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MacRumors
Mar 11, 2013, 12:16 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/11/apple-maps-updated-in-japan-with-bug-fixes-and-enhancements/)


Apple has silently updated its Maps app in Japan after announcing similar changes in the first beta of iOS 6.1.1 back in the beginning of February (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/06/apple-seeds-first-beta-of-ios-6-1-1-to-developers/). It appears that for many of the changes, Apple didn't need to expressly update the operating system and could instead implement changes server-side. The changes were first noted by Mac Otakara (http://www.macotakara.jp/blog/category-54/entry-19467.html), via 9to5Mac (http://9to5mac.com/2013/03/11/apple-releases-enhancements-to-maps-in-japan-without-6-1-3-update/).

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/03/japanmaps.jpg
The iOS 6.1.1 beta became iOS 6.1.3 after Apple released a pair of emergency bug fixes (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/15/ios-6-1-2-to-address-exchange-and-passcode-bugs-reportedly-coming-early-next-week/) as version 6.1.1 and 6.1.2. From the original iOS 6.1.1 beta 1 release notes (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/06/apple-seeds-first-beta-of-ios-6-1-1-to-developers/):
iOS 6.1.1 beta 1 includes the following improvements to Maps for Japan:

- Improved pronunciation of roads during turn-by-turn navigation
- Optimized directions to more strongly prefer highways over narrower roads
- Now indicates upcoming toll roads during turn-by-turn navigation
- Added labels for junctions, interchanges, on-ramps, off-ramps, and intersections
- Added indicators for transit station buildings, subway lines, and traffic lights
- Updated freeway color to green
- Updated icons for some location categories including fire stations, hospitals, and post offices Added 3D buildings including Tokyo Station, Japan Imperial Palace, and Tokyo Tower

Article Link: Apple Maps Updated in Japan With Bug Fixes and Enhancements (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/11/apple-maps-updated-in-japan-with-bug-fixes-and-enhancements/)



lukasz74nj
Mar 11, 2013, 12:42 PM
Nobody enjoys getting lost when driving and reportedly some people almost died when using the built-in map application in Australia. So why not let users choose the default map application for iOS, i.e. Google Maps which is far better then Apple's counterpart?

mdorais
Mar 11, 2013, 12:46 PM
Does anyone know why the freeway color was changed to green for Japan? Seems kind of random to me.

UnfetteredMind
Mar 11, 2013, 12:46 PM
Glad to see things are improving. Always nice to have a bit of good news.

jwm
Mar 11, 2013, 12:56 PM
Glad to see things are improving. Always nice to have a bit of good news.

Amen to that!

newagemac
Mar 11, 2013, 01:12 PM
Nobody enjoys getting lost when driving and reportedly some people almost died when using the built-in map application in Australia. So why not let users choose the default map application for iOS, i.e. Google Maps which is far better then Apple's counterpart?

Not sure what your point is. Lots and lots of people have gotten lost using Google Maps and pretty much any other map. In fact, a few months ago police in Australia warned tourists about using Google Maps because Google Maps was putting people in serious danger.

In any case Google Maps is also pretty bad here compared to Apple Maps. And in China Google Maps is absolutely terrible. So no it isn't "better" than Apple Maps per se. Just like cell phone service and other location based services, it depends on where you live which data is better.

However, concerning the App itself, Apple Maps beats Google hands down. It's not even a contest. Especially with the turn by turn navigation. But sure, the places where Google Maps does a better job it would be nice for those people to use it as a default.

cfc
Mar 11, 2013, 02:01 PM
Does anyone know why the freeway color was changed to green for Japan? Seems kind of random to me.

I assume because that's the colour the Japanese use for freeways, which seems perfectly reasonable.

Here in the UK we show our motorways in blue, and main roads in green or red, but Apple seem to think that it makes sense to show all multi-lane roads in yellow and everything else in grey. It's amazing how different a map of an area that you know looks when it's drawn in unfamiliar colours. It's not as if you just have to remember that motorways are yellow because some non-motorways are also yellow if they have more than one lane. Very confusing.

