Monday, December 10, 2012

What's the deal with Apple Maps anyway?

Have you heard the one about the guy using Apple maps who walks into a bar, or maybe it was a church - or bowling alley? You've probably know by now that Apple messed up when it replaced its previous map app with a new version in September. In a nutshell, the previous version was based on Google maps and Google and Apple are fierce competitors so they had to do something. The Google version was crippled on Apple devices and did not provide turn by turn directions like it did on Androids. My only complaint is that everything in Bemidji is one block west and fifty feet north of where Apple says it should be!
The biggest complaint is that there is no "street view" as in Google. I can live without that considering how great the turn by turn directions work. However the most important hidden new feature is the significantly improved graphics engine. This new design uses vector graphics to drastically reduce the amount of data received which can be a boon on a limited dataplan. It also means you can navigate in areas with no phone service. That part is pretty amazing when you see it in action. As you zoom in and out - even in a remote area with no cell coverage - you'll see high resolution images at any magnification - no more reloading images. Google is reportedly putting the finishing touches on its own map app for Apple. More on that later. 

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