iOS 6 Maps app superior to Google maps; will also be used in third-party apps

“I’m really looking forward to iOS, and one big reason is Apple’s new Maps app. Until now, the built-in app has tapped into Google’s mapping service for all of its data. But Apple is showing Google the door, and is replacing the current app with a superior solution. AppleInsider has posted two detailed articles that tell you everything you need to know. The first article explains Apple’s shift to its own mapping technology, and how that will impact Google,” Jim Karpen reports for iPhone Life. “The second article explains why Apple’s vector-based mapping is so much better than Google’s bit-mapped apps. If you use the Maps app, or if you use third-party apps that access Google’s map data, you’ll want to read these articles.”

Karpen reports, “Similarly, Google’s maps are bit mapped. Every map is a bit-mapped image, and when you zoom in or out, you simply go from one map drawing to another map drawing of a different size. It’s slow and jerky and inflexible. But Apple’s vector-based maps are generated on the fly. As you zoom in, the transition is smooth. Plus, the data is more efficient. A vector-generated image takes up much less space than a bit-mapped image. This means that if you look at a map while connected, and then lose your connection, there will be enough data there to keep on generating an image for a radius of over 300 miles, according to AppleInsider‘s article. There are many other advantages.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

84 Comments

    1. Yes, we do, but in some areas, they have 3d maps of the buildings. I’d imagine we’re going to see more and more areas mapped such that it’s “as good” as street view for populated areas.

      1. i’d rather have the 3D view anyway.
        and besides, it wouldn’t require a company like google to pry into everyone’s WiFi.

        Password protect, and hide your WiFi network anyway..

  1. My personal opinion regarding Street View. It’s like a cake with too much icing. Looks great, but who eats all that stuff! As many times as I’ve tried to use it, I’ve yet to really see much real worth. I don’t live In a MAJOR metropolitan area, so maybe there’s value I’m not seeing when in that setting. For all the effort I took too implement, not much apparent value.

    1. Simply put… if you never been to a location before… its great to use STREET VIEW to see what is around.
      To familiarize yourself with landmarks or the corner where Startbucks is or perhaps which side the pay parking is on.
      Its helpful.

      1. Yes but the 3D view is just as good or better IMO. It shows how the buildings are actually located in 3D space, not just a flat (sometimes blurry) picture from the front. You can see exactly how big the Starbucks is on the corner and how far back from the street it is compared to it’s neighboring buildings.

        1. I agree Praus,

          Apples solution; i am hoping it is far better.
          I am just saying that a street view function, be it Apples’ or Googles’ – is a useful function for me on many occasions.

          Also, a rather fun experience too.

          1. Lose street view? Sorry, no 3D image of a sign shape can replace what the sign says. I use street view virtually every time I am looking for a specific place, not just the route to get there. There is SO substitute for a picture of the location, 3D shape just will not cut it. I am an Apple fan but this is one time I will just flip to using my Google earth and it’s street view. It has search functions too and I will have to limp along with it until Apple comes up with street view. I would call and tell Apple about this, but I will forgo the torture of listening to their abysmal hold music. (Has anyone else noticed that despite their cash horde, they purchase hold music from the thrift store?)

            1. “Sorry, no 3D image of a sign shape can replace what the sign says.”

              You’re actually using the street view to read street signs? Seems odd, since all the streets are actually labeled right down the middle of all the streets…

              Have you actually used the maps in iOS6 yet?

              I think I can actually get a better view of the placement of buildings in relation to others, etc. using the 3D view (on “Hybrid”) provided by iOS6. Now I am generally only in highly populated areas, so that may make a difference.

              I previously liked street view because that was all that was available, but this way is MUCH faster and better than having to “walk” down the streets a few steps at a time…

              Well, Google Maps will still be available for anyone who still chooses to use it.

            2. Not just street names. I got a photo radar speeding ticket in a city I visited. It’s right as a freeway turns into a city highway, so it drops from 100 to 80 km/h… and everyone’s doing at least 120 coming in, since it’s a long, straight freeway coming out from the Rockies.

              I didn’t remember seeing a speed limit sign though. Pulled it up on GMaps Street View and found it–far enough back and easy to miss if you were in the fast lane. Bastards.

    2. true. The only time I’ve ever used it was to just look at neighborhoods I grew up in being that I live on the other side of the country, and haven’t been there in 20 years. Fun for a little bit of reminiscing. But that’s it. I’m sure other people do use it to kinda give you an ideas of what’s around a place your looking for. But if the GPS gets you to your destination on the spot (which google did not do at LEAST 3 times), not sure why you need to see what’s around it. They were houses so street view wouldn’t have done much)
      I’d love the feature if it comes but it wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me.

    3. I use a wheelchair so Streetview is very helpful to look for accessibility problems such as missing curb cuts or non-ADA building entrances. For the most part I do that on my iMac but I have used my iPhone and iPad before for that purpose.

        1. It’s built right into the current (iOS 3 to 5) Maps app–made by Apple, using Google data and APIs.

          Find an address or drop a pin. If Street View is available for it, there’ll be an orange circled person on the left of the results label. Tap on it, the view automatically goes to landscape, and there you go. Rotate and zoom as you would any other iPhone app from Apple.

          1. Wow, have never used it, didn’t even know it was there. It’s pretty much a hidden feature, as the way it is implemented is not intuitive.

            Thank you.

  2. Afaik satellite imagery and street views MUST be bitmaps. Features like roads, borders, coastlines are what can be vectorized. I’m apple all the way, but for apple to beat google at maps is very unlikely.

