Improvements begin to appear in Apple’s 3D Maps, Flyover and other imagery

“Following last week’s open letter from Tim Cook in which he promised that Apple ‘will keep working non-stop’ until the iOS 6 Maps app meets customers’ standards for quality, Apple has indeed been making improvements to the service,” Eric Slivka reports for MacRumors.

“While there is certainly a ways to go, it is clear that the company is indeed moving quickly to address issues and improve coverage for the flagship 3D mapping and imagery features in the app,” Slivka reports. “While improvements have been ongoing, MacRumors forum members yesterday began noticing what appears to be a larger set of additions to the 3D content in the Maps app, including both the satellite/aerial imagery and the standard maps.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hey, look, the Statue of Liberty really is on Liberty Island, after all!

You’d have thought Apple would have checked that one before launch, wouldn’t you? It’s not like it’s a minor landmark in a cornfield somewhere.

We’re still amazed that Apple’s QC – if there actually was any QC on this project – dropped the ball in such Microsoftian fashion.

UPDATE: 5:25pm EDT: To clarify:

The quality of the Maps app (the UI, the features, etc.) and the quality of the data and how it is integrated are two completely different things.

Our Take on Maps app: We love the how the Maps app looks and works and we are disappointed that Apple’s quality control or lack thereof opened the company up to a media shitstorm that is basically FUD reverberating in the echo chamber. Certain competitors and spurned former partners were looking for flaws that they could use to slam Apple. Apple should have known this, but, regardless, Apple served up ammo to competitors and FUD-slingers on a silver platter.

To reiterate: Apple did a wonderful job on the app and a poor job integrating and error-correcting the data that the app uses as evidenced by famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty not being properly displayed at launch. Anything that compels a company CEO to apologize and recommend using competitors’ services, including the very service he just dropped, is a significant mistake.

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

71 Comments

  1. Bite me MDN… You have not the slightest idea how big and complicated an application like this is…. How do I know…. Your own little MDN app, a simple news reader, crashes weekly on my iPhone and iPad …. Sometimes the articles just don’t show up… Sometimes it just crashes back to the OS…. Sometimes it requires deleting and a reinstall… People in glass houses…. MDN please fix this POS so it is somewhat reliable.

      1. I haven’t got a notification all day today on my 5. Usually i have few issuie with the app. Hopefully they’re updating the app for the ip5.

        1. second that..

          issue two, F’d up way we have to log in. (it’s a pain in the ass, so 99% of us do not…)

          3rd, MDN decided to run a poll….. to see how many of us used the app. Problem they did not think of…. those that use the app….. CAN’T SEE POLLS.

          and yeah, the notifications drop from time to time. today. none.. will prob work tomorrow/next week.

          If MDN kills the notifications… half of us would probably come here like once a week.

    1. MDN, complaining about about Apple’s QC? If you bothered to look at the image, the Statue of Liberty location is on and was on Liberty Island you dummies. They simply just added the 3D rendering of the statue.

      What a way to remember SJ death, by being annoying towards Apple.

      Foolish.

        1. Ever used a “perfect” app? I’ve been using Macs (and on very rare occasions a WindowsPC) since 1986 with a lot of high end software, and not one I ever used was even remotely “perfect”.

          If devs followed the absolute dictates of QC, nothing would ever get released.

          Rome wasn’t built in a day.

          1. It was THE STATUE OF LIBERTY, not Joe’s filling station and corner grocery.

            Apple’s QC on this project was horrible unless Apple’s objective was to see how large of a PR nightmare they could needlessly inflict upon themselves.

            Rome wasn’t built in a day and we’re not even sure if it’s in Apple’s Maps app.

            1. And where is the list of Important Enough Sites That Apple Should Have Manually Viewed Prior To Releasing Maps?

              Get real. Pick 100 sites, someone bitches that #101 was left off the list. Pick 10,000, and 10,001 gets complained about.

              Mapping apps, no matter who does them, are difficult and bound to have inaccuracies. Rand McNally never produced the perfect paper atlas either.

            2. Rand McNally didn’t have the Internet troll brigade combined with the Oh-look-how-easy-it-is-to-complain-these-days-I’ll-give-them-a-piece-of-my-mind regiment. In the old, real, days, we not only walked uphill to school in the snow, we learned to not trust maps. And only nut jobs made a federal case out of inconveniences.

            3. Maybe it just wasn’t so high on the priority list. There’s a lot more to the software than what the end user sees. And it isn’t just one guy writing the whole thing, so not every aspect of it would be equally ‘finished’ when they decided it’s time to hit the go button.

