How Apple’s Obsession with Google Is Hurting Apple

How Apple’s Obsession with Google Is Hurting Apple

Every once in a while, a company becomes so obsessed with a competitor that it loses focus on its own customers. They start designing and positioning their products more to hurt rivals than thrill users.

And I fear that now it’s happening to Apple.

Again. 

Everybody knows about Apple’s near-death experience in the 90s. But few appreciate why it happened.

From 1985 to 1997, Apple went in a series of bizarre product directions. Yes, Apple made some cool stuff back then. But they also made a lot of weird moves that would be inconceivable by the standards of today’s Apple.

One small example was that Apple introduced an insanely grating plethora of confusing PC brands, including the Centris, Quadra and Performa lines, which nobody could differentiate. But why?

They also launched half-heartedly into all kinds of unexpected consumer electronics directions. They sold digital cameras that were really made by Kodak and Fujifilm. They sold a CD player really made by Philips. Again, why?

And they spent enormous attention suing Microsoft for copying the Apple Lisa operating system user interface.

The reason is that they become obsessed with Microsoft, and were throwing all kinds of spaghetti against the wall to see what would stick. They became blind to the truth that great products bring more and better customers, and instead tried to beat Microsoft and the larger PC industry at its own game. They tried to litter the market with narrowly targeted product lines just like the clone companies did, even though most of the positioning was just a bullshit series of lies. The Centris, Quadra and Performa lines were more or less the same line, and the consumer electronics products had the Apple logo on them but weren’t Apple products.

Famously, war raged internally at Apple during these years between the “suits” and Steve Jobs’ “pirates.”

To oversimplify the overlooked reason for this war, the “suits” were obsessed by Microsoft and were more interested in out-maneuvering the WinTel world than designing awesome products and thrilling customers, while the “pirates” just wanted to make really cool toys.

The suits took over and stripped Jobs of his authority, so he quit.

I believe Jobs’ time at NeXT made him the kick-ass CEO he was when he returned as interim CEO in the summer of 97 because he had gained a number of key insights during his time away from Apple.

And what was the first thing Jobs did as CEO of Apple? He buried the hatchet with Microsoft, announcing a partnership that brought a pathetically small $150 million in Microbucks to Apple in exchange for non-voting stock and a commitment by Apple to make Microsoft Internet Explorer for Mac the default browser. The two companies also agreed to cross-license patents.

The details of the deal were irrelevant. The important thing was that Apple would stop obsessing about Microsoft and instead focus on thrilling customers with amazing products.

And Here We Go Again

Apple’s triumph over shipping what is currently and arguably the greatest phone ever was tarnished by mockery over its disastrously bad Maps app.

People are pointing and laughing at Apple with blogs like this and memes like that.

And people are right to mock Apple. The previous default Maps application on iOS was Google’s Maps app, and it was — and is — incredibly good.

Google Maps was since the beginning part of the seamless, powerful, ultra-functional, hyper-competent lineup of solid apps that made the iPhone experience so good.

And then Apple replaced it with a piece of crap.

I’m not going to sugar-coat this for anyone: Apple put crapware on their most important product on purpose in order to screw a rival at the expense of users.

But that’s not the only place Apple is doing this. The company has also gotten into bed with both Twitter and Facebook on social networking, and doesn’t offer any out-of-the-box integration with Google+.

Twitter integration makes sense for Apple. But Facebook integration does not, as I explained in June.

Meanwhile, Google+ is the Google Maps of social networks. Although Google+ may have as little as 10% of the active users of Facebook, it’s growing faster than Facebook ever did. And more importantly, Google+ has a vastly superior user experience to Facebook and has a much brighter longterm future, in my opinion.

But Facebook is the industry standard and has the biggest user numbers by far, you might argue. That’s why Apple favors it, right?

OK, if that’s the criteria, then why did Apple also remove Google’s YouTube app? YouTube is the clear standard with by far the most users, and it’s been one of the keystone iOS apps since the first iPhone shipped in 2007.

And Apple removed it in iOS 6.

(Yes, you’ll still be able to go find a new YouTube app and download it. But the “bundled” apps define the user experience for the majority of users.)

Google is out; Facebook is in.

We all know the reason why Apple is doing these things. They’re more focused now on hurting Google than thrilling users, just like they were with Microsoft in the 90s.

It sucks. And it’s a recipe for longterm failure.

They say that those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.

The history that Apple is repeating is its own history. It’s time to get smart, bury the hatchet, make peace with Google and start putting users first again.

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  • Esteban Cazadores

    I am holding off the upgrade until Apple allows googlemaps back in business. Nothing was wrong with that app at all. I don’t understand what is the big deal.

  • AV7R

    The original deal with Google lasted five years for their bundled apps Youtube, and Google Maps. In those five years Apple went to build their own maps because they knew it would be over by then. Google’s new Youtube app is leaps better than what came before, and Gmaps is pending approval in the app store right now. The deal gave Apple, not Google, control over the apps. I don’t think Google wants to give control anymore now that they are a competitor, so they won’t sign another deal like that. If Apple doesn’t approve of the app store Gmaps just because they are resented, I agree, but if they eventually let it go, everyone wins.

  • James Kent

    If Apple really want to hurt Google, it’s easy and nobody but Google would notice. Make Bing the default search engine in iOS and OS X.

  • James Kent

    If Apple really want to hurt Google, it’s easy and nobody but Google would notice. Make Bing the default search engine in iOS and OS X.

  • Gabriel Lanata

    I think that in the long term this will be a win for consumers. Te thing is that Apple must have been paying something to Google to allow them to use Google Maps and Youtube in the iPhone. Maybe it made sense when the iPhone was new, but now it has proven to be a huge market. Now it is google who wants to be in the iPhone more than Apple wants them to be. So why should Apple continue to spend resources and give money to them for the rights when, if they stopped, Google would take over and do it themselves anyway?

    I believe that Google will put a lot of effort in their Youtube and Google Maps apps (specially in the maps app), greatly improving from the previous bundled maps app experience and more frequent feature updates. Therefore, consumers will have a choice, to use the Google Maps app from the AppStore or to use Apple Maps (which will definitely improve over time).

    Apple might have done it to screw Google, but by doing so they have increased competition and that is always good for consumers.

    (btw, I hate the Apple Maps app, I live in Peru and it’s really bad here)

  • John Schoettler

    “Us vs. Them” is a great technique for getting people (and companies) to overlook their own vices by focusing on someone else’s, but it won’t make us better people (or give us better products) in the long run.

  • gnomehole

    So you have the inside story on why maps came to be? Tell us then… did Google up their license so high it was too expensive to renew? Or maybe it was because they weren’t upgrading the technology fast enough and Apple had to do something about it. Or maybe Google refused to license their data. Hmmm… yea, its all Apple’s fault because you apparently have the inside info on this.

    I’m getting tired of the whole Apple is dead meme… seriously, anyone seen the lines for the new iPhone or the stock market?

    I think they are still doing something right. Its people making assumptions and listening to a few vocal but dumb anti-Apple types that leaves us with wasted blog entries like this.

  • Tavi

    Congratulations, great article. I think Apple should leave this tactics behind, swallow their pride or whatever it is, and think about the consumer first and foremost.

  • jkylegerdes

    I disagree with this article. I have used Apple Maps and siris voice turn by turn direction and it has worked PERFECTLY! I hated Google Maps! And you must be blind because Google+ is awful! Out of the 800+ friends I have on facebook…Not one of them uses Google+. Steve Jobs would defiantly be pro Apple Maps! One of the biggest things that made Steve Jobs a genius was using the Apple softwear with Apple hardwear…Making it work perfectly together. Apple Maps will only get better from here.

  • Michael Green

    Nobody uses twitter unless your’e an online blog or a celebrity whereas millions of people use facebook so your comment about the latter is failtarded

  • Whodakat

    Crapware, huh? Google + is vastly superior to Facebook? Do you get paid to do this job? Yes maps outside of the US needs work. So sorry they haven’t mapped the entire planet down to the street by day one! Many many people are blowing this out of proportion. And you’re helping them. Google maps is far from perfect, and prior to Apples maps coming out it wasn’t hard to find its detractors. Half of the people claiming to have issues are full of it. I’ve looked up many of the so called missing places to find they are right where they are supposed to be.

    Apple, or SJ, learned a valuable lesson back in the day. Patent, patent, patent! Gates ripped off their OS (and no Apple didn’t steal anything for Xerox, they paid for those rights – they just made an incredible deal with the right people at Xerox) so Steve was bound and determined not to let that happen with iPhone and iPad. Thus the patent wars we now have. But what the author and so many others fail to see is that this isn’t stifling innovation, it’s a seriously long term strategy. Apple will defend those patents viciously so when they do innovate the next whatever, people will know that if they copy it they can expect to pay.

