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View Full Version : Considering Android so I don't get lost on next trip...




MareLuce
Oct 27, 2012, 12:02 PM
Never thought I'd consider switching from an iPhone. As a traveler for work and fun, I am completely embedded in the Apple ecosystem. I create 1 app grouping per city, and fill it up while planning for the trip. Used all the space on my 32gb iPhone 3GS and 4. I stayed up until 2:00am Texas time to order the iPhone 5 to make sure I could get it before December. I love my faster, lighter 64gb iPhone 5.

Heard the complaints about Apple maps but thought they were probably overblown.

I just realized that Apple's Maps will be unusable for me on my next trip, my first real vacation in 2 years.

Ex: For an upcoming trip to Prague, relying on Apple Maps will probably result in frustration, getting lost, and wasting a lot of time. It puts my hotel in the wrong location. Since it assumes driving directions, it would route me on a 15 minute journey when it should take 5 min.

No biggie, I thought, I'll just put a Google Maps icon on my main screen and use it like that, like Tim Cook suggested. However, I can't make it do simple navigational things that were easy in iOS 5.

Ex: I use maps.google.com, "My Places" to plan a trip. I put pushpins on top of my points of interest. Using my map of pushpins for a city, I can't figure out how to do these these 3 fundamental things:


1) How can I find directions from one pushpin to the next easily (from A to B)?

Can I get the address from the POI pushpin listing up into the Directions A, B white boxes without manually copying or typing it in?

Workaround: It looks like I now have to manually copy and paste each address up to the Directions white boxes.



2) There's no apparent way to easily call the phone number associated with a POI..

I used to be able to click on the pushpin I added and a phone picture would appear for calling the business.

Now, no phone picture. AND, much worse, the phone # from the google maps official listing doesn't even appear. Only the opening / closing notes I manually added into the box.

I have to go to the website and search for the POI's phone number again!!

When we are out roaming, this one is going to be a time waster, multiple times / day.

Workaround: I'll need to dictate the phone number while someone else calls. (In the US, I could probably remember the 10 digits phone number, leave the Google Maps app, then start the iOS phone app, then type in the 10 digits. When traveling across the pond and jet-lagged, it will be more difficult to do that. A lot more hassle in either case.


3) In the midst of trying different things for 1) and 2) sometimes the google maps satellite view disappears completely and I only see a grid of graph paper with the purple direction line on top - no street names or pictures.


There are many other annoyances.

Ex: No more "Add to Contacts" after searching on google maps anymore. I used this all the time. Then I could just use swipe right to use spotlight search and find the phone number out of all contacts.

I'd guess there's no possible workaround for this, but there might be for 1) and 2).


Question: Can I assume that any Android device will be tightly integrated with Google Maps and I wouldn't have the above problems 1) and 2) in using Google Maps with "My Places" POIs?

I never imagined that Apple could do something that would make me need to seriously consider Android. But if I can't solve the above problems I don't see a way around that.



cynics
Oct 27, 2012, 12:26 PM
Bump your thread for you.

I also have the same annoyance of just getting a grid on google maps a lot of the time. I just got back from Vegas and maps were a mess compared to my buddies S2 with google maps.

Westside guy
Oct 27, 2012, 05:08 PM
I had an Android phone for roughly a year. I found the OS itself rather frustrating at times, but most of the apps developed by Google (e.g. Maps/Navigation, Gmail) worked pretty darn well. As an aside, it's disappointing that Google seems to intentionally hobble the iOS versions of their apps.

Have you tried any of the alternative iOS apps like Bing or MapQuest? I would think those would interact with iOS better than using Google Maps via Safari.

I've kept my 3GS on 5.1 for now, in part because of the Maps issue. Of course I'm also a jailbreaker, so I wouldn't be moving to 6 yet anyway.

blackhand1001
Oct 27, 2012, 05:33 PM
get the new nexus when it comes out. Nexus phones are by far the least buggy and most updated phones. They also are just a great experience.

MareLuce
Oct 27, 2012, 06:46 PM
I've kept my 3GS on 5.1 for now, in part because of the Maps issue. You just gave me an idea for a way around the problem where I can't Add to Contacts with a single tap after finding a POI in google maps!! (Apple Maps didn't find 2 of the first 4 POIs I tried for upcoming trip, so I stopped trying to use it for that.)

I can dig out my 3GS! That still has Google Maps, right?
My iPhone 4 is unfortunately already at iOS 6, darn it. Now where did I stash my old 3GS...

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Have you tried any of the alternative iOS apps like Bing or MapQuest? I would think those would interact with iOS better than using Google Maps via Safari.I do like MapQuest a lot. Used to use it frequently until I discovered Google Maps and the utility of "My Places". I would probably like Bing too.

What I'd need them to do is use the POIs that I've added in Google Maps over the past several months for the cities Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, Berlin.

Here is how I use Google Maps for trip planning in pictures. (http://s1286.beta.photobucket.com/user/MareLuce/library/How%20I%20use%20Google%20Maps%20for%20Trip%20Planning)

Westside guy
Oct 27, 2012, 07:20 PM
I can dig out my 3GS! That still has Google Maps, right?

As long as you haven't updated it to iOS 6 - yes.

I haven't been overseas; but the older Maps app has continued to work just fine for me here in the US - I can't imagine it would be any different in Europe than here.