              For all we know they may have anticipated the publicity and calculated it would be an overall gain to go with it when they did. I mean how many people are going to get a different phone just because of the maps app? If it was Garmin or someone like that it would be mission critical.

              For the vast majority of phone buyers it’s just a minor thing, and so all that they would think when they saw the negative maps publicity is oh, well that doesn’t matter so much, I think I’ll try it out in the shop and see what the camera is like, or how good it sounds.

              So Apple’s flaky shareholders, those who are always buying and selling and complaining, get another couple of ulcers and Apple gets a huge load of publicity they never would have got if all the writers could say is that the iPhone is wonderful.

          2. Perfection is nearly impossible to achieve, but expecting something better from Apple is a realistic presumption. “It just works” doesn’t mean “The same as any other app”. It means Maps should have been better out of the box the first time. Apple is supposed to set the standard, not follow it. Some of the mistakes in Apple’s Maps were so glaring and indecipherable that it seemed to confirm that the application did not receive proper debugging prior to release.

            1. Wikipedia: “The earliest specific reference to Metropolis located it in New York State: in Superman #2 (Fall 1939), Clark (Superman) Kent sent a telegram to George Taylor, the editor of the Daily Star (the antecedent to the Daily Planet), addressed to “Metropolis, N.Y.”[3]
              In the 1940s Superman cartoons, produced by Paramount Pictures and Fleischer Studios, Superman is said to live in New York City rather than Metropolis during the seventh cartoon of the series…”

    2. +1

      Really MDN. Your site is generally the first site I go to in the morning and I probably go to it more than any other site during the day. I generally go to 10 to 20 sites a day including Bullish Cross, Nasen Investments, Daring Fireball, Tech.Pinions, etc. I agree with the vast majority of your takes. But in this case you are just dead wrong.

      I have been a programmer for 42 years and a CPA for almost as long. I have done many, many conversions (law firms) and sometimes it is not a pretty sight. We don’t know why the timing was what it was, but the more I learn about Google, the less I trust them. I think it might be prudent to quieten down for a while and see how things go, as some of us are losing respect for bloggers who just plain don’t know what they are talking about.

      1. Having worked on some expert systems in the past, and examining this app, I can say this: had I been on the programming team for that marvel, despite the “massive fail” campaign, I would be extremely proud. Wait ’til Baby is two.

    3. Yes, I concur… Sometimes the article list (when in landscape mode) will not refresh and if often does not refresh on loading the app… But, really, MDN, you haven’t joined the dots… Its not a QC issue – the move to a new Maps was preannounced. Apple was obviously over-optimistic. So what then? Delay the iPhone 5 release? Release it with no Maps? Go to Google and eat humble pie and postpone the release for a year? The problems are minor, and almost all the criricism is from non-users – actual iPhone users are mostly delighted as their comments on here illustrate. And since when were you such great experts that you can stand on your high horse and rubbish Apple?

    4. Um, and if the MDN app is truly that bad — I’ve never had a problem with it — then why do you not just delete it and quit *reinstalling* it? Makes no sense at all.

    1. MDN is entirely correct.

      it’s the Statue of Liberty. It was not there. There was no Quality Control of which to speak on this Maps project.

      Seems Forstall was off in the corner of his little fiefdom deluding himself and then developers at WWDC.

      Hopefully Cook learned a valuable lesson in all of this.

      1. Proper Qc will use Risk based test planning when faced with limited time frames. The application’s main purpose has to be be the focus of time compressed testing. I doubt that pictures of monuments (be it the statue of liberty) rank higher than making turn by turn of street layouts work in a map application. What do people use it for do you think (apart from finding flaws with Apple) ?

  2. Sometimes ya haveta turn your phone on and off due to the number of apps running in the background or at least hit the button go to the apps and start closing them at least…

    1. only time i have EVER “had” to turn my iPhone off… during an OS update, or when I had mine jailbroken.

      it’s not needed. just bring up the multitasking bar and close any apps that are having issues.

    2. It seems that maybe you don’t understand that those apps ‘running’ in the background are not actually running but are just parked with data intact. There are precious few apps that actually run in the background and take up resources. Leave them alone and stop playing with the app management system.

  3. It has appeared for sometime now that this Mac site has strayed away from proving Apple news. The person behind this site now uses “apple news” as a means to push their political agenda. It has been a Tim Cook thrashing day in and day out around here. I wonder if Tim Cook were a heterosexual republican would the publisher have the same opinions.