    1. For Apple to beat them? Dude Apple is about to push them off 200 million iOS devices. I would clearly mark that in the win category for Apple. If you don’t see it that way fine but to say they never will is insane. I have been using iOS 6 for a while and clearly apples mapping is better faster and more importantly Apple is not selling me out to 3rd party companies 24×7. I’m sure if you want to use google apps you can but for what purpose to give up more of your privacy?
      For me and my house… Microsoft, google,Samsung and blackberry free.

    2. Why? Apple is getting data from a variety of sources, and with Apple’s ability to make the complex become easy and highly usable, I would expect Maps to be better than Maps with Google.

    3. You can also vectorize the shape of buildings so you can see how they are situated in comparison to each other. In places where it is supported (like the same big cities where they have street view) you can also overlay those 3D models of buildings with textures that approximate Street view and IMO improve upon it since it’s not just a flat picture.

    4. the way I see it, *most* people do not use the street view..
      the few that do, for whatever reason, are not the majority. Google sells the maps data.. When the switch is made, google will lose money. (there are other articles on this here at MDN)
      it’s a lose-lose situation for Google, no two ways about it.

      3D view is more than enough anyway.

    1. From Merriam-Webster:
      Data leads a life of its own quite independent of datum, of which it was originally the plural. It occurs in two constructions: as a plural noun (like earnings), taking a plural verb and plural modifiers (as these, many, a few) but not cardinal numbers, and serving as a referent for plural pronouns (as they, them); and as an abstract mass noun (like information), taking a singular verb and singular modifiers (as this, much, little), and being referred to by a singular pronoun (it). Both constructions are standard. The plural construction is more common in print, evidently because the house style of several publishers mandates it.

    1. Apple isn’t just using C3. They get their map data from Tom Tom and waze and they have more complete map data then just about anyone else. The actual map data they use for their vector maps most likely comes from them. C3 technologies just does texture mapping to the 3D objects using the data available. Nokia most likely doesn’t have as much map data as Tom Tom to use in their little tech demo.

        1. Yes but you said that nothing where you live was vectorized. That is most likely because they didn’t have the same data Apple does for maps, just the 3D tech. The better data you feed the 3D tech, the better it’s going to look.

  3. I use google maps a LOT with my job here in Australia. Google actually has VERY good addresses and street view is great to see a clients house before we approach it. I for one will miss google maps because I’m SURE apple maps will be inferior as they always concentrate on US and forget the rest of the world. Eg: Siri is absolutely useless outside USA. Until iOS 6 comes out. Plus Siri is absolutely shit with Aussie accent with maybe 20% accuracy.

    1. Maybe google will produce their own maps app for iOS.

      Standalone GPS or a cheap Android device would get you back in business if maps in iOS6 does not work out.

      I do not understand why iOS6 maps are rumored to only support turn by turn on the 4s or greater. If so that is kinda of lame considering you’ve been able to get turn by turn navigation for over 2 years now on even low end Android phones.

    2. Google maps is use virtually useless here in Korea. It is said that apple is working to gather on the ground data world wide. Initially it might not have as much info as googles maps but that will change as time goes on. If you will miss googles maps you can always use google earth.

    3. Apple is using TomTom for their Map data. As far as I can tell TomTom has plenty of map info for Australia. It will be up to you guys to decide but I also think their 3D mapping is superior to street view since it’s more then just a flat picture with no depth. One of their tech demos for street view was in Sydney as a matter of fact.

  4. I’m very excited about this new mapping by Apple! But I’m also nervous to lose Google maps I depend on it quite a bit, ie Street view, and the multiple route choices. But I am very excited to see what Apple does with this new mapping system. 🙂

  5. Superior? Are they out of their mind? So far, the Apple Map app kinda sucks. It has a lack of detail. It has no transit info. It has no street view. It has a nearly worthless 3D view. I mean, who the hell looks at their world from that perspective? Of what use is it? And look at it. It looks warped and melted. It’s not even very good, even if it were useful. Yes it has turn by turn, but that too sucks compared to Navigon. You can’t tell the names of streets around you because it oversimplifies the view. So if you ask you passenger what street that was, they have no idea unless they run a better program.

    On the good side, it has vector maps which are quick and responsive.

    Better? Hardly. Not quite competent.

      1. There’s overly complicated:

        and then there’s overly simplified:

        The Google version may have too much info, but you can at least mentally filter out info you don’t need, like you do with traditional paper maps. You can’t mentally add info that’s just not there. I mean sure, don’t label minor roads until you’re zoomed in enough, but major freeways not being labelled?

        I’ll reserve final judgement til the iOS6 is officially out, but if these things aren’t brought up in beta they sure aren’t going to be fixed.

    1. You’re more likely to use street view then you are the pointless, but pretty 3D map view. Who has that point of view of the world? Why do I care how tall a building is?

      1. Can’t you see that once your have the 3D data for maps you can render the world almost like a 3D game (think FPS) for you to roam around freely?

        This goes way beyond the tallness of buildings.

            1. No I haven’t. What’s there? And for which cities?

              Anyway my point was that if Lordthree thinks that street view is a gimmick, why isn’t Flyover?

  6. Google maps is fine for me. Works great. I really don’t feel like I want to be owned and be a leaser anymore. I am done with Apple. HTC One X is head and shoulders above the apple iphone. Why pay twice as much for a product that might be 5% better and require selling your soul to Cupertino. Been there, done that.

    1. So you decided to completely forfeit your online privacy and let Google spy on you?

      Check again. I believe Mountain View is the one asking for your soul.

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