Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Sep 2012 19:24 UTC
Apple "The major new feature of the company's new iOS 6 mobile operating system is a new mapping module developed by Apple itself - a replacement for the Google-supplied maps that have been standard on the iPhone since it debuted in 2007. It is a change borne not of user demand, but of corporate politics: Google's Android platform is the biggest competitive threat to the iPhone, so Apple is cutting ties with Google. iPhone owners might have loved Google Maps, but Apple has no love for Google. Unfortunately, Apple's new maps are simply not as good as Google's." That's putting it mildly - my own town barely even exists on Apple's maps. It's basically a trainwreck, and according to The Verge, Apple has been working on this for the past five years. This is what happens when a company cares more about stupid grudges than its customers. Considering how much effort it has taken Google to get where it is now with maps, don't expect Apple's maps to even get near Google Maps any times soon. This isn't going to take months - this is going to take several years, if at all.
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Where have all the principles gone?
by Tony Swash on Fri 21st Sep 2012 16:18 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

This forum is awash with those who argue that open is better than closed and that monopolies are a bad thing. Common sense says that once a monopoly has been established breaking it is difficult and it's especially difficult to break a monopoly and immediately deliver to the customer a product or service that is as good as that supplied by the monopoly.

Microsoft's monopoly in both operating systems and productivity apps, two monopolies that mutually reinforced one another, meant it was essentially impossible to offer an alternative OS or productivity suite that didn't have considerable downsides for the end user. And yet there were many here who have argued for a long time for open source solutions and the breaking of monopolies, even if they knew that in the short term this would involve losing functionality or lead to a degraded user experience because it was seen as worth it in order to get out of the straight jacket of the monopoly.

Highly principled stuff. That is until Apple get involved, And then it seems principles evaporate.

Google has a monopoly on mobile mapping. Does anybody deny that Google's share of mobile mapping calls is at least 80%, and is probably higher. Google controlled mapping on both iOS and Android, the operating systems that dominate the smart phone market. Although Google offered various ways for developers and end users to build applications and solutions based on their monopoly proprietary mapping system those offers were within strict limits and were wholly under the control of Google.

There has long been an OpenStreetMap project that has tried to create and provide free geographic data and mapping to anyone who wants it. OpenStreetMap does a pretty good job given it has almost no resources compared to Google's huge financial resources and massive investment in maps.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/mar/28/openstreetmap-g...

Google does not work with OpenStreetMap. Google prefers it's mapping system to be proprietary.

So along comes Apple and takes on the massive task of building an alternative to Google's closed map monopoly. Apple does work with OpenStreetMap in fact Apple's maps are based on OpenStreetMap. Given Apple's ability to roll out it's new maps system to almost all of the 400 million or so iOS users pretty quickly Apple stands a chance of breaking Google's map monopoly but it is going to be a rough ride to start.

So what do all the highly principled people at OSNews and elsewhere do? How do they greet this attempt to break a massive and powerful internet service monopoly?

They boo.

Why?

Because it's Apple and hating Apple trumps all principles.

So much for principles.

Reply Score: -1

Shkaba Member since:
2006-06-22

While I try to tolerate your typical insanity with all apple related topics, I cannot stand when you use open source and apple in the same sentence. Throw in the monopoly for a good measure and you have just infuriated me. Apple is the most hypocritical, unethical and deceiving company there is PERIOD Examples are abundant, from reneging on their warranties, lying to consumers about security, pretending to be morally conservative and removing naked imagery while allowing playboy app to remain, shunning app devs left and right...

And now we get to open source sticker. Apple absolutely hates open source! It goes against everything that apple stands for. But since they lack resources and expertise they have to consume open source. If it wasn't for gpl apple would contribute NOTHING unless they get paid ... a lot. Furthermore apple does everything they can to stifle progress by litigating, subverting (html5 standards adoption) etc.

So tony take a pill a control your spinning attempts

Reply Parent Score: 6

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

While I try to tolerate your typical insanity with all apple related topics, I cannot stand when you use open source and apple in the same sentence. Throw in the monopoly for a good measure and you have just infuriated me. Apple is the most hypocritical, unethical and deceiving company there is PERIOD Examples are abundant, from reneging on their warranties, lying to consumers about security, pretending to be morally conservative and removing naked imagery while allowing playboy app to remain, shunning app devs left and right...

And now we get to open source sticker. Apple absolutely hates open source! It goes against everything that apple stands for. But since they lack resources and expertise they have to consume open source. If it wasn't for gpl apple would contribute NOTHING unless they get paid ... a lot. Furthermore apple does everything they can to stifle progress by litigating, subverting (html5 standards adoption) etc.

So tony take a pill a control your spinning attempts


Apple hatred is disease that fills the head with a sort intellectual pus. You do not make a single attempt to actually argue any points, nothing to say about Google's map monopoly, just shouting fact free insults about Apple. As I said intellectual pus.

I could point out that MacOSX sits on an open source kernel, that Apple deliberately chose to build it's browser technology using open source and that the resulting Web Kit is used by Google amongst others, I could point you at this page

http://www.apple.com/opensource/

which confirms that Apple is one of the largest, if not the largest, distributor of open source software on the planet.

But we both know it won't make any difference to how you think (using that term loosely) about Apple because facts count for nothing compared to the power of your hatred of Apple.

Pus is bad for your brain.

Reply Parent Score: -1

flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

Does anybody deny that Google's share of mobile mapping calls is at least 80%, and is probably higher.


I really am not sure where this figure comes from. Could you provide a source?

The majority of the analysis that you see on tech sites focusses on smartphones and ignores feature phones. It focusses primarily on Western markets and ignores the rest of the world. It concentrates almost exclusively on shipments rather than phones in use.

This has a tendency to inflate the perception of Android's dominance. It may well be true that Google will have a near monopoly on mapping soon, but I'm not convinced it's the case right now.

I can't find actual figures myself; the closest I could find was the following article from July 2012 for Europe and the US stating that "only about half of mobile users in both regions own [a smartphone]".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jun/27/smartphones-iphone...

A lot of the other featurephones out there will have mapping software that won't be Google maps.

For what it's worth, I agree with you that Apple moving away from Google to OpenStreetMap data would be a very good thing if it improves openness. I also think it's a shame if Google are becoming more closed over their mapping or they squeeze out other players.

In the longer term, this move by Apple may be good for both their customers and mapping in general.

Reply Parent Score: 4

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

For what it's worth, I agree with you that Apple moving away from Google to OpenStreetMap data would be a very good thing if it improves openness. I also think it's a shame if Google are becoming more closed over their mapping or they squeeze out other players.

In the longer term, this move by Apple may be good for both their customers and mapping in general.


It's a shame that most mapping data is proprietary and licensed. Unfortunately creating maps is no YouTube'ing affair. But it could take off if someone made it as fun.

Reply Parent Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Google has a monopoly on mobile mapping.

A) Apple has done nothing to break Google's best in category product dominance. Arguably, they only attracted attention that only Google can make decent mapping solution today
B) If this was about monopoly, then Apple would have made their solution much more open then it is now, to counterbalance the bad quality of the maps.
C) You're a fanboy who's defending Apple. I suspected that you would bring better arguments. But it seems that most can't go past the "it just works" when it does not...

PS: Google is not the owner of the actual maps, they license them.

Reply Parent Score: 2