    1. MDN hasn’t strayed on iota. They deliver the truth in regards to Apple as they see it.

      Cook et al. fscked up. Again. They know it and MDN does Apple and its customers a service, not by excusing mediocrity, but by holding their feet to the fire in the hopes of improving future product launches.

      1. And Jobs never messed up? You mean like when the first iPhone was released and he insisted that web apps would be the only apps allowed on the iPhone?

        Well, he corrected his error. Tim Cook will correct Maps. Not everything can be perfect when it’s released, but a good company will work hard to fix the problems quickly. Apple seems to be doing that and taking it very seriously.

      2. MDN may not have ‘strayed’ but it got it wrong: “Anything that compels a company CEO to apologize … ”  Tim Cook didn’t apologize for introducing its maps program, even with the flaws everyone has described.  He expressed condolences to those who had been inconvenienced. Moreover, he didn’t “recommend using competitors’ services” but reminded (informed) users that those alternative services are available for those who want them — not because he wanted anyone to use the services of competitors, but to show that iPhone still have access to mapping services rather than being abandoned by Apple without any alternative.

        1. (*sound of slurping on my evening espresso*)

          Ahh! I see. Well… what a” rel=”nofollow”>splendid experience it is to engage in stimulating intellectual discussion on the Internet when dealing with people like you, Mike.

          I had seen earlier that you had complained about MDN deleting your comments on this thread and weighed in with a suggestion to MDN that he would come off better if he took your “proving his wrong” on the chin and leave your comments.

          In response, MDN deleted my suggestion and allowed you to post a jewel like that. I couldn’t understand that until I scanned around and saw your clever-clever-clever post. What wisdom, MDN has, for he allowed us to see you post your cogent reasoning here, MikeK.

          Whether Tim Cook gets a buzzie at the site of female genitals has nothing to do with anything with regard to Apple’s recent fortunes.

          I do note that often the most rabidly anti-gay individuals out there are as outspoken as they are because of a sense of self-loathing because they get aroused by the sight of genitals of the same gender. Even if this were true of you, I wouldn’t judge the merits of your reasoning based on your sexual orientation.

          We were all wasting our time here engaging an idiotic Internet troll with you, MikeK. That alone was the reason why there was deafening silence here in response to your post. Please don’t confuse the lack of responses to your inane post as some sort of group acquiescence to your inescapable logic.

          We all merely went “Oh… MikeK is just a stupid asshole.”

          Oh… and in case you are still deluded with visions that silence was a sign we had all silently agreed with you; that somehow you are indeed A) aroused by the genitalia of the opposite sex (as if anyone gives a shit), and B) you are critical of those who aren’t just like you, and those two factors meant: C) we all thought that your opinion must be the correct one…

          (*sound of slurping on another swallow of my evening espresso*)

          …well, no one here was thinking that.

    2. You know what, you little prick, you’re a typical liberal. If someone points out an error or disagrees with your stupid fscking bankrupting “ideas,” they’re called “racist” just because the dope you fools elected happens to be half black.

      We don’t give a shit that he’s half black. He could be green for all we care. We don’t like him as President because he’s nearly totally unprepared and wrong about most everything he approaches.

      If MDN is against Tim Cook because he’s a homosexual, then why do they always say “the jury’s out on Tim Cook?” They’re not judging him, they’re judging his performance.

      Yesterday, they just called something Apple did under Tim Cook “a genius move.”

      Apple reportedly tapping some of 40,000 retail store staff for iOS 6 Maps app error reports, advice

      You’re not really worth the typing it took to get this far, but in the future, if you wish to be taken seriously, you should try to win your arguments based on FACTS, not by stooping to LIBELING those with whom you do not agree.

        1. Seems to me that Mike F. was the one who accused MDN of criticizing Cook not because he oversaw yet another flawed product launch that did not measure up to Apple’s standards, but because he is supposedly a gay democrat.

          F10T12’s response is spot on, just watch MSNBC for 5 minutes for all the proof you need.

        1. no he’s not… he’s a little overboard at times.

          but… in this case he’s spot on. Has nothing to do with anything other than Apple messed up. (IMO it’s a non issue… but some are freaking out over maps)

          MDN does praise Tim Cook all the time.

          Mike F is just an asshole. period.

          1. Yeah, I read the article.. She and Steve both supported this education reform. Walter Isacson interviews said that Steve pushed this issue to Obama several times. It doesn’t change the fact that she and (Steve was) still a liberal democrat.