It was the first thing I noticed in the first beta of iOS6, but I assumed it would be one of the first (of many) things that they would fix. It seemed such an easy thing to change for such a massive win in terms of making the maps more useful to the people who actually use them. The only reason I came up with for not doing it was because they liked the look of the yellowy colour scheme, but I hoped not because that would have been going for form over function (which Apple have quite a bit of "form" for).

I even mentioned it again during the beta testing in an email to whoever checks Tim Cook's inbox entitled "Potential PR Disaster" as one of the many reasons why non-US users would hate Apple maps and why they should hold fire on releasing it.

Hopefully this means that the UK will be getting the "proper" colours soon as well. Although I suspect that green fits into the general colour scheme and that blue and red may not. I hope that I'm wrong though.

coder12
Mar 11, 2013, 02:08 PM
Nobody enjoys getting lost when driving and reportedly some people almost died when using the built-in map application in Australia. So why not let users choose the default map application for iOS, i.e. Google Maps which is far better then Apple's counterpart?

Google Maps being better is a point of opinion, not fact. Every time I've had an issue with Apple's maps, I've often seen the same issue with Google's, but obviously, mileage will vary depending on use.

Also, the Australian incident wasn't just Apple, it happened to Google too. (http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2231696/australian-police-call-out-google-maps-for-faulty-directions)

iSunrise
Mar 11, 2013, 03:23 PM
I still prefer Google Maps by far. Google´s maps look a lot more detailed and easy to read, while the Apple maps look extremely messy.

mdorais
Mar 11, 2013, 04:20 PM
I assume because that's the colour the Japanese use for freeways, which seems perfectly reasonable.

Here in the UK we show our motorways in blue, and main roads in green or red, but Apple seem to think that it makes sense to show all multi-lane roads in yellow and everything else in grey. It's amazing how different a map of an area that you know looks when it's drawn in unfamiliar colours. It's not as if you just have to remember that motorways are yellow because some non-motorways are also yellow if they have more than one lane. Very confusing.

It was the first thing I noticed in the first beta of iOS6, but I assumed it would be one of the first (of many) things that they would fix. It seemed such an easy thing to change for such a massive win in terms of making the maps more useful to the people who actually use them. The only reason I came up with for not doing it was because they liked the look of the yellowy colour scheme, but I hoped not because that would have been going for form over function (which Apple have quite a bit of "form" for).

I even mentioned it again during the beta testing in an email to whoever checks Tim Cook's inbox entitled "Potential PR Disaster" as one of the many reasons why non-US users would hate Apple maps and why they should hold fire on releasing it.

Hopefully this means that the UK will be getting the "proper" colours soon as well. Although I suspect that green fits into the general colour scheme and that blue and red may not. I hope that I'm wrong though.

Yeah I did notice after posting that Google and Bing maps use green for Japanese freeways. Strangely, Bing uses a purplish pink color for US freeways. Meh, whatever works.

a0me
Mar 11, 2013, 06:49 PM
Happy to hear that Apple is trying to fix things but that won't make me update to iOS 6.
From the screenshot I can tell that they've made a bad UI choice (district names are in English but road names are in Japanese) and they're using crappy fonts.

BlueParadox
Mar 11, 2013, 07:29 PM
Not seeing any 3D rendering of the said locations in Tokyo (iPhone 5). Funny how it works for some but not for others :confused:

carlgo
Mar 11, 2013, 08:56 PM
There must be an untold story as to why Apple Maps was released before it was ready. Surely some Apple employees knew. Were they afraid to speak up? Was it the decision of somebody that over-ruled others? Was it a Jobs thing that was in the works and could not be stopped?

nervouk
Mar 12, 2013, 08:52 AM
Good, good. Already gone is the fictional subway station that old Apple Maps insisted was right under my apartment, and my real-life station is no longer in the middle of Tokyo Bay. There's two improvements for starters.

I'll test this around town for a couple more days before deciding whether I should trust it for anything critical or not.

Consultant
Mar 12, 2013, 02:05 PM
Nobody enjoys getting lost when driving and reportedly some people almost died when using the built-in map application in Australia. So why not let users choose the default map application for iOS, i.e. Google Maps which is far better then Apple's counterpart?

The problem is australian police declared that Google Maps is dangerous too:
http://thenextweb.com/apple/2012/12/10/australian-police-warn-against-using-apple-maps-after-incorrect-data-puts-travelers-in-danger/