    The iPhone 5 I’m typing on right now is not the result of stifled innovation. It’s one of the most impressive pieces of tech on the market. People bash it and iOS 6 because they look similar to what they’ve seen before, but that is the nature of improvement. Was there some giant leap between the SG 2 and the SG 3? Of course not. They are both phones! Apple made a decision probably 20 years ago that they would not stand idly by and get ripped off. And they aren’t. Luckily they can walk and chew gum at the same time so we don’t have to worry about them not being able to innovate.

  • Tomi Fazzio

    when i started to see all of this criticism to apple maps i thinked “i should try them so i realize if what everyone is saying is true”, and i started messing around with it and i actually like them more than google’s because the features that’s missing aren’t available in my country from google maps either so for me it’s the same or better

  • Jack E Mabry Jr

    Good article, I was kind of thinking the same. I’m a user of both iOS (2x Apple TV and 2x iPod Touch) and Android (Google TV, Motorola Photon and Nexus 7). I have an Apple TV hooked up to my Google TV (blasphemy). I don’t want to see Apple go down the same road again but they do have some points with some of the older OEM Android devices.

  • flitzy

    Oh, please.. what is this article, I don’t even?

    They should have had Google+ integration over Facebook? What alternate reality are you living in?

    And Google never HAD a Youtube or a Maps app. Apple removed their own apps and made them better. Geez, what has happened to the tech community these days that they go from insightful conversation to fawning over an ad company?

  • willrmc

    I read for two solid days people freaking out about maps and looking at the horrible pictures. Then I got my new iPhone 5 and used it. Nothing at all like all the hype. Turn by turn worked perfectly, found addresses and was beautiful and easy to use. Not to say it doesn’t have its drawbacks and many ways that it is inferior to google maps. But it will grow and get better, to describe it as crapware is honestly a bit insane. Half of the shots of how awful it is, come from people taking screen shots before it even loads the data. People love to hop on the anti-Apple bandwagon just like the stupid antenna gate that everyone forgot about in a month. As for Google+ that is plain ridiculous. Everyone uses facebook for everything and I have one friend that posts ANYTHING on Google+ ever. It’s a graveyard and not worth integrating into iOS.

  • Atienne

    And this time Steve cant some back to save the day.

  • joewaylo

    If Apple really want to hurt Google, it’s easy and nobody but Google would notice. Make Bing the default search engine in iOS and OS X.

    If they want to kick them in the balls, they’d make iSearch with more perfected results.

    Though right now they’d be mocked with Apple Maps. Even I’m having a hard time swallowing it with 3D buildings being more or should I say half more detailed. New York NY looks like its been bombed. Even Apple’s building has a few funny looking windows.

  • tdubose91

    The lack of Google+ integration makes partial sense seeing as nowhere near as many people use it as Facebook or Twitter. I loved google maps and still do but I don’t think Apple’s maps is as bad as people are saying. At least the turn by turn navigation that I tested out worked smoothly. And this is the first release, it can only get better

  • Steffen Jobbs

    Is a Google Maps app going to be made for iOS users or not? If not, then it’s OK to bitch and whine, if so, then shut up and wait for the Google Maps app to be approved. Apple’s mapping app sucks but there’s nothing to be gained by bitching and whining the first few days, anyway. It’s probably impossible for Apple to duplicate Google’s Maps no matter how much money is thrown at the project in a couple of years.

    I’d be pissed if there really was a way for Apple to get a better map dataset if all Apple had to do was spend extra money to acquire a fuller dataset but Apple just wants to cut corners to save money. Some mapping expert said that Apple needs to acquire the right people to improve the mapping software. Apple should follow his advice. I’m betting that due to Google working on their mapping project for years, Apple isn’t going to get anything better than Google Maps. I think Google Street View is the most fun I’ve ever had with maps. I wish Apple could have joined with Google to work on building the best mapping database in the world. I guess it’s not going to happen.

    Apple’s sparse map database isn’t going to hinder iPhone 5 sales considerably so Apple just needs to keep working on the software and in six months it might be a lot better. Who knows. The old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” also applies to map datasets. The long wait begins. I guess no one remembers how sparse Google Maps were at the very beginning. It’s easy to forget. Apple has to start from basically scratch but there’s no understanding at all. Apple has a business to run and they have to make decisions. Some will be good, some not so good. Just give Apple more than a day to work out whatever major problems there are. Stop complaining and help Apple fill in the missing pieces.

  • tdubose91

    I disagree with this article. I have used Apple Maps and siris voice turn by turn direction and it has worked PERFECTLY! I hated Google Maps! And you must be blind because Google+ is awful! Out of the 800+ friends I have on facebook…Not one of them uses Google+. Steve Jobs would defiantly be pro Apple Maps! One of the biggest things that made Steve Jobs a genius was using the Apple softwear with Apple hardwear…Making it work perfectly together. Apple Maps will only get better from here.

    Completely Agree, I used the maps with turn by turn and it was flawless.

  • RJENK

    The entire basis for this article is completely idiotic. Anyone with even basic intelligence can see the two reasons why Mr. Elgan wrote this pathetic attempt at journalism. He’s pissed off because (1) iOS 6 maps are, in his opinion, vastly inferior to Google, and (2) because he clearly likes Google+ over Facebook. Once you understand that you have to ask yourself “is the article still worth reading?” The answer to that course is “no.”

  • Jack E Mabry Jr

    I read for two solid days people freaking out about maps and looking at the horrible pictures. Then I got my new iPhone 5 and used it. Nothing at all like all the hype. Turn by turn worked perfectly, found addresses and was beautiful and easy to use. Not to say it doesn’t have its drawbacks and many ways that it is inferior to google maps. But it will grow and get better, to describe it as crapware is honestly a bit insane. Half of the shots of how awful it is, come from people taking screen shots before it even loads the data. People love to hop on the anti-Apple bandwagon just like the stupid antenna gate that everyone forgot about in a month. As for Google+ that is plain ridiculous. Everyone uses facebook for everything and I have one friend that posts ANYTHING on Google+ ever. It’s a graveyard and not worth integrating into iOS.

    You are only thinking about yourself and where you live, is everyone else lying? Do you have proof that the screenshots are before the data is loaded? I’d like to see it. Apple is not perfect, they can make mistakes, everyone does.

    Why would an Apple site hop on an Anti-Apple bandwagon? Ever hear of objective reporting instead of “yellow journalism”?

  • dcompiled

    Sorry Mike, but this just feels like an absurdly fabricated scenario you are painting. We don’t know why Apple dropped Google Maps. You make a statement (as if it were known fact – isn’t that sort of crappy?) that Apple dropped Maps to hurt it’s rival, Google. However, as a long time iPhone user, I see things a little differently:

    1) We DO know, as has been covered previously over the last couple years, that Google has been upgrading their mapping service with vector maps and turn by turn navigation for Android devices. We also know that Google was not making the upgrades available to Apple for inclusion in the iOS maps app. So we heard all sorts of flack for a couple years about how Android has killer Google Maps features that iOS doesn’t. So it seems pretty likely that Apple needed to go around Google for a modern maps experience and / or build their own.

    2) Suddenly all the pundits are talking about how perfect Google Maps used to be on the IPhone. My wife and I used to frequently joke and complain about how regularly Google routed us down nonexistent streets, bizarre detours, etc. The traffic data for major freeways was generally an hour or more off or simply missing (useless for my 1 hour commute twice a day). Plus they were unbearably slow to load and choppy, especially over 3G, and even on a 4S. This was in LA county, not some obscure and unpopulated corner of the country. And we had to download a 3rd party app for using public transportation in San Francisco, because the Google public transit routing was hopelessly inaccurate and unusable. Not to say that Google maps weren’t good for many things — and they did well enough most of the time — but this idea that they were SO good before and the now the Maps app suddenly getting some things wrong is so intolerable is frankly totally inaccurate.

    3) Lastly, I have been using the new Apple Maps app since the beginning of the beta, in several cities and for two road trips. Overall, they are a smoother, faster, and more enjoyable experience. The inaccuracies are no worse than what I was used to with Google Maps, and possibly less frequent. The traffic info is way more up-to-date and accurate and I use Flyover more than I used Street View. In other words, whatever indoor maps, and POI database deficiencies may exist in the new Apple Maps relative to Google’s data simply don’t impact me. My overall Maps experience is better now than it was in iOS 5 and earlier. I suspect this is the same for a significant portion of the iOS user base.

    I’m not going to weigh in here on the politics of Apple vs. Google, although much could be said both ways (you seem to only cover one, pretty speculative and selectively inaccurate perspective). But I will say that Apple traditionally builds its own solutions wherever possible and applies its own design and user experience sensibilities to those solutions. Apple Maps isn’t some egregious anomaly that breaks away from what Apple has been doing successfully since Jobs refocused and turned the company around. It’s actually very much in line with everything Apple has been doing the last 10 years, and I suspect it will end up being a different, but for many, preferable, mapping solution long term, like most of Apple’s other software.

