#193 Apple Maps vs Google Maps

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Apple iPhone 5 – nightmare of maps and easy to scratch Aluminum

When people rant online that Apple is dead because its visionary leader, Steve Jobs, is gone, I am more inclined to agree, the more I see the iPhone 5. It looks like the iPhone 5 is a severely flawed product, which proves superior in benchmarks, but inferior in build quality.

Some say that Apple has their days numbered. They may be right. The lack of innovation and the starved attack by litigation seems to show how Apple is running out of ideas. The new iPhone 5 is like an iPhone 4 but stretched upward, thereby making it thinner and taller.

I don’t wish to bash Apple and their brain child. They really revolutionized the smartphone world. Only a fool won’t admit that. The only problem is, they seem to have stopped there, but still claim to be the best in the world. They’re pretty arrogant about it, too.

Apple seems to take pride in patting themselves too much in the back and lying through their teeth. Granted, their new Apple Maps are certainly the most beautiful I have seen for certain cities that support the Flyover effect. It certainly is a lot of eye candy. The problem is Apple once again prioritized form over function in their iOS maps.

After all, you view the world from the ground up, not from the air, unless you live the life of a pilot, which I am sure does not account for more than 1% of the iPhone loving population. I would take street view any day over useless eye candy. The new iOS maps have already been proven by the internet as a huge failure at launch. It misplaces, misspells, and distorts a lot of locations in the world.

Sure, the new iOS maps have turn by turn navigation, which they didn’t allow Google to port on the previous iOS maps. Still, the new navigation software is likely to ask you to jump off a bridge like what their new app icon suggests. The new icon is another flaw in design, which would never have happened if the perfectionist Steve Jobs was still around.

When it comes to the new features of iOS, the slogan “it just works” no longer applies. Apple has shown that they are all bark when it comes to their “most attractive features” such as the initial release of Siri and the now, the initial release of the new iOS Maps. There are certainly a lot of features in iOS that still work, like their panoramic mode and Air Play, but their leading features sure need some work.

Apple has taken pride in their goal to “marry” hardware and software. It looks like there is a lot of work to be done with software these days, but their hardware has also take a turn for the worse.

Previously, your main worry about the iPhone 4 was that it was built with glass on both the front and the back. Shattering is fairly common and easy to happen. It was so bad, that the iPhone 4 almost always had to have a bumper or case just so that it could maintain a sense of security from faulty handling or mishaps.

With the move to an Aluminum backing and minimum glass, which just covers the upper and lower portion of the phone’s back, you have two things to worry about. One is that the glass can still shatter. The other is that Aluminum is a fairly soft and easy to scratch material. It certainly looks like Apple’s new iPhone will be both a smash and scratch magnet.

It is so easy to damage that the new iPhone 5 came out of the box with scratches and damage already present. Several users even saw how easy it was to peel off the color from the black iPhone 5 with just normal use.

As of this writing, 36.18% of users in a poll being conducted by Macrumors indicate that their shiny new iPhone came with a bit of scuffing, while 9.73% said their device was easily scuffed early after unboxing the unit.

The definition of “premium” may vary from person to person, but for such an expensive device, and this easy to wear down, coupled with lack of vision and quality of the software, it makes you think that Apple is no longer the premium smartphone provider they market themselves to be.

What’s your take on the matter?

Image sources: tumbler.com, mactalk.com, geek.com, apple.com

iOS6 brings more for the iPad to do

No one will argue against the notion that Apple ‘s iPad revolutionized the tablet. Sure, it has existed before in other mediums, but no one has been able to perfect the business model and practicality of the tablet market until this bad boy arrived. Soon after, the other manufacturers began to create their own version of the tablet, and brought to life by the Android operating system. Android may not admit to it, but they were able to capitalize on what to do right in the tablet space, by looking at the things that the iPad did right.

The best thing about the rivalry between Apple ‘s iPad and Android ‘s tablet horde, is the proliferation of innovation by making sure they try to outshine each other. Apple just recently announced the many changes that they have planned for the iOS6 and its advantages for the iPad line. Will these changes be groundbreaking for you or will this be another ‘meh’ moment?

One of the most notable changes in the new iOS6 is the ability of iPhones to finally use Facetime over the cellular network. This ability also extends to the iPad line. If you were to look into the forums, this function has been greatly requested by a lot a of people. They just don’t see the point of video calling on a mobile device while being chained to a Wi-fi service. It’s a great thing that Apple finally saw this, too.

