Today's experience with Maps

Discussion in 'iOS 6' started by lockerc18, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. lockerc18 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    #1
    I took a drive today of about 40 miles, from my house (point A) to a place in neighboring state (point B). Both places are in their respective areas of the sticks. I thought I'd use Apple Maps on my new iPhone5 to see how well it works. I've used Google Maps on my Droid X over this same route many times, just for kicks, really, since I know the route well enough to drive it with my eyes closed. But Google Maps always did very well.

    One thing I noticed right away was that the voice Apple Maps used didn't sound like Siri. It sounded exactly like the voice used by Google Maps. It makes me wonder how much of Google Maps is under the covers inside Apple Maps, if any of it is.

    There were a few quirks in Apples Maps. One was that when I entered the start and destination locations, I got them reversed. I realized that when I told Maps to give me directions, and it gave me 3 routes, but from point B to point A. It gave me one route on the major highways, which is longer but typically takes less time. It gave me another route, which was along the back roads that I normally take, but with just a few minor exceptions. And it gave me a route that was a hybrid of the other two.

    Funny thing, when I asked it for directions from point A to point B instead, it gave me only 2 routes, leaving out the back roads way I was going to take. So, I chose the hybrid path, expecting Maps to eventually figure out that I was taking a different route and I actually knew where I was going.

    Maps had a similar problem to Google Maps, in that it didn't like the route I was taking and kept on telling me to backtrack and take one of the routes it told me about. This wasn't true all the time, since at the beginning of the drive, I took a different turn, and it adjusted OK. But later on, it didn't adjust, and the lady who lives inside my phone pestered me to take every right turn coming up and go back, which of course, wasn't correct.

    It took a very long time for Maps to figure out that I really did know where I was going, and to adjust its route to that. It finally did.

    Other than this, I found Maps to be fast and responsive. It took no time at all to do recognize my current location. Google Maps sometimes takes time to find the GPS satellite, so I wonder if Apple Maps used the satellites or phone tower triangulation. But it generally seemed to work pretty quickly.

    Over the one hour trip there (I took the back roads to enjoy the scenery, which was beautiful here in the Northeast with the leaves just starting to turn), the app used 14K bytes of data, and 33 percent of my battery, which was 100 percent charged when I started this. I think that's a little too much battery for this, though the data amount seemed OK. The phone was actually pretty hot after we got there, so maybe there's more onboard processing than downloading. I don't know how this compares to Google Maps. And this was for one way, not round trip, with the phone unplugged.

    Given this one little tiny sample, I don't know if I prefer Apple Maps over Google Maps, or vice versa. Apple Maps didn't get my home location correct when I was in my house. It missed it by a few doors, but Google Maps gets it exact. I didn't try to manually adjust the routes in Apple Maps, and frankly, I don't know if that capability exists. But I'd like better route recalculation when I drive off one of the routes it supplies. I do have to say that, while Google Maps / Navigator wasn't 100 percent perfect, it was good enough that I trusted it, and it only led me astray a few times. I don't have enough experience with Apple Maps yet to have that same level of trust, but I'll keep trying it to see how well it continues to work.

    I know Apple Maps has taken a lot of heat in the media, and evidently, that was well earned. But so far, it hasn't been too bad, especially for a free app. I think the maps themselves could be better, and not having a satellite view stinks, or not having Street View, or traffic conditions, and not having a search capability for local stores and such seems to be missing, too. I just think this app was shipped before it was entirely ready. There are too many Maps Gaps compared to Google Maps / Navigator right now, and those should have been fixed before the app shipped. This isn't the disaster that some Chicken Littles are saying it is, but still... this isn't beta any more, Toto. It could have, and should have, been better.
     
  2. Crotonmark macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #2
    I live 50 miles north of NYC. I also used Maps to get around town and it worked just fine. I have no complaints.
     
  3. fullygruntled macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    Location:
    Bella Vista
    #3
    Similar experience yesterday with my 4s. I live in BFE and the place I was going to is also in BFE. Only thing was I have never been there and needed maps to be accurate. It was. Fast, accurate and didn't use more than 5% of my battery. I'm happy with that.
     
  4. McCool71 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #4
    This is a very important feature of any navigation system - if the user knowingly takes another route, then the system should (after a couple of ignored 'please turn back' or similar messages that clearly shows that the user is not lost but actually wants to go another route) calculate a new route from where the user is currently.

    Little logic-based things like this is a huge factor to the overall usefulness of navigation, and the system should only nag the user and tell him to turn back if there are absolutely no other routes that makes sense.
     
  5. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    #5
    It does have satellite view, although maybe not while navigating. It does show traffic too, at least in my area.
     
  6. Crotonmark macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #6
    My Garmin GPS will take a long time to realize I want to go the way I'm driving. It's annoying.
     
  7. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    Westchester County, NY
    #7
    That's the only part of your post that matters.

    I use multiple apps that are now forced to run off of Apple's maps...maps that show my address (and everyone in my community) few hundred feet away from where I actually live, in the middle of an empty wooded area.

    Just because the maps seem to work fine for you, they are complete garbage for some of us and, even worse, they made numerous apps nearly useless as well.

    Needless to say, I don't apprechiate the 'Chicken Little' comment when this is a very real issue for some.
     
  8. lockerc18 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    #8
    Perhaps I should have been more clear in my statement.

    I was referring to the people who are saying the iPhone5 itself is a total, abject failure because the Maps app has so many problems. To me, the iPhone5 offers an incredible array of leading technologies and capabilities, and as a package, it is truly an incredible offering. Maps is one free app, and even if it totally bombed, it would still not be the detractor to the iPhone5 overall which some people say it is.