  • Senturion

    Lol, you were making a little bit of sense until you mentioned Google+.

    No one knows who’s decision it was to drop Google Maps, Apple or Google or both. You don’t know what went on behind the scenes.

    It is also a fact that for years Google has intentionally kept the iOS version of Maps behind the Android version, holding back features. If Apple wanted a full featured maps app they were going to have to do it themselves.

    This is only a controversy in the tech world, 99% of daily maps searches by average users work out just fine. The number should be 99.9% and it will be over time, but to suggest Apple Maps is crap is just pure hyperbole.

  • taojones

    First of all i’m a 61 year old male and i don’t see as well as i used to. last spring i was surprised to find that i had not got the memo and they changed the Triborough bridge to the rfk bridge. this caused me to get a bit lost at night in the bronx.” Perfect, flawless” google maps on my i phone apparently thought that it was more important for me to see an unbroken blue line than the street name under it . in this cell challenged neighborhood my blue position dot was lets say slow in updating and the drivers in this neighborhood did not lets say appreciate me slowing down trying to read (some missing) street signs to determine where i was . google maps almost cost me my life and were terribly frustrating. i tried apple maps today and the search is a bit rough but once it was established where i wanted to go the huge direction balloons were a great help especially easy to read at a glance while driving . I am a 3-d cad designer and i could see the problems with the bridges were that the program that renders the flyover was having problems interpreting where the bridge ended and the shadow begins as the shadows were shifting around on moving waterI hardly think this is apples fault and a reasonable person would understand that the bridge and the Eiffel tower are still ok. I am glad to have apple mapping and i know apple is working as fast as they can to improve it and i do not think they should have delayed its inclusion .

  • dthawkins2

    Did the author ever really look at what Google provided to Apple vs what they developed for themselves on Android and make a comparison? Google maps for iPhone was a far inferior product to the Android product for very deliberate reasons.

    Did you Ever try driving and using the Google Maps App to get you where you were going? Not only did it lack voice instructions but if you did use the app to provide you directions to where you were going, you were likely breaking the law in most states and endangering your fellow drivers by needing to manually go from one step to the next.

    Yes, the product is in the early stages but Apple has enough capital to heavily invest in additional databases to make it truly a complete product. It has nothing to do with obsession with Google. It has everything to do with trying not to let your customers get screwed if you could do something about it.

  • technochick

    Once again you shove out your opinions as fact and show your ignorance.

    Google maps nd YouTube were removed because the contracts were over and Apple and Google couldn’t agree on terms for a new contract. Particularly terms that would allow Google to put ads before and banners on the YouTube videos. If you acted like a journalist for five seconds you would have found the same info.

    And you might not like Facebook etc but you are hardly everyone so if you don’t like it, just don’t use it. No one is forcing you

  • plaztiksoundz

    Ok, I agree, at this time Apple Maps is worst than Google Maps. The turn-by-turn has been flawless (for me), but there’s other things that are way worse.

    But…has everyone forgotten of Google Maps 1.0? Was that AWESOME? Of course it wasn’t! My city wasn’t even ON Google maps when they launched! Didn’t exist for Google!
    Street-view? That was launched in 2007, and it took them 2 years to get to Lisbon (capital city of Portugal for those who don’t know). So Google had a head start of 8 years to do a maps application, and you’re comparing a product that is being launched for the first time and saying it’s crap? Seriously? Give it 8 years and then let’s compare them again! Should Apple be stuck with Google services till the end of times because NOW they are better? If Apple thought that way, the iPhone would have never been created!

    And it’s not bad for consumers, it’s good, it gives us choice! If i don’t like the Apple Maps, i’ll wait for a Google Maps app, or I’ll go buy some android phone if it’s that important for me (It’s not!).

  • asteng88

    Oh boy what a drama queen you journalists really are. This is version 1 of the maps app and I am sure it is leaps above what google put out in version 1. Does it need work, oh for sure, but be prepared to eat your words in a few months when they upgrade and correct the issues.

    When did so many journalists become drama queens!

  • Len Williams

    Mike, you’re missing a very key element about Google’s mapping software and the real reason Apple dropped them. It wasn’t out of spite as you intimate. Ever wonder why the iPhone didn’t have turn-by-turn directions in maps when Android has had it for ages? Google refused to allow Apple to license the turn-by-turn technology! Apple had no choice but to let their mapping contract expire with Google and develop their own map software. Granted, it has quite a bit of development still ahead of it, but it’s the only logical step to take, so that they have control in the coming years over their mapping. It’s hardly the deal-breaker and disaster that it’s being made out to be. Give Apple a bit more time to work out the kinks and it will kick some serious butt. Have patience and use the 2D view. In most situations it still works just fine.

  • asteng88
    I read for two solid days people freaking out about maps and looking at the horrible pictures. Then I got my new iPhone 5 and used it. Nothing at all like all the hype. Turn by turn worked perfectly, found addresses and was beautiful and easy to use. Not to say it doesn’t have its drawbacks and many ways that it is inferior to google maps. But it will grow and get better, to describe it as crapware is honestly a bit insane. Half of the shots of how awful it is, come from people taking screen shots before it even loads the data. People love to hop on the anti-Apple bandwagon just like the stupid antenna gate that everyone forgot about in a month. As for Google+ that is plain ridiculous. Everyone uses facebook for everything and I have one friend that posts ANYTHING on Google+ ever. It’s a graveyard and not worth integrating into iOS.

    You are only thinking about yourself and where you live, is everyone else lying? Do you have proof that the screenshots are before the data is loaded? I’d like to see it. Apple is not perfect, they can make mistakes, everyone does.

    Why would an Apple site hop on an Anti-Apple bandwagon? Ever hear of objective reporting instead of “yellow journalism”?

    Nope it’s the same for me too. Works perfectly for me. So that’s two of us it’s working for!

  • Tylerdurdin1

    This is why you guys are called sheep. Apple makes a less than perfect decision and everyone starts covering for them. Mike didnt say G+ was better…. You guys wanted to see that so you did. He asked why it was left out…. And noted that it is growing rapidly. You guys are so blinded by Apple BS you cant see past your own noses. Youguys will embrace any crap Apple sells you, dont you think that its a little late in the game for Apple to be selling you a flagship with beta software as a premium feature? You guys are consumerists at an all time peak level. They gave you the bear minimum and you bow to them for it, they have right where they want you sucker, the whole time selling you an IDEA that you are part of something. Turn it into Apple vs. Android, go ahead. One thing that is undeniable is that Android does not take advantage of its users… Giving them the most for what they can afford from a 100 dollar phone to 700 dollar phone, they are not perfect and Google isnt perfect but they are not selling you something that you are not going to get. You guys should be happy to be called sheep, I can think of much better names for a person who does not think before he acts or speaks.

  • wilkaq

    Hey Mr. Elgan, have ever actually used Apple Maps? Well I have and it works great! The 3D trick is fun too, with all its early stage flaws, but its just for kicks (Apple will get the bugs out of it soon enough). This smells of all the hysteria the so-called “DEATH GRIP” with the iPhone 4, which never bothered either. Sure Apple needs to chill with Google, but it kills me how critics like you get their undies all-in-a-bunch over every little flaw. The Short of it: iPhone 4 – Great device even with The Death Grip. iPhone 5 – Great device even with melting bridges & such.

  • Fujies

    It is just a matter that people have to get used to it after some years they stuck with Google Maps. I know that Apple Maps lacks of details that google has, but I trust over the time, it will get better and better.

  • technochick

    Oh boy what a drama queen you journalists really are.

    Mike, and for that matter all of Cult of Mac, are NOT journalists. They are bloggers. Their goal is hits nothing more or less. Thus the drama

  • technochick

    And this time Steve cant some back to save the day.

    oh yeah here comes the whole “Steve wouldn’t” crew.

    Funny thing is, Steve did. This wasn’t an over night thing that started up after he died. Apple started the maps, the facebook integration etc years ago.

  • ddevito

    This is the best article I’ve ever read n this site. Cheers

  • ddevito
    If Apple really want to hurt Google, it’s easy and nobody but Google would notice. Make Bing the default search engine in iOS and OS X.

    They’re working with Wolfram Alph on that issue, as we speak. It’s the resource powerhouse behind Siri. Look out for more to come………..

    Yep – Apple will drop Google as a search engine for Siri and it’ll be just as useless as their new maps.