          2. Which, what, makes her a Republican? Please…

            *That* is exactly. The problem with politics in this country. You can no longer be a successful politician and pick your sides on issues based in what makes the most sense. Instead, you have to play to your Party’s base, the extremists, who are actually a considerably small minority, but wield all the power. So what we mend up with are people making decisions so far to one side or the other to keep their bases happy, rather than DOING WHAT’S RIGHT FOR THE COUNTRY. Ridiculous.

            Most people, Steve’s widow, myself, the *majority* of folks in this once great country, don’t call themselves ‘liberals’ or ‘conservatives’, we call ourselves Americans. This decisive crap is completely counterproductive. And we’ll fall further and further until smart leaders emerge who acknowledge that.

      1. Name calling, that’s mature. Let me see if I can follow the Fox News methodology here:
        1) lie
        2) accuse anyone who points out your lie of being liberal
        3) discover you can’t argue facts
        4) engage in childish name calling

        That about sums it up.

        1. so you DID watch MSNBC after wednesday’s debate lol.
          We had to switch over cause Twitter was going nuts about how pissed MSNBC was.

          And back to the point here.. Go back and read MDN posts from the past year that mention Tim Cook, very rarely do they have anything but praise for the guy.

          Personally I feel sorry for Tim. Nobody can fill SJ’s shoes… and since it’s Apple, everyone will nitpick/compare his every word to “what would Steve have done”

          He will never be Steve Jobs, He will always be the guy that followed Steve.
          all he can do, is the best he can do.

          the Maps issue? meh, doesn’t bother me. its software… it will be fixed.
          now if Tim came out and said “F off, go buy some other maps app, ours is perfect” then I would have a problem… but he didn’t. He went WAY beyond what was needed.
          Apple even has all the Maps apps on the front page of the app store.. making it easier for anyone to move away from Apple’s maps…

          IMO Tim Cook’s doing a good job. (let me scroll up here…)
          (Begin sarcasm. Just in case you are too stupid to figure it out on your own)

          even if he is a Gay Democrat.

          (end sarcasm)

      2. Agree. As a registered Republican, But if the Republicans put up a lousy candidate, like Dole or McCain they’ve lost my vote. I gave Obama a chance, he talked a good talk and I voted for him. Not this time around. Anybody but Obama.

        I agree I don’t care if the candidate is half purple half pink, gay, straight or bi-sexual, male or female, as long as the person does a good job I’ll vote for them for a second term. I’ve lost any confidence I had in Obama running this country with any degree of competence. He enjoys the title but is not capable of handling the massive responsibilities.

  4. Okay MDN, if you are going to be so flippant, then provide us with a list (not just a town named Airport, but a real list) of mistakes with the map data so we can all have fun typing them in to our iPhones.

    1. Well, bridges seem to be a problem for the 3D fly over. Maybe Disney is behind it, and they want to charge E-tickets (I date myself, don’t I?) for the “ride” down to the river at the Hoover Dam or the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is sponsored by a shock-absorber manufacturer (watch it buck like it’s predecessor as you zoom in viewing it from an angle). Similarly, Deception Pass bridge is very deceiving.

  5. “We’re still amazed that Apple’s QC – if there actually was any QC on this project – dropped the ball in such Microsoftian fashion ”

    ——————–
    Apparently the MDN stance on maps has changed, because initially there was no “real issue” and all the map complaints were FUD.

    1. I have but one question (and, for the slow among us, it is rhetorical)

      Why can’t MacDailyNews rather like Apple’s Maps app, but still be upset that QC obviously failed to catch significant issues with data and imagery?

  6. Or, the article could have read, “Apple’s on top of their map woes. Users noticed earlier today that Apple has begun updating the 3D graphics for Manhattan showing their commitment to their product and customers.”

  7. In Santa Monica Apple Maps fly over is more accurate than Google Maps Satellite view. There are huge buildings that have been knocked down to make way for the new Expo train line. Google has those building there even the ones that were knocked down over a year ago. I’m sticking with Apple Maps… It’s a night and day improvement over Google.

  8. I think MDN may have a bit too much of its savings in AAPL stock. When the stock is having bad days, MDN seems a bit too frantic about anything that could be hurting Apple. I feel the same way.

  9. While everybody is busy dissing the new Apple Map App they are forgetting how bad the first Google map and Mapquest really were. Using Mapquest on a cross country trip we were led down a narrow 2 lane, twisting road lowing a 32′ 5th wheel trailer, while we were less than a mile from a good 4 lane highway. I never trusted Mapquest again.

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