    That said, I can understand that the problems with Maps are frustrating, especially if you have a particular dependency on the app working as sold. Apple missed the boat in shipping a product like this. However, I would suspect that for the overwhelming number of users, it's not as big a deal as for others, perhaps such as yourself. It is a matter of perspective. Relative to just the app itself, yes, the problems are a real hornet's nest to deal with. But relative to the iPhone5 overall, not so much, as Maps is only one very small part of the package. I have to believe the reaction to the Maps problems is disproportionate to whatever damage they do to the the overall iPhone5 value proposition.
     
  9. mrcalabash macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #9
    Yesterday, I did a route with both my Garmin--which has been very reliable-- and iPhone maps going. It sounded like a chorus as both were hitting their marks at the same time. At least for me, it's working fine. I like that for Maps I can verbally ask for directions. Safer.
     
  10. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, USA
    #10
    Apple maps are okay for me so far. However, Apple maps doesn't understand how Texas roads work (The N means northbound, not north branch or north section of road).

    Other than that, Apple maps is a huge improvement on Google maps for iOS 5 when you consider the addition of turn by turn.
     
  11. afterafx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #11
    Went from Santa Clarita to San Bern using Apple Maps. I got there successfully and gave me 3 different routes also. No problems yet!
     
  12. MacUser09 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Last night, while I had nothing to do, I decided to pass the time checking out my local area on the new Maps app.

    There were several inaccuracies, where places are pinned in the wrong location, one by several hundred yards. Another was a local restaurant that has since closed, and reopened as a Vietnamese one.

    On a lot of these, there is the facility to report a problem /error, or drag the pin to what you know to be the correct place, and send back to Apple.

    As more people do this, the maps should become more accurate, and up to date.
     
  13. TayHarley macrumors member

    TayHarley

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #13
    Looking around us and there are significant basic map errors in a five mile radius here in the UK (aside from all the obvious deletions). Our 'area location' is actually 3 miles away and a number of key geographic locations are missing.

    Tried to update the data as per Apple's strategy i.e. crowdsourcing (funding) updates of their Maps, and failed as no option to change the area !

    There are so many errors it may be a while before accurate maps are achieved. But, if I can register an error, what's to stop me registering a correct location as an error - is someone rather than a bot going to check thousands, millions of errors submitted by Users? Could this become a sport like Wiki editing ??

    off to log Apple HQ as an error location to see what happens :D
     
  14. ScottW1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #14
    Not just the Maps App

    While I certainly agree that problems with Maps alone is not a reason to reject the entire iPhone5, I still must take issue with the premise that "Maps is [just] one free app...".

    The problem isn't with the App, the problem is with the underlying map data being inaccurate and incomplete. And that map data doesn't just affect the Maps app! Open up the Zillow app, and you get Apple map data. Open up the Find My Friends app, and you get Apple map data. Open the AroundMe app, or click the "Places" tab in photos, and you get Apple map data. Etc.

    Lots of people think this will be solved when Google releases a standalone Maps application. Not so. All those other apps will still be using the Apple map data.

    As a personal example, I live on the edge of a medium-size town where the street configuration and numbering has not changed for at least 20 years. Google maps accurately represents the entire area. But in the Apple data, the street I live on is not labelled at all -- and instead, the street number is applied to a private driveway about 1/4 mile East of here. Anyone using Apple Maps to find my house (or anyone else's house on this street) will instead find themselves at a dead end.

    Apple's decision to own their own map data is probably a good one for the future, and I expect (hope) they will work quickly to improve the data quality. Right now, the maps are unreliable -- and that affects way more than just the Maps app.
     
  15. RedRaven571 macrumors 65816

    RedRaven571

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #15
    I live about 30 mi outside Philly, used turn-by-turn to go to Parsippany NJ on Monday; worked like a charm.
     
  16. dspalton macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Fleet, UK
    #16
    Used maps yesterday afternoon.

    To be fair it does seam a decent enough system for starters and I was impressed with a few things.

    The notifications when the app isn't running as main app are useful.
    And the phrase 'take a slight left...' Made me laugh
     

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  17. dspalton macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Fleet, UK
    #17
    Can't add multiple images but here is the notifications...
     

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  18. dspalton macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Fleet, UK
    #18
    And lastly, going the wrong way.
    Was fast to re route me as you can see from my location and the route.
    all this was done on 3G, and when my signal dropped it still worked.
     

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  19. HiddenPuppy macrumors 6502

    HiddenPuppy

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    #19
    My Garmin got me lost going to the Philly Airport yesterday and my iPhone 4s and Apple Maps saved the day. I am very pleased with the way it got me where I was going.
     
  20. redman042 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #20
    It's interesting the road signs are blue on yours. Looks like Apple is trying to match the prevailing road sign color in each country. They are green here.
     
  21. dspalton macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Fleet, UK
    #21
    Another screen today

    It is genuinely good tbh
     

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  22. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #22
    Ive used the apple maps around my hometown for a few days now. I live in Winnipeg (canada) and here they have worked just fine for me. I dont have any complaints at all.
     
  23. Schmitty11 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
    #23
    Mine told me to turn left down a one-way, four lane road....going the wrong way.

    Kidding.

    I wouldn't doubt it though....
     
  24. TOYSTER17 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    #24
    I used Apple maps for about 20 minutes today, and at the end of my destination my phone was pretty darn hot...is that normal? iPhone 4S by the way.
     
  25. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    Westchester County, NY
    #25
    Very normal...especially if if was up on your dash in sunlight. Just be careful, if it gets too hot it will shut itself off until it cools down. Harmless, but gives one hell of a good scare and could be disastrous if it happened at the wrong time.
     

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