  • ddevito

    Obsession? No. Detesting business partners who stab you in the back, when you’ve helped them build their business model. Yes. I know there’s no loyalty in business, but there should be a morsel of respect. Eric Schmit betrayed his position on the Apple board, and his relationship with Steve Jobs when he took confidential information to further his own interests. If it were the drug world, Eric Schmit would be feeding the fishes right now. Where’s Dexter when you need him?

    Oh please, get off your high horse. Is Steve Jobs was smart enough how would have seen it coming earlier and try to negotiate licensing deals with Google. Only stupid people and stupid companies don’t have the vision to see something under their nose. Serves them right.

    Apple’s charging how much for new adapters? Apple Maps is horrible and WHO’S the greedy one? Apples greedy. Wake up you blind ignoramus

  • ddevito
    If Apple really want to hurt Google, it’s easy and nobody but Google would notice. Make Bing the default search engine in iOS and OS X.

    They’re working with Wolfram Alph on that issue, as we speak. It’s the resource powerhouse behind Siri. Look out for more to come………..

    If you think Wolfram Alpha can become a search engine as good as 5% as good as Google you’re dumber than I thought you were

  • Griffincomputers

    Ya, I know there maybe some work to do but I really like the new maps. The new turn by turn directions have so far been perfectly accurate. I even had it correct an address for me. I also like the way it looks better than the apps I have and definitely better than the older maps app. I would suspect that Apple will update the Sat views and improve accuracy now that they have plenty of feedback.

  • ddevito
    If Apple really want to hurt Google, it’s easy and nobody but Google would notice. Make Bing the default search engine in iOS and OS X.

    If they want to kick them in the balls, they’d make iSearch with more perfected results.

    Though right now they’d be mocked with Apple Maps. Even I’m having a hard time swallowing it with 3D buildings being more or should I say half more detailed. New York NY looks like its been bombed. Even Apple’s building has a few funny looking windows.

    “If they want to kick them in the balls, they’d make iSearch with more perfected results.”

    Yeah building a search engine is just as easy to make, ya know, kinda like a good maps app. Dolt.

  • ddevito

    This is by far the best comment any iFanboy has ever written:

    “If they want to kick them in the balls, they’d make iSearch with more perfected results.”

    Yeah, you’re right. Problem is, though, a search engine is kind of difficult to make, ya know, kinda like a good maps app.

    Dolt.

  • ddevito

    @Kr00 – “If it were the drug world, Eric Schmit would be feeding the fishes right now”

    Too bad it’s the world of business. Steve Jobs the visionary. Steve Jobs the best CEO ever. He certainly was a visionary, but too bad he didn’t have the insight and common business sense to understand how to deal with partners and intellectual property – which is funny now in retrospect considering all the foolish patent litigation that goes on these days. Had he sensed Google could be a potential competitor he would have kept the iPhone more secretive.

    Apple is controlling the entire vertical stack that surrounds the iPhone and yet they never bothered to touch the maps app or YouTube app – which both were mere API feeds from google that Apple developed for 2007 and never changed them much. Sure Google didn’t offer turn-by-turn navigation, etc bla bla – well then why didn’t Apple deal with it until now? Too little too late perhaps, time will tell.

  • Joan Respondi

    Author, chill. Apple is not obsessed with Google.

  • Bharat Gupta

    Well, it is not that simple.

    History has shown in the past how Companies, who have worked closely with Apple are the ones who turned out to be the biggest competitors to Apple.

    Case 1- Microsoft
    During the developement of Word, Microsoft was a very close partner of Apple. Apple shared all the technology of its then Mac OS, which was the first Desktop OS with GUI. Post Developement of Word, Microsoft formed its own plans and Windows was born!!! No originality, still copying Mac OS till date, with versions after versions.
    Case 2 – Google
    Google was traditionally a search engine. Apple had a vision o understand the importance of location based services and needed a strong search engine integrated deep into its iPhone. It collaborated with Google to help with MAPs and instead defaulted Google as a search engine in Safari.
    Apple even took the then CEO of Google on Board.
    What did google do in return? It deviated from its core and started to copy Apple Strategy & innovation to gain users.
    Copied iPhone and launched Nexus
    Copied iOS & launched Android
    Copied iCloud & launched its own sync services
    Copied iPhoto & launched Picasa
    Copied Safari (with tabs) and launched Chrome…
    Many more products which we see today at Google are nothing but sheer copy of Apple Services & features of both iOS & Mac OS X
    Apple was late to realise this and asked the Google CEO to resign from its board as after a while, he wasn’t contributing anything to apple, rather, copying ideas to form a DNA for his own company.
    Case 3 – Samsung
    Samsung worked closely with Apple to provide various hardware parts for iPhone.
    Over the years, the number of parts it provided increased.
    What did Samsung do? Launched an iPhone Clone based on Android with form factor & features similar to apple, so much that even the icon layout was same. Thankfully, the Judiciary woke up this time and banned Samsung.
    The big point is where is the real innovation? Ae these large companies running so without vision or innovation that they have to rely on copying apple or cheating apple for their survival?
    Look at Dell & Samsung who shamelessly copy MacBook Air designs.
    Without real innovation, will they survive?
    As far as Apple is concerned, I am in total agreement with their stance to develop new map services. They have the vision to introduce things and services which none of us can even conceive right now. Yes like any other new product, their our glitches.
    Soon, with increased usage, it will be better and will definitely stand out as the best Maps Services.

  • Michael Snape

    Mike. I am disappointed by this. Honestly you sound like Google is paying you to promote them, and thats it. Your points are overblown either against Apple or in favour of Google, why? Now to objectively reply to the points.

    One: Google+ is not popular, not by a long shot.
    Two: Google maps has been in the maps industry for 7 years now? Apple has been in it for what? A week? Plus Apple does not have the financial and systematic support of the CIA and Echelon, as does Google. Apple will sort, and fix. It will never top Google maps simply because of my previous point. But I rather have Apple watching me than Google.
    Three: This is not a mindless money war, and hell is it being approached as one. When the ‘suits’ were fucking apple, it was for no good reason, and they fragmented the company. Steve saved Apple, but he never liked Bill (who stole the MS UI from Apple), he simply allied with them as strategy, otherwise we still see IE on the Mac, but we don’t. Steve instead of running into a wall decided to one up Microsoft, top them on the phone, and tablet market. The PC(Mac) will follow.

    Now Google is the new Microsoft yes, but its being approached in a joint way. 1. Fuck vendors (Samsung, Nokia, HTC, etc), because Apple can’t fight Google head on. 2. After phase 1 Android will be only on Motorola, and well guess what, thats not the most popular phone in the world. Apple will gain their dominance and crush Google, as they should because Google stole the ideas from Apple.

    I am not blinded by Apple, not by a long shot, first of all I HATE the new lineup they released, their products seem so un apple. But this Google/Apple was was started by Steve Jobs, and I trust in him for his reasoning, just as he saved Apple before. Using Google in the past was simply strategy.

    Fun Fact: In respect to Mobile Google Ads, Safari is giving Google more revenue, than all the others combined… Hmm… Wonder what happens when BING becomes the new default browser.

    SCREW GOOGLE!

  • david81

    I’m so tired with arrogant columnists acting like they know what Jobs would have done in situations like these. First, wasn’t he the one that said to go thermonuclear on Google? Second, don’t you think there is a very strong chance he was still alive when Apple started having plans for the Maps app with all the acquisitions?

  • John Mullins
    If Apple really want to hurt Google, it’s easy and nobody but Google would notice. Make Bing the default search engine in iOS and OS X.

    They’re working with Wolfram Alph on that issue, as we speak. It’s the resource powerhouse behind Siri. Look out for more to come………..

    Far more people use the search function in the browser than do Siri. While Siri may be value in the future, changing the default search to Bing will have an impact right now.

  • furosuto81

    I’m utterly shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you, that a guy who self-professes to “live on Google+” would bitch about not having Google+ integration “baked” directly into iOS 6 (rather difficult when such an API doesn’t even exist on Google’s end of it). Not that there’s anything wrong with living on Google+, but it gives you an indication of where he’s coming from. Just visit elgan.com to read all about it.

    If you haven’t done so already, just buy an Android phone, Mike, and be done with it. It’s pretty clear Google is your scene these days.

    None of this is meant to excuse iOS 6 Maps failings. But it’s pretty clear Apple had to come up with their own mapping solution sooner or later. The iOS version of Maps was crippled in comparison to Google’s Android implementation. Perhaps they didn’t have the API access to improve it, and it’s not in Google’s interest to provide that access, unless they can monetize it.

  • jaybee

    Couldn’t agree more, exactly reflects my sentiments. As a long-time Apple user (14 years) this is the first time I’m left feeling betrayed over something so fundamental, so useful, so important to my everyday use of my iPhone.