The rumored Apple version of Maps for both the iPhone and iPad has now officially been released as well. This seeks to beat Google at their own game, while adding their own flavor to the fray. Siri is making a comeback and an entrance to the iPad niche, and she now knows better how to get you to places. Android can’t tout anymore that they are the only device that provides an integrated turn by turn navigation. I can almost feel the heat of the flame wars regarding “patents” and “copying” from each other. While the Maps software is refreshing to finally have on a Apple device, they may want to reconsider their stand against copying ideas. Not everything is as detailed as Google’s extensive database yet, but that can follow with the next update. Rome was not built in a single conquest after all. Needless to say, having a huge-ass GPS system with you all the time is something worth looking at, especially with the new iPad’s retina display.

Android tablets pride themselves with being a powerful device, worthy of replacing your laptop. They have a full powered browser that is not as limited and closed off as the Safari browser in iOS. That may soon change, as Safari’s interaction to the web becomes more advanced, allowing easier uploads of photos and videos directly from the browser. There is still no flash player, mind you, so that full desktop experience is still quite far off compared to Android tablets. Still, they are addressing an issue, which is a wink to the right direction.

Have you ever seen those Sci-fi films where you are able to throw work into different screens for easier management? Desktop PC’s are able to do that to an extent by generating extended desktops across screens. This would of course mean that there is only one CPU and a bunch of monitors connected to it.

What people are hoping for, are scenarios where different individual devices are able to share a single job, or display a part of the whole while working together. This would be a real world equivalent to a large table full of paperwork, and several people working on that table. The iPad would serve as your workspace, and transferring work from one side of the ‘table’ to the other would become seamless or simply easy. No, this is not the reality that iOS6 will bring out, but its a start.

Overall, the ‘innovations’ of the iOS6 would seem like an answer to people’s complaints, save for the Maps. Siri has been around, they simply ported her over to a larger screen, and Facetime has been requested for quite some time now. At least, people will stay happy with their chosen device because it did more of what they requested, with shiny new versions of what they previously had.  Sad to say that this year’s release doesn’t really bring something incredibly innovative unlike the previous years. Instead, they look like they ‘copied’ more than ‘innovated’ this year. Regardless, it’s an update worth looking out for.

Image sources: informationweek.com, lifehacker.com, electricpig.co.uk

Google vs Apple: Fate of two worlds

Apple and Google have been best buddies in the past. They shared CEOs and shared ideas throughout the development and growth of Apple. Now, they are more like bitter enemies in the smartphone wars. Each had a different approach, but continues to monitor each other for ways to topple each other’s works.

Despite the growing disdain for each other, Apple has yet to fully remove the trace of Google in their popular iOS devices, such as the iPhone. One can argue that one does not simply remove Google from the picture.

Google is the host to a large portion of the world’s internet needs. They provide news, a rocking search engine, powerful mapping software, an ever useful online document application that has now evolved to Google Drive – a cloud storage solution, an integrated calendar, and a host of other services, such as YouTube, and the new social media service, Google+. The fact is people rely on Google for just about anything internet-related, as well as non internet related needs.

Apple needed Google to provide these services to their phones and tablets so that users may connect to the internet as conveniently as they would on a computer. When Apple acquired C3 Technologies last year, everyone had one thought in mind. They were about to wipe Google Maps from the equation in the next releases of iOS. This has now come to fruition as Apple announced that they are going to present new mapping software by June 11 this year that will solidify their battle against Google by controlling their own mapping software, according to the reports from Wall Street Journal.

Google and Apple will now begin a battle of how they view and represent the world to their customers worldwide. Google was ahead of the curve for a very long time regarding mapping. In fact, the Google Maps integration in Android was one of the greatest selling points of the software. I have often relied on Google Maps to help me get to where I wanted to be. It provided great turn by turn navigation and map accuracy that they have developed and refined for many years with its growing database, including the addition of street view images. Google Maps, in many ways, have a clear advantage in this race. Apple really needs to make sure their mapping software is well up to speed once they release it.

The thing is, Apple may just have a few things under their sleeves that may just oust Google maps from Apple’s loyal fans’ minds. C3 Technologies developed a mapping software that is no pushover. It was labeled as “mind-blowing” as they have developed a 3D mapping experience that is sure to wow anyone. This is what everyone believes to be what Apple will put on the table by June 11. If the Apple map proves to be accurate and as useful as Google maps, plus the amazing 3D mapping tech from C3, Apple may just succeed in providing a worthy mobile competitor to Google’s mapping software.

C3’s 3D rendition of a Las Vegas strip

That is to say, if Google will just sit by and do nothing against this new threat. Google has always been on the lookout for Apple’s moves against them. They plan to play mind games against the tech giant by announcing their own improvements to their own mapping software just days before Apple presents theirs. Many speculate that Google will present their own 3D mapping solution in response to this new threat.

Will Google overshadow Apple’s announcement and maintain supremacy? Or will Apple start it all over again and take one more leap over the competition?

Image Sources: foxnews.com, geo21.co.uk, valuewalk.com,9to5mac