Apple hopes ‘real-time’ maps will be a Google beater

“For a long time, Apple Maps was a laughing stock,” Luke Dormehl reports for Cult of Mac. “Then it started getting better. Apple ironed out the glitches, began updating Apple Maps every day, and introduced Flyover, which gave you a 3-D view of major cities as they would look from the sky.”

“Now it’s taken that technology one step further in an effort to win the mapping war versus Google: Apple Maps is going real-time,” Dormehl reports. “Thanks to a new update, London’s Big Ben clock tower will now show the real time, while the iconic London Eye will rotate. Those are the only real-time updates we’ve spotted so far, but Apple is reportedly looking to add more moving elements to cities over the following year.”

“Of course, in a real sense, Apple Maps isn’t real-time in the true sense of the word. What it has done is to cleverly map on (no pun intended) moving, animated elements onto the static images used by Flyover’s wireframes,” Dormehl reports. “Compared to real-time traffic updates and the like, it’s certainly a gimmick, but it’s a great one.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]

25 Comments

    1. Okay, maybe that slow moving lava flow on the big island of Hawaii a little animation in the orange glow of the breakouts. But what’s a moving element in a flyover of Boise? Suggestions, anyone?
      😉

  1. Cool and nifty one-upper.

    However, it’s no competitor to Street View.

    Or indeed to providing a decent database (for the UK) that means I don’t have to go to Google much of the time.

      1. Gaping holes? There are a million.
        I went to a photo training seminar yesterday (Joel Grimes, what a guy…) and first looked up the Georgia World Conference Center on Apple Maps. It showed the building outline, and that’s it.
        Next, I tried Google maps.
        Not only did it show the building names but broke out the floors, which you can select and look at independently. It even showed the room numbers, bathroom and elevator locations, etc.

        Then today I read that Apple has gone to the trouble of making Big Ben tell the correct time.
        Forgive me if I’m not entirely impressed.

        Screen shots:
        Apple. http://postimg.org/image/atmld434f/
        Google. http://postimg.org/image/5xg7oy03t/

  2. Now that this important feature has been implemented, maybe Tim Cook and Craig Federighi can turn their attention to fixing the IMAP email fail which has been hosing sys admins and enterprise clients for two OS releases and despite multiple promises to fix it.

    How could a company that can’t make an email program work hope to make a self driving car?

    1. No one has said that they are working on a self driving car actually though I bow to your superior knowledge if you know better though self driving vehicles on their new campus would certainly be handy no doubt so who knows. Do agree though that a mis-functioning car would be an appalling PR disaster that would make the maps glitches look like a genius award.

    2. About 25% of my staff wants to dump Apple Mail in our office and go to accessing mail via a browser.

      Yes, Apple, fix Mail.

      (For those of you who are not experiencing problems, it doesn’t mean these problems are not real.)

  3. I was very much hoping this was announcing that Apple was kicking TomTom to the curb and letting us users finally add and correct mapping features. Like the “new” half-year old bridge that eliminates a detour of 13km. TomTom still hasn’t added it, nor a couple nearby 1- and 2-year old *permanent* road closures, yet it’s Apple’s reputation that’s suffering because of them.

    This is extremely gimicky and in no way will it “beat” Google in actual usefulness.

  4. yes this is a cool gimmick but it isn’t that important.

    I’ve had good luck throughout the southeast with Apple maps. It shines in two areas over google maps: 1) with very low data speeds Apple Maps are a lot more fluid and 2) in rural areas Apple maps gets the specific address location much more accurately. Google maps sometimes doesn’t even know which side of the road. Google also messes up numbered highways- they often don’t know the local name of the highway and get address searches wrong sometimes confusing addresses with North and South in them leading to directions “to the wrong side of town”. Apple isn’t perfect here either but they seem to be much better than google.

  5. On the Big Island of Hawaii, I had to quit using Apple maps, and in the middle of nowhere (where it had taken me 20 miles of target), download Google maps onto my iPhone. That got me where I wanted to go. I run many apple computers and devices, but maps is one app I’ve abandoned. Google gets it right every time.

    1. That hasn’t been my experience (in SE Asia). I find them both failing, but not at the same locations, so I have to run both of them.

      Sometimes Apple doesn’t know a location, but Google Maps thinks it does. Unfortunately, I’d have been better off “using” the Apple Maps outcome, because Google’s was just flat out wrong. One time it got me to the middle of rice field on some tiny road slightly less wide than a car. And then a truck came from the other direction. I had to drive backwards for 200 meters without slipping into the muck.

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