    To release the maps app at this early stage is a huge mistake. I was even more shocked when I booted-up the Rightmove app (UK property finding) on iOS6 only to find it automatically now uses the Apple maps system. I can live without street-view for the most part, but it becomes incredibly useful when looking for property you may be looking to either rent, or buy. I may be wrong, but I just get the feeling App devs are now going to struggle to get Google maps integration into their apps without somehow upsetting Apple, who clearly seem to want to strip away any hint of Google products, even if this means significantly sacrificing user experience.

    I had a chance to test out the Apple maps turn-by-turn yesterday which actually works very well. However, when flipping to ‘Overview’ to look for details, such as towns, small roads and the like, the maps app just fails around every corner (pun intended).

    Another factor I don’t see many people talking about, at least in terms of the way the maps are designed for UK roads, are regular mapping standards are not being adhered to. By this I mean that motorways are coloured yellow like US roads *not* the usual blue we are all used to. The same goes for ‘A’ roads which should be green, the Apple maps represent these as weakly defined white roads which are incredibly indistinguishable. These are mapping standards from physical maps we grew-up with and something Google maps does very successfully.

    I could go on, there is so much more wrong with this app, which is essentially an Alpha version not ready for production. Forget all the fancy-pants 3D shit, the fundamentals are not there yet. Priorities are seriously out of whack here.

    I can’t believe it’s even crossed my mind, but as someone on the fringe of upgrading from a 4S to a 5, I’ve actually asked myself if this may be the time to check out an Android phone? in all honesty I probably won’t ever switch, but the thought is there none the less and is certainly purely based on my reliance for the rock solid mobile mapping experience I’ve been used to for the last five years.

    It starts to make me wonder what else may potentially happen in the future as other rivals get on Apples’ back? I used to be so sure Apple had it’s users best interest at heart… Apple, is this the effect you want for your long-time loyal customers? Fix-up…fix-up fast.

  • John

    The moaning about ios6 maps is getting old, this app works seamlessly for me in day to day use and I’ve not experienced any issues yet. Turn by turn is amazing and I’d rather have that over street view any day.

  • Victor Chernikov

    Mike, there are few key points that you missed in your article. First of all, old Maps and YouTube weren’t Google’s apps — they were Apple’s. These apps appeared on the original iPhone thanks to the deal with Google, but the very terms of the same deal put the limits on the apps features. This is another key point people often miss. While iPhone users enjoyed Google maps (which became “perfect” and “flawless” only now in the light of iOS 6 maps, and was just OK back then) Android customers had exclusive access to free turn by turn navigation. Apple faced a very simple choice: keep the maps as they were in 2007 and see Android mapping becoming better and better or start developing their own solution. Obviously, Apple chose to follow their own road, as they did before with many now iconic software products.

    The point is Apple isn’t fighting a total war with Google with complete disregard to its customers. Instead, Apple is trying to outdo Google at some initial cost to the customers, but again, the same pattern I’ve seen before with Apple’s software.

  • CharilaosMulder

    Partly agree. But on the other hand apple maps is a first generation product and OF COURSE apple is working hard to improve it. And just like many of apple’s other services, it can become a kickass product to, if they want to. Besides, flyover is nice but especially turn by turn is a feature that we all wanted, but google was unwilling to give us on the old maps app.

  • Sean Dale

    There is a flip side to this of course. By un-bundeling the You Tube app from the OS, I now have a better You Tube experience on my iPhone which Google can update as often as they feel. Google now have the freedom to release a stand alone Google map app which would be better than a bundled version and easier to update. People will ask why Google would want to give this to iOS users instead of keeping it Android exclusive and the answer would be business. Google want the business of iOS users, they want our data and to sell ads to us which was harder for them to do with OS bundled apps.

  • SeanGermany

    Unfortunately Apple doesn’t care too much about the user anymore – otherwise they would let the user decide, if he wanted flash or not, or would implement the print to pdf feature instead of kicking out all apps that can do it, just because they want to force you to buy an airprint device ( and then there is no USB and so on and so on) This is why in the end they will loose against google and don’t let the 1st week sales of iphone5 blind you – in total it will be a decrease in sales compared to the 4s.

  • thehatisonfire

    The original deal with Google lasted five years for their bundled apps Youtube, and Google Maps. In those five years Apple went to build their own maps because they knew it would be over by then. Google’s new Youtube app is leaps better than what came before, and Gmaps is pending approval in the app store right now. The deal gave Apple, not Google, control over the apps. I don’t think Google wants to give control anymore now that they are a competitor, so they won’t sign another deal like that. If Apple doesn’t approve of the app store Gmaps just because they are resented, I agree, but if they eventually let it go, everyone wins.

    This.

    How come you say it’s all Apples fault when it seems like it’s more Googles fault.

    Also… google maps is not THAT good. I recently went to Rome and used google maps to tru and find restaurants and google didnt know in which end of the street I should go, it just guided me to a completely wrong house number. Some pretty basic stuff I would say.

  • Nick Hansen

    I understand that it was a bad move to not make another deal with Google to have the Youtube and Google Maps apps preinstalled in io6, but to infer that the war between Apple and Microsoft and Apple and Google are the same, or even near that, is wrong. Apple was against Microsoft because they believed Microsoft had taken there user interface. Apple is currently against Google the way that it is because Steve Jobs took the co-creators of Google under his wing to help them with their business. Larry Page then saw the iPhone in creation and went back to Google and started work on his version. Google released their own version within 9 months of the iPhone. Steve Jobs then kept the iPad away from Page, they are now far behind in the tablet market, especially compared to where they are in smartphones.

    Do not try to pretend these wars are the same. They aren’t.

  • jaybee

    Apple was against Microsoft because they believed Microsoft had taken there user interface. Apple is currently against Google the way that it is because Steve Jobs took the co-creators of Google under his wing to help them with their business. Larry Page then saw the iPhone in creation and went back to Google and started work on his version.

    The way you put it sounds pretty similar to me, i.e, Jobs was pissed at Microsoft for ‘stealing’ ideas, Jobs was pissed at Google for ‘stealing’ ideas.

  • extra_medium

    If any of you had an employee who turned in a project like this, expecting to be paid, how many of you would say “oh it’ OK. He’ll eventually get it right, as he continues to use the unlimited resources I provide him. Actually, you know what? it’s a good thing he trashed the perfectly good product that we had been using. “

  • plaztiksoundz

    This is why you guys are called sheep. Apple makes a less than perfect decision and everyone starts covering for them. Mike didnt say G+ was better…. You guys wanted to see that so you did. He asked why it was left out…. And noted that it is growing rapidly. You guys are so blinded by Apple BS you cant see past your own noses.

    Missing a big part of his comment, also shows how blind YOU are! Or did you just miss THIS part?

    “And more importantly, Google+ has a vastly superior user experience to Facebook and has a much brighter longterm future, in my opinion.”

    Isn’t that saying that Google+ is better? Stop being Mike’s PR and trying to spin it as a politician…

    No one is saying Apple Maps is vastly superior to Google Maps, or that it is superior at all. What we are saying is that it’s normal for a service that just launched, to be behind of a service that has an 8 year head start (and that was also crap when launched, although most people seem to have forgotten that). So everyone is blowing everything out of proportion.

    I can also think of much better names for a person who does not think before they speak or act, but I’ll just choose not to pin them on you, because NAME CALLING, is the action of someone who does not think before they speak or act…

  • extra_medium
    And this time Steve cant some back to save the day.

    oh yeah here comes the whole “Steve wouldn’t” crew.

    Funny thing is, Steve did. This wasn’t an over night thing that started up after he died. Apple started the maps, the facebook integration etc years ago.

    The question isn’t whether Steve would have tried to develop their own mapping software. The question is if Steve would have released it to the public in its current state. This is not even close to the standard they supposedly set for themselves. This is a few guys in a basement, public beta release. This is apple thinking they can do no wrong. Enough “wrong” like this and they cease to be the apple we know and love and just become another tech company obsessed with patents and crushing competition. What made them successful has been overlooking much of that in order to give the consumer the ultimate experience. That’s what the article very effectively states.

  • extra_medium

    It is just a matter that people have to get used to it after some years they stuck with Google Maps. I know that Apple Maps lacks of details that google has, but I trust over the time, it will get better and better.

    Uh huh, but it’s on my phone NOW. Why should I have to deal with it while they try to get it right? That should have been done before they hyped turn by turn as revolutionary and gotten rid of a working product that google took nearly a decade developing and refining.

  • Steven King

    To say that Google Maps on iOS was “excellent” is a bit misleading.
    The app has been in my “Trash” folder since I got my iPhone 2 years ago.
    (Because I couldn`t delete it)

    Google maps on iOS was so inadequate I had to download a third party app just to get navigation.

