Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tim Cook offers an Apology for iOS 6s Maps

Apple made a mistake ere but what's most bothersome is that the whole thing is stupid-- this could have easily been avoided.

We know that Apple had pushed Google to provide the necessary data for voice-guided navigation, and that Google declined (All Things D), which makes sense because why would you gove your key differentiator to a competing platform-- especially when Jellybean just about caught up in terms of UI/UX? No San leadership would do that.

Still, this lack of agreement on turn-by-turn data meant that Apple had a few options--

1. Pull a software coup and, just like they do with hardware, assemble a magical experience with pieces from disparate vendors. that is to say-- Develop its own map with various partners app and load it into iOS 6.

2. Keep the mapping experience the same or incrementally better (iOS 5 brought us routes. Perhaps they could have given us offline map tiles when requesting a route, you know, small stuff) while STILL pursuing and fully QAing the above option for a year.

They made a huge mistake in choosing option 1. Why? Because we would have waited. We're used to incremental growth and Maps has never been the sore point that notifications were before notification centre or that background processes were before they instituted background API access for thing like uploading images or app session restore (the fact that you find your app where you left it rather than have to start from the beginning).

I can't find any carping or griping around maps in this way over that last several years-- likely because Mapquest and Navigon were available for free and $25 respectively.

This was bad judgment on Apple's part. They could have honed this thing and done a side by side comparison for years until it was ready and we would have waited AND been surprised and delighted when it showed up in robust fashion.

They shoulda spent this time adding a damned PowerNap feature to iOS. Who the fuck wants to open the App Store just so they can click "Update All" amd then wait for 20 minutes while all their most-used Apps are unusable? Give the thing permission in the settings, have it wait until it's plugged in, on WiFi, and done with an iCloud Back-Up, and then, have at it.