I just read through David Pogue’s freshly published article on the Mapgate situation and noticed a couple interesting revelations. The New York Times technology columnist says that in two weeks, you’ll be able to get Street View in the Google Maps mobile web on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Right now, you can use Safari on your iOS device to navigate to maps.google.com and use Google’s maps on the web, though without spoken directions (you’ll get written directions instead). More tidbits right below…

From Pogue’s article:

You can still use Google’s maps — on the Web. Visit maps.google.com and accept the offer to create a Home-screen icon for you.

You won’t get spoken directions, but you’ll get written directions, public transportation details, live traffic reports and, of course, Google’s far superior maps and data. (In two weeks, you’ll be able to get Street View this way, too, says Google.)

Pogue’s take on Apple Maps?

In short, Maps is an appalling first release. It may be the most embarrassing, least usable piece of software Apple has ever unleashed.

I’ve reached out to Google and will update the article when I heard back from them.

Pogue also confirmed earlier reports that a standalone iOS Maps app from Google is due by year’s end.

Here’s Apple’s marketing honcho Phil Schiller demoing Street View in the now defunct Google Maps app on the iPad.

A company official told the journo that Apple is acknowledging the stumble.

We own this; we manage the vendors. This is no one’s issue but ours.

Apparently “well over 99 percent” of the feature’s data set is accurate, though even half a percent of faulty data means a lot of flaws, especially when dealing with huge data sets that encompass, well, planet Earth.

Pogue also notes that even though Apple’s written a beautiful app, the main point of contention is questionable data.

It’s as though you just got a $1,500 professional coffee maker and then poured moldy beans into it.

Good point.

Don’t expect Apple to fix inaccuracies immediately:

Since the data is all online, Apple can introduce fixes instantly as they’re made, but “it’s not going to change by Friday,” says a product manager. That’s because, in general, the fixes have to be made one at a time, by hand.

Now you know why Apple’s been recruiting Google Maps people.

Specifically, Pogue writes, “Apple passes the error reports to TomTom or whichever data vendor is responsible”, which takes time and introduces another layer of complexity.

By the way, if you plan on using the Google Maps web app (it will prompt you to create a home screen shortcut), I suggest checking out Nokia’s mobile maps at maps.nokia.com.

Nokia’s been playing this game on mobile for a very long time and their data sets and traffic data are just as good as Google’s, if not better.

The same goes for Bing Maps at maps.bing.com.

  • All the “AppleGate” issues with each release of a new phone is starting to get really irritating. It’s like people are offended on a personal level that everything isn’t perfect on the phone that they chose to buy and refuse to make compensations.

    Yes Apple Maps aren’t the best thing in the world for some people but please don’t act like its the end of times and a problem that will never be fixed. As soon as a couple people freak out, everyone just seems to jump in with their pitchforks and torches. Because everyone is so “outraged” with whatever “Gate” is going on they don’t even try to find simple solutions. For example-

    A. Use google web maps
    B. Use one of the dozens of maps apps in the AppStore
    or C. Don’t upgrade to iOS 6 if your not on the iPhone 5.

    Apple already said they are working non stop to make maps more functional for the people, (not all remember,) who are in areas experiencing issues. Everyone just needs to take a deep breath, relax, and find something else to occupy their time that they would normally spend complaining.
    Lets be intelligent about this people…

    • Yet it seems like you are offended by people being offended.

  • what a weird comparison…

  • narg

    In my use so far of the Apple Maps, it’s not been that bad for me. Though one feature I do miss a LOT is the street level traffic, at least in my area it’s not there like it is in the Google apps. If they would add that, and include path re-routes due to traffic issues as part of the spoken directions, then Apple’s maps would be up to par with anything avilable.

  • Funny thing. I was on my iPod Touch on reddit, and one link directed to a street view underwater. I was easily moving around. I think it is a hidden function that can only be seen at this time by having direct link.

    • Tr1pTr0p

      Little bitch

  • Andy dang

    Sh*** ppls be calm, jus a map issue, it’s not end of the world, give them some space of time to do better job

  • Might be different overseas, but I haven’t noticed the apple maps app being too wrong in Australia, at least where I live. The only incorrect thing I’ve noticed is that a school nearby is spelt with two Ls instead of one.

    Is anyone actually inconvenienced by the errors, or are they just saying apple maps is shit because everyone else is and they don’t want to be left out?

  • Kurt

    google is top dog in the map sphere. nice to see apple try. ill put my money that google will always be many steps ahead of them, but i give apple credit for trying. hopefully it spurs on more innovation from google.

  • All this Apple maps mess is because Apple chose to cut the rope with Google Maps just for not giving Google something in change for asking Google to add the voice directions feature to the iOS app which wasn’t part of the deal they made for the application.
    The most obvious thing to happen is that if Apple asks to add non negotiated features to their maps app is that Google wasn’t going to give it for free. Now Apple is paying the price for their selfish attitude.