    Google intentionally left much of the abilities it`s mapping systems are capable of out of Maps for iOS, if Apple didn`t make a change they never would have gotten a decent navigation app out

    Just compare what Google maps on Android was capable of compared to Google Maps on iOS.

    The descriptive “Excellent” is intentionally misleading when describing Google Maps on iOS

  • Jack Modelia

    Agreed that Apple Maps with an Apple back end is terrible and needs a few more years of development before even being close to replace Apple Maps with a Google back end. Apple should have spent more time integrating the TomTom data and/or gone to Navteq data which is quite comprehensive — the fact that Nokia owns them isn’t an issue since heck Apple could buy Nokia for $12-15 billion if they wanted. They could have had a plan B that kept the original app and introduced a navigation only app using their data. Who knows? There has to have been other short term ideas.

    However, I don’t think that this is solely an attempt to screw Google as you make out. Google is probably happy that they can now put out a youtube app of their own that can show ads and provide more features than the previous integrated one. Supposedly, if the new app is installed, links open it it, so as far as youtube is concerned, Apple gets out of that app development and hands it back to Google. Oh, and you can still upload video directly from the camera roll so it is still somewhat integrated in the OS. Now if only Google would create an iPad verson and also fix the bugs in the iPhone version, things would be fine.

    As for maps, how quickly we forget, if past articles are correct, that it was Google who wanted to keep turn-by-turn and other features of their map solution exclusive to Android. If you were Apple, you do not want to leave a core smartphone functionality to the whims of a smartphone OS competitor. Hence, Apple started acquiring map companies and started acting as the middlemen for geo location data on its users. If Google would have kept Android development completely separate from its services side (which is what ultimately makes it money), this might have not turned out this way, this quickly. Yes, we all know of the thermonuclear quote in the Jobs biography, but is that any different than negative stuff directed at Microsoft over the years. That did not stop Apple from coming to a detente with them.

  • Shane Bryson

    “Meanwhile, Google+ is the Google Maps of social networks. Although Google+ may have as little as 10% of the active users of Facebook, it’s growing faster than Facebook ever did. And more importantly, Google+ has a vastly superior user experience to Facebook and has a much brighter longterm future, in my opinion.”

    Ok, how wrong could this statement be? Google Maps is at the top of it’s game, yes. But saying that Google+ is the Google Maps of social networking? No. Google+ is FAR from the top of it’s game. Vastly superior user experience? I’m a user, my friends are users. I and they, hate Google+. It’s a wasteland of people who tried it, hated it, and abandoned it. Google+ looks and feels like a 3rd grader designed it.

    “Google Maps was since the beginning part of the seamless, powerful, ultra-functional, hyper-competent lineup of solid apps that made the iPhone experience so good.
    And then Apple replaced it with a piece of crap.”

    I think people are forgetting just how BAD Google Maps was just a few years ago. I used it to deliver Chinese food on both an Android phone and an iPhone. On the Android phone, where it should have been AMAZING considering that it was on it’s home turf, it more often than not got things very wrong. Right now, it still has my house listed as being about 3 miles from where it actually is. 3 MILES! Apple’s Maps app is very young. Very new. And if you look at Google Maps when it was this young and new, it was by far, a much more terrible and fragmented experience than Apple’s Maps. So piece of crap? No I am sorry, but you are terribly wrong and unfair in that assessment. Apple’s Maps needs time to mature and grow before we make judgements of that nature. I openly admit that Google Maps is the better option and a much more intuitive choice, but Apple’s Maps, given time, will be a very worthy opponent.

    Is this more about hurting Google than helping iOS customers? No. It’s about Apple becoming less dependent on it’s competitor by making it’s own product that will end up being either as or more beneficial to it’s customers than Google’s solution. Apple is a business, so trying to get away from using the competition while at the same time offering a very valuabe product to it’s customers is Apple’s job. I think they are doing it very well.

  • Shane Bryson

    The original deal with Google lasted five years for their bundled apps Youtube, and Google Maps. In those five years Apple went to build their own maps because they knew it would be over by then. Google’s new Youtube app is leaps better than what came before, and Gmaps is pending approval in the app store right now.

    The 5 year deal rumor is about as invalid and untrue as the deal that supposedly existed with At&t for US exclusivity. It just isn’t true. Also, Google Maps is not pending approval for the App Store right now. Google actually made a statement about it. It doesn’t exist yet but may in the future.

  • Shane Bryson
    I read for two solid days people freaking out about maps and looking at the horrible pictures. Then I got my new iPhone 5 and used it. Nothing at all like all the hype. Turn by turn worked perfectly, found addresses and was beautiful and easy to use. Not to say it doesn’t have its drawbacks and many ways that it is inferior to google maps. But it will grow and get better, to describe it as crapware is honestly a bit insane. Half of the shots of how awful it is, come from people taking screen shots before it even loads the data. People love to hop on the anti-Apple bandwagon just like the stupid antenna gate that everyone forgot about in a month. As for Google+ that is plain ridiculous. Everyone uses facebook for everything and I have one friend that posts ANYTHING on Google+ ever. It’s a graveyard and not worth integrating into iOS.

    You are only thinking about yourself and where you live, is everyone else lying? Do you have proof that the screenshots are before the data is loaded? I’d like to see it. Apple is not perfect, they can make mistakes, everyone does.

    Why would an Apple site hop on an Anti-Apple bandwagon? Ever hear of objective reporting instead of “yellow journalism”?

    This is not objective reporting. This guy also writes for Cult of Android and is very open about his LOVE for Google+. He loves Google and it shows so obviously in this article. And as for proof, just take a look at the screen shots our friend here is referring to. It’s obvious.

  • Harvey Lubin

    “Apple’s Obsession with Google Is Hurting Apple”???

    Mike, if you took a thief who stole your property to court, and that thief was found guilty by the court, would you say that the result hurt you, or did it hurt the thief? (Rhetorical question)

    And regarding this overblown reaction to Apple’s Maps app:

    If anyone believes that Google Maps is perfect, and doesn’t have any flaws in it too, they need to wake up.

    It’s just as easy to find bizarrely wrong information in Google Maps. See:
    http://counternotions.com/2012/09/21/applemaps/

    The difference is that this is version 1.0 for Apple Maps, and Google Maps has had 10 years to sort out those errors (which are still there).

    And like many other iOS 6 users, I haven’t yet come across any errors in markers or routing in Apple Maps.

    Apple has made a promise to correct any errors as quickly as possible. We haven’t heard a similar promise from Google about its Maps errors. :-D

  • aardman

    Can Apple rely forever on Google to provide the mapping function for iOS? The answer is NO! for so many reasons, starting with you don’t rely on a direct competitor to provide a key component of your product, especially a competitor that has stabbed you in the back before. Apple had no choice but to kick Google maps out and the sooner the better. Otherwise Google’s ability to undermine iOS competitiveness or extract onerous licensing fees from Apple will just keep growing.

    So no, your analysis of Google obsession is off the mark. It is a strategic imperative that Apple stop relying on Google for such an important feature. The cost is some very unhappy customers and would-be customers but Apple has to bite the bullet. Apple maps will get better in time and this whole hullaballoo will appear so trivial.

  • Karolis Makrickas

    „Apple“ will add Google+ to iPhone, when G+ will have more thant 10 users :) And for maps – they better than Google maps. And if you want Street View, just search for “Live Street View”. Only stupid people complain about Apple Maps :)

  • aardman

    This is why you guys are called sheep. . . You guys should be happy to be called sheep, I can think of much better names for a person who does not think before he acts or speaks.

    Hey Tyler. Look at the name of the website. “Cult of Mac” Why the hell are you so indignant that a lot of the posters here are “sheep” as you say. Do you come here just so you can insult them and feel better about yourself?

  • aardman

    This is why you guys are called sheep. . . You guys should be happy to be called sheep, I can think of much better names for a person who does not think before he acts or speaks.

    Hey Tyler. Look at the name of the website. “Cult of Mac” Why the hell are you so indignant that a lot of the posters here are “sheep” as you say. Do you come here just so you can insult them and feel better about yourself?

  • Tallest_Skil

    Hey Tyler. Look at the name of the website. “Cult of Mac” Why the hell are you so indignant that a lot of the posters here are “sheep” as you say. Do you come here just so you can insult them and feel better about yourself?

    Posters here can say whatever they want about Apple, even if they say nothing but lies intended to purposely damage Apple’s reputation in multiple regards. They cannot and will not be punished for it.

    Look at ddevito, for example.

  • kavi
    The original deal with Google lasted five years for their bundled apps Youtube, and Google Maps. In those five years Apple went to build their own maps because they knew it would be over by then. Google’s new Youtube app is leaps better than what came before, and Gmaps is pending approval in the app store right now. The deal gave Apple, not Google, control over the apps. I don’t think Google wants to give control anymore now that they are a competitor, so they won’t sign another deal like that. If Apple doesn’t approve of the app store Gmaps just because they are resented, I agree, but if they eventually let it go, everyone wins.

