all? Why would Google offer this free app. (which makes stand alone/3rd party offerings redundant) to their main competitor? The major complaint that it only works if your online has now been addressed, as it downloads the main route at the start of your trip (in case of loss of signal, all you loose is real time updating until the signal is remade).

Muo TechGuy

Thanks Pete. I’m not confused though; the whole point is that Google maps doesn’t provide that on iOS, and I wanted it. Hence why I was pleased when Apple announced their new mapping product would do this. But ultimately, it sucked, and I’m now on Android.

Aidan

Use Waze. To be honest, the only good thing to happen to IOS 6 was the option to ignore incoming calls and to text the person right with a touch of a button. Otherwise, everything else was a disappointment.

Cody

I have to admit, one of the most anticipated features for me for iOS 6 was maps. I am not dissapointed at all, yes, seeing some of these screenshots makes me giggle a little bit, but not something that would make me switch. Granted my opinion might not matter for much considering I don’t travel entirely too much, and I live in the U.S. (where Apple has stated their data is much more accurate). I just couldn’t see switching to Android just for the maps application. Put aside gaming and entertainment things that you say you can keep to your iPad, there are tons of apps that apple has that I’ve found are not on Android. Several social networking/chat apps are either non-existent on Android, or are less than satisfactorily produced. They’re always clunky or slow, or just aesthetically vomit-inducing.
Also, just one point here, you can video chat on skype on an iPhone, but you cannot video chat on skype with an Android, only voice chat. Kinda goes to show apps are more advanced on iPhones, and there’s generally better support, more updates, etc.
I just think apple has a lot more to offer in general. The point that Android has a wider range of apps because it’s open-source is entirely too false. I’ve never NOT been able to find a great app on my iPhone that could do anything I needed it to do. I don’t need amateur piece of crap apps made by desperate geeks looking for a one-time cheap method to make money.
But back to the article – should I ever find myself having an issue where maps did not show me an accurate map aerial picture, gave me misleading directions, or didn’t show me a clocktower in 3d (because that is obviously such a necessary feature), then there are an abundance of back-up apps that could be used. They may all have their quirks in mapping, but I’m sure at least one map could be accurate for whatever area you need, and if not, then maybe you could put your phone down and ask a local for directions.
I’ve never talked to anybody that could look me in the eye after 6 months – 1 year with their Android and say “I love this phone.” They are always dissapointed by either battery, features, freezing, slowness, etc.

Muo TechGuy

You can video chat just fine on Skype for Android, but otherwise I agree – there is a distinct lack of decent apps. Still, I just never used that many apps on my iPhone, so it isnt a huge bother. The basics are there; news, RSS, email, maps. I’ve found facebook is broken, and tumblr, but theres also free replacements for those that do seem to work fine.

Anyway, I dont like having 20 apps installed for mapping and directions. I shouldnt need it. You’re right though, I’m sure a collection of maps would have sufficed. Consider this a protest then, against Apple launching a crap product. I can but protest by not buying the device and talking about it; I won’t mindlessly buy something and say “well, it’ll do”.

David Dreitzler

David Dreitzler

I agree with josh. I have an iPad and a iPod Touch. I enjoy both of these but no longer travel since my retirement. I don’t need mapping programs. My car has a GPS mapping program built in. I am considering buying an iPhone to eliminate carrying the Touch and a cellphone. IOS 6 has many advantages over Windows 7 on my Desktop and Laptop.

Matt

As much as i love Apple i am also starting to steer away from it. Having a mac, macbook pro which recently upgraded to the retina display. Upgraded my iPhone 3gs to iPhone 5 im starting to get sick off Apple. Don’t get me wrong i love the products but im a little disappointed with the iphones now. I started with the iphone 3 than to 3gs, while everyone upgraded to the 4 i held back, cause there just wasnt enough to win me over. 4s came out still not enough to win me, so i remain patient. Although i have the iphone 5 and its alot better than the 3gs, im still somehow disappointed. I still dont think it was enough to win me over, the main reason i got it was because my 3gs was getting slower, so i needed to upgrade.
iPhone being slimmer?? was anyone complaining about the thickness of it in the first place, and yes it is ligther and feels like you can easily drop it. Just a mindless upgrade which instead they could of kept the thickness if it meant have more packed in. Still the same basic ringtones and text tones… when will they ever make more, or let you customise. I know you can create your own ringtones, but apple should make it clear on allowing you to do it. The iphone or itunes should have more customise settings for it, thats one of the main reason people brick there phone. If Apple dont lift there game soon, i too will move to an android.

David Fielder

I switched to android due to the fact the iphone 5 wasn’t that good of an upgrade from the 4s for me.

Alan Craig

Personally my two biggest complaints with Apple has always been 1) the cost of course, and people can try to justify it anyway they want but the fact remains that there is always something else out there that is at least 80%-90% as good (and sometimes even better) for much much less money. And people can talk about build quality and whatnot but do you really want the same piece of tech for 10+ years when everyone else is running around with things that are waaay better for half the cost that yours cost you 10 years ago no, so you will keep paying double or triple the cost and upgrading at the same pace. And 2) their nasty habit of allowing you to finally have what every one else has had for a couple of years, and pretending they invented it, and trying to convince you to feel grateful for them finally allowing you to have it. Don’t get me wrong, I think they generally make nice products, and wouldn’t turn one down if someone gave them to me (I own an ipod classic, an ipod touch and a macbook, all of which I got for great deals used, and I like all of them just fine, but personally, I feel they are in no way superior to any of the other things we own. (I also own an HTC Evo 4 and a Nexus 7 which I like every bit as much, and feel they are of comparable quality) But their insane pricing and marketing practices just irk me something awful…

hannah brew

The only thing apple trumps android phones on is the design of the hardware. Other than that android is way more user friendly

Muo TechGuy

Have you owned both, or are you just speculating? Because I have, and I firmly disagree.

Brenden Barlow

as someone who has extensively used android and ios, i still prefer android. but its just a personal preference, i suppose…

null

Bruce, Just buy a Navigation system.