    This.

    How come you say it’s all Apples fault when it seems like it’s more Googles fault.

    Also… google maps is not THAT good. I recently went to Rome and used google maps to tru and find restaurants and google didnt know in which end of the street I should go, it just guided me to a completely wrong house number. Some pretty basic stuff I would say.

    Here comes another sheep, bhaaah…
    Just face the fact u idiot. Apple did mistake and u guys are arguing its good step. Insane people…

  • Brian Meola

    This article is ridiculous. So many flaws in logic and lack of truth or knowledge, I don’t even know how you’re allowed to write these articles.

    1. Yes, Apple maps are way buggy. But it hasn’t even been out for a WEEK lol. How do you expect them to get it right without ever releasing it?? And it’s better than the old apps in many ways. Baked in turn by turn is a huge plus. And the vector based maps are so much better than what Google does. My biggest problem with google maps was needing to reload every time you pinch to zoom. Do this on a slow connection and its extremely frustrating. Apple’s take on maps is gorgeous and the user experience is slick. No arguing with that. The data isn’t up to par, but they can’t refine it without RELEASING it first lol. The ONE thing that actually fits into your logic (and you didn’t even freaking mention lmao) is that they ditched Google search for Yelp. That’s weak! They didn’t need to do that, and it hurts the user experience without a doubt. But other than that, 99% of cases where maps are messed up exist in the satellite view, which is not required to get where you’re tryin to go. As far as incorrect data that would actually get you lost, if this hasn’t happened to you with Google maps, then you don’t actually use Google maps. And several hilarious examples have surfaced since all this mapping hoopla got started. My favorite was Google telling you to drive thru water, onto an island, then back to mainland in the middle of a route. NEXT!

    2. Facebook is a bad choice?? Almost everything you speculated in the old article you wrote turned out to be completely false! But you decided to link to your BS false speculation anyway lmao! And the fact is that Facebook IS the industry standard. Facebook integration was one of the most requested features of iOS. Suggesting that they should’ve integrated Google+ instead is a self-serving request and borderline retarded! Which brings me to…

    3. Google+ doesn’t even have an API to integrate their services stupid! And if they did, how many users would even care?? Google+ is a barren wasteland! Yea, if you’re a public figure then people will flock to you an fill the void in your empty circles. And if you’re a 24/7 tech geek that live and breathes it everyday along with everyone you know, then yea… Google+ rocks! But normal people don’t use it yet, and you know it. Lets not pretend Apple is hurting their users because they haven’t personally catered to you and your little circle. Come on.

    4. YouTube got the boot because their mutual contract expired and neither one of ten even attempted to renew it. And why should they? Which brings me to my final point…

    5. Relax fanboy, Google isn’t going anywhere! Google has more apps on iOS than most developers. They released their own YouTube app, and they’re releasing their own maps app. All Google’s apps are now Google’s responsibility. And that is GOOD for users, because Apple’s development of these apps were subpar compared to Google’s versions. Hell, Google’s WEB APP versions of these were better! Google doing their own development for THEIR apps is BETTER, not worse. And let’s not take the “it’s not baked in” stance. Almost no apps are baked in, and they work fantastically. Plenty of streaming video services exist and thrive without being baked in. Plenty of navigation apps. Navigon is AWESOME. Not baked in. And people get tons of use out of it. I don’t know what you think is going to happen. You think people without YouTube preinstalled are just going to stuck with a blank stare when they want to watch a video?? Or are they going to click on a YouTube link or go to YouTube.com and be prompted to download the app or save the web app to the home screen? You think people are total idiots??

  • Brian Meola
    I read for two solid days people freaking out about maps and looking at the horrible pictures. Then I got my new iPhone 5 and used it. Nothing at all like all the hype. Turn by turn worked perfectly, found addresses and was beautiful and easy to use. Not to say it doesn’t have its drawbacks and many ways that it is inferior to google maps. But it will grow and get better, to describe it as crapware is honestly a bit insane. Half of the shots of how awful it is, come from people taking screen shots before it even loads the data. People love to hop on the anti-Apple bandwagon just like the stupid antenna gate that everyone forgot about in a month. As for Google+ that is plain ridiculous. Everyone uses facebook for everything and I have one friend that posts ANYTHING on Google+ ever. It’s a graveyard and not worth integrating into iOS.

    You are only thinking about yourself and where you live, is everyone else lying? Do you have proof that the screenshots are before the data is loaded? I’d like to see it. Apple is not perfect, they can make mistakes, everyone does.

    Why would an Apple site hop on an Anti-Apple bandwagon? Ever hear of objective reporting instead of “yellow journalism”?

    Actually, I can verify that some of the 3D maps look like the screenshots going around until the data loads, or goes away after a refresh. I don’t know if that’s always the case tho. Apple Maps is far from perfect.

    The site isn’t anti-apple. The author has an idiotic opinion. One type of Apple fan is the person that always complains, always says they know what apple should do, is usually wrong, and buys all Apple’s stuff anyway. Also, this guy hates Facebook and is a Google+ fanboy. It’s not objective reporting at all.

  • John Johnson

    It is just so embarrassing. Apple knew this was going to be a fiasco and chose to go ahead anyway. Scott Forstall actually stood on the stage and said the maps were “simply beautiful and amazing!” The shill sold ‘em alright as they applauded and cheered! Frankly I would have said. “We are proud to bring you our first map app. It is a great start but we are going to need your help to make it great! We are new to mapping and it can only get better!” Honesty and humbleness trumps lies and arrogance every time. At least for those who aren’t sheep.

  • bishop341b

    Mike, your article is on point. Apple has a history dating much farther back than the iPhone, iMac, iAnything. They would be wise to remember the mistakes of the past when making decisions today.

    Apple has been on the brink of collapse (does the name Gil Amelio send chills down your spine?) and seen a meteoric rise to the top of the world. What goes up, must come down, and Apple is no exception. The question is, where will Apple finally settle when all of the hooplah and magic fade?

    I’ve been a proud Mac Advocate since the SE/30, Oscar the Grouch, and Dark Castle. It’s been a great ride through the worst of times as well as seeing my underdog rise to the top.

  • Len Williams

    Mike, your argument that Apple is fixated on Google is off base at best. If anything, facts would indicate that Apple has been fixated on Samsung and their obsessive copying tactics. Apple is doing just fine right now. With their stock price at over $700 per share and yet another iPhone which is selling in the millions of units per day, they don’t have a lot to be concerned about. Apple always puts users first! This is what has made them the most valuable company in the world. Apple didn’t drop Google Maps for spite. The dropped it because Google REFUSED to let them license turn-by-turn directions. What would you do if your key competitor had you in a stranglehold like this? The answer is simple: Develop your own map app. Yes, it’s got some obvious bugs right now that definitely need fixing asap, but it doesn’t mean this situation will continue like this forever. For 23 years since I bought my first Mac SE30, Apple has consistently delivered excellent products and service. This is a small bump in the road (pun intended) that will get smoothed out very quickly. Don’t blow it out of proportion by saying Apple doesn’t care about its users, as this is patently false.

  • Tallest_Skil

    It is just so embarrassing. Apple knew this was going to be a fiasco and chose to go ahead anyway.

    What are you, an idiot? How does this sentence make any sort of sense whatsoever? How stupid do you have to be to think that these words can be put together like this without a logical fallacy occurring?

  • afitnerd

    I am baffled by all the teeth gnashing over the new Maps App and the lamenting of the loss of the Google Maps App. The Google Maps app was seriously lacking on iPhone. No turn-by-turn directions and no real integration with the iphone experience. The Google Maps app is (and has been for some time) far more advanced on Android. While the Apple Maps app is seriously flawed, the integration with Siri and the rest of the iPhone experience is no joke. http://afitnerd.com/2012/09/23/settle-down-ios-6-maps-haters/

  • Interesting stuff

    Greatarticle – good food for thought and discussion. Thank you.
    I find the discussions here at Cult to be really helpful.

    I like Apple products, but I think that by constructive criticism things get better.

    I’m glad that the ‘Apple can’t do anything wrong, is right even when its wrong, and its products must de facto always be perfect‘ is not the only view posted here.

  • stephenminton

    surely it’s time for Google to drop its obsession with Apple, Facebook and Microsoft and start putting its users first.

  • Skywaytraffic

    Whoa. To be fair, the Youtube app has always been complete and utter garbage.

  • Matt Altepeter

    The only reason Google Maps was pulled was because Google wouldn’t allow Apple to use turn by turn directions, which is the best part to any mapping software. Google was only allowing that to be used in Android devices. So iOS users were forced to download a separate app for that.

  • seventhson74

    Normally I would let it slide but I have a problem with the fact that you wrote “and were throwing all kinds of spaghetti against the wall to see what would stick” and a few lines later wrote “even though most of the positioning was just a bullshit series of lies”. If your gonna swear then you shouldn’t be using ‘spaghetti’ as the object being thrown in the first statement. Kinda makes you sound silly….

  • cyclonus7

    If you know anything at all about Apple then you know that Apple always seeks to own its key technologies. At some point within the last three years they determined that mapping and location data were key technologies that they needed to own. Steve Jobs felt so strongly about this that he Initiated the mapping project and took the first mapping team at Apple and located them wet outside of his office. This was a project near and dear to his heart so to insinuate that Steve Jobs would’ve done it any differently you are demonstrating a clear lack of understanding around this company and how it works.

    Despite what you and the other bloggers would like us all to believe, Apple maps actually works quite well for most of us. Almost all of the examples given during the hysterical first 12 hours of release have been corrected. In terms of usability and user experience, this maps app is simply Apple on top of its game. Scattered data issues aside, this is really a very good version 1 release.

    The mapping tiles are vector graphics drawn on the device versus downloading bitmapped tiles. This makes for a fast and fluid user experience, especially when compared to the old maps app. I can tell you firsthand that turn by turn navigation works almost flawlessly as someone who’s used it almost every day since June. I can’t even think of one time where it’s let me down. The 3-D mapping gives users far more insight into the surrounding area of a destination location than Street View ever could. On top of that, the yelp integration works really well as a tool to help users better understand their destination including photos and reviews.

    All of these things were done by Apple not as a way to get at Google but as a means to provide what they felt was the best maps experience for its customers. Your article has absolutely no merit whatsoever.

  • cyclonus7

    The reality here, as was the case with “antennagate”, is that most people outside of the echo chamber don’t care.

  • Roadkill

    This is why you guys are called sheep. [...] They gave you the bear minimum and you bow to them for it [...] You guys should be happy to be called sheep, I can think of much better names for a person who does not think before he acts or speaks.

    Gee thanks Tyler.

    I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. Somebody who doesn’t know the difference between “bear” and “bare” shouldn’t go around calling others names. You should probably stay out of the woods too!

  • Roadkill
    I read for two solid days people freaking out about maps and looking at the horrible pictures. Then I got my new iPhone 5 and used it. Nothing at all like all the hype. Turn by turn worked perfectly, found addresses and was beautiful and easy to use. Not to say it doesn’t have its drawbacks and many ways that it is inferior to google maps. But it will grow and get better, to describe it as crapware is honestly a bit insane. Half of the shots of how awful it is, come from people taking screen shots before it even loads the data. People love to hop on the anti-Apple bandwagon just like the stupid antenna gate that everyone forgot about in a month. As for Google+ that is plain ridiculous. Everyone uses facebook for everything and I have one friend that posts ANYTHING on Google+ ever. It’s a graveyard and not worth integrating into iOS.

    You are only thinking about yourself and where you live, is everyone else lying? Do you have proof that the screenshots are before the data is loaded? I’d like to see it. Apple is not perfect, they can make mistakes, everyone does.

    Why would an Apple site hop on an Anti-Apple bandwagon? Ever hear of objective reporting instead of “yellow journalism”?

    Nobody is saying anyone is lying. Each individual, as far as I know, speaks for himself and nobody else when he speaks about his experience with Apple Maps. That goes for those who like the app as well as those who don’t.

    So don’t come on here accusing anyone of narrow mindedness.

    My personal experience with Maps has been very positive. The interaction speed, the graphics and text labels are way better than the old Apple app using Google Maps data and way more up to date in my area. The Google Maps “satellite” and Street View data for my neighborhood was more than four years old and a search for my zip code landed me in the middle of a field three miles from here. Apple maps Flyover data for the same neighborhood is less than one year old and Apple Maps located my house to within 50 feet of actual location.

    In my opinion, not only does Flyover kick the snot out of Street View visually but it will be much less expensive and time consuming to update since it relies on aerial photography instead of street level photography. Apple’s data supplier also appears to have done a much better job than Google of removing people, personal identifiers and stuff like power lines from their images.

    All in all, the app works very well where the data is available. What’s lacking is data at the moment, and I don’t expect it to take very much time for Apple to fill the blanks and correct the mistakes.

  • gkinchina

    I upgraded my iPhone4 to IOS6 and after using the maps, have decided to postpone the purchase of my iPhone5 until there is one that has a decent maps application that works outside of the USA. A Google Maps app maybe.

    How can a company be so arrogant, expecting us customers to crowd source map data for them for the next few years while they play catchup to Google? In the meanwhile, we lose time and money because there are no map options that work well outside the USA except Google Maps, and Apple will not even give us the option of reverting to the old map app that worked! The new app can’t find any place, can’t route anything and has no public transport either. It is completely useless outside the USA as its map data is either absent or wrong.

    I advice my friends now that until there is a working, usable Map application on IOS6, either from Apple (with Google Maps Data) or from Google, don’t upgrade to IOS6. It’s a one way street. And don’t buy the iPhone 5 either until then.

  • Jan Willhaus

    “Apple is doomed”

  • John E. Bredehoft

    A little obsession is a good thing.

    In its early years, Apple obsessed about IBM’s entry into the computer market (the “Welcome IBM Seriously” full page ad is not necessarily a sound business decision), and ended up producing an anti-IBM product that has affecting computing ever since. Pepsi (a key part of the Apple story) obsessed about Coca-Cola and achieved significant gains as a result.

    The problem occurs when the obsession goes too far. Achieving a key goal (largest share of the sugared water market/creating a groundbreaking computer) is one thing, but pursuing a personal vendetta deathbed wish is, in the long run, counterproductive.

    Alternatively, if Apple had set a goal of creating an industry-transforming navigation application (rather than setting a goal of kicking a competitor out), perhaps this story would have been different.

  • vaspersthegrate

    Brian Meoloa said “How do you expect them to get it right without ever releasing it?? ”

    How can Apple get maps right without releasing it? Well, have you ever heard of usability testing? This “improve it by releasing it” reminds me of Nancy Pelosi saying “we won’t know what’s in the Obamacare bill until we pass it” or the rush to market “Don’t Worry Be Crappy” mentality. Get your buggy product out there, and let the users be free, unpaid glitch fixers. What a stupid way to treat customers.

  • technochick

    Well, have you ever heard of usability testing? .

    So you demand that Apple do vast testing on every one of the literal billions of possibilities to iron out every possible problem before they release anything.

    in other words, we won’t see anything new released for the next 50 years since it would take that long for them to do such tests.

    Meanwhile every other company will release ‘half baked’ products (including Google who spent the last 10 years or so refining their Maps etc) and using customers as the testers without anyone thinking anything about it. Because they aren’t Apple

    And this is hardly the same as a legal bill which has to be written out in full and available for them to read, under the rules of the game, before they vote on it. but nice try at some hyperbole. Mike would be proud

  • technochick

    The reality here, as was the case with “antennagate”, is that most people outside of the echo chamber don’t care.

    More like the reality is that every so called “major problem” wasn’t really all that major and if it were any other company would be brushed off as ‘well it’s brand new, they will fix it’ but since it’s Apple it’s thoroughly unacceptable, time to sue etc

  • technochick

    How can a company be so arrogant, expecting us customers to crowd source map data for them for the next few years while they play catchup to Google?

    How do you think Google got their maps so perfect? Yep they did the bulk of it by crowdsourcing.

    oh and there’s still the google maps website. If they have your country blocked for some inane reason that’s not Apple’s fault.

    Not to mention that Apple was buying map companies as far back as 3 years ago. Google should have seen this coming and been working on their maps app well before this. That they didn’t is NOT Apple’s fault

  • technochick

    I am holding off the upgrade until Apple allows googlemaps back in business. Nothing was wrong with that app at all. I don’t understand what is the big deal.

    Try going and reading more than Mike’s inane hyperbolic and often misinformed rants and you have a shot at actually understanding what the ‘deal’ is.

  • technochick

    The solution is easy.

    Dump your iPhone/ipad and go buy Android. Then you can have your perfect maps.

    THAT is what I wish Tim Cook had said in that letter. Better yet, a nice video pointing out that folks are comparing a week old infant to a 20 something year old. So yeah it can’t do as much but it will grow and get better. Point out that folks need to stop reading the same blogs full of their overblown hyped up rumors meant to get page hits but totally off base in terms of what a realistic expectation is. Point out that every tech product by every company has issues when it’s only a week old and stop acting like Apple is anything different.

    And if they still want to hate, then shut up and go buy something else. No one is forcing them to spend their money with Apple

About the author

Mike ElganMike Elgan writes about technology and culture for a wide variety of publications. Follow Mike on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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