Posts tagged Apple Maps

Apple maps team is recruiting for a new UI Developer

A new posting has appeared on the Apple jobs website for a “Web UI Designer – Maps” this position is also described by apple to include designing, developing, and maintaining complex front-end code for a new secret project.

At Apple, we’re lucky to be working on projects that have the potential to change the world. We’re working on an exciting new system and need your help. You would be joining a small team working on an advanced web platform upon which many of Apple’s future services will be based. We are looking for an extremely capable front-end engineer who has a strong background in web services development, and who has built high-performance, scalable and extensible systems. In this highly visible position, the successful candidate will collaborate with cross-functional engineering teams to define and implement some of the web pages for the system that will power next generation Apple products.

While the job listing does briefly mentions Maps, it appears that the position could have a much wider scope for web development. According to the advert, the designer would join a small team that is working on an advanced web platform that will be the backbone of many future Apple services.

Qualifications for the position include a minimum of three years of experience building both applications and web services, along with understanding of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, DOM, XML, JSON and various JavaScript testing frameworks.

Though it is unclear what the secret project is referring to to, it is possible that Apple is working on creating up a more prominent web presence, developing a series of web-based apps that could extend the Apple experience outside of Apple’s own products, for example, if apple released a web-based Maps app, similar to Google Maps, which could then possibly be incorporated into iCloud or other Apple products in the future. At the present time, Apple still uses Google Maps for Find My iPhone in iCloud, and a new web-based Maps app could present a unified Apple mapping solution for the company.

It is also possible, however, that this position involves the building of internal web tools to manage Apple services that would not be public facing.

Apple corrects “Life-Threatening” Australian map error

A day after the local police in Mildura advised iPhone users not to use Apple Maps to navigate around the area the guardian reports that apple have corrected the issue with their map, which was actually directing its users into the middle of a national park, rather then the busy city 70KM to the North East.

Mildura is actually located at the Red Pin in this image, however apple places the town 70KM to the South East in the centre of the Murray Sunset National Park.

Mildura is actually located at the Red Pin in this image, however apple places the town 70KM to the South East in the centre of the Murray Sunset National Park.

The Victoria police responded by describing using the app to navigate as “potentially life-threatening” and while the label on Apple’s maps has not yet been updated to show the correct location of Mildura, searches for and directions to the town now show the correct location.

Apple claims that the error is not entirely its own fault as the data for the area was sourced from the official Australian Gazetteer which located the town at the position apple placed the label. Apple was mistakenly associating a set of co-ordinates with searches for Mildura when in fact they simply the geographic centre of the area included within the Mildura Rural City local government area and thus does not correspond to the actual city of Mildura.

In this case, the Australian Gazetteer – the authoritative list of 300,000-plus placenames, complete with coordinates – includes two Milduras. One is the “real” town, the other is an entry for “Mildura Rural City”, coordinates -34.79724 141.76108. It’s this second entry that points to the middle of the Murray-Sunset National Park, just near a spot called Rocket Lake.

In his recent TV interview with Brian Williams, Tim Cook said that Apple “screwed up” with Maps and was now “putting the entire weight of the company behind correcting it.” The company does, however, still have a significant amount of work ahead of it as it tries to catch up with Google’s years-long head start.

Australian police warns against using Apple Maps

So we all know that Apple Maps kind of sucks, its a well known fact that iOS6 completely ruined the navigational capabilities of the iPhone as it removed the long running Google Maps and replaced it with Apple’s own in house mapping solution called Apple Maps.

Mildura is actually located at the Red Pin in this image, however apple places the town 70KM to the South East in the centre of the Murray Sunset National Park.

Mildura is actually located at the Red Pin in this image, however apple places the town 70KM to the South East in the centre of the Murray Sunset National Park.

What we didn’t know was just how bad Apple Maps could actually be, ok in the UK we noticed they got a few cities in the wrong place and completely ruined some bridges to the point the looked like they where made out of spaghetti but nothing catastrophic right?

This sort of small error on apple’s side actually translated to a huge problem in Australia to the point it is an actual safety concert to Virginia Police as many tourists are following directions given by apple maps, which is actually leading them deep inside a remote national park with no man made features.

[ad 1]The Murray Sunset National Park is located around 70 kilometres South West from the busy town of Mildura in Victoria, and any free SatNav app could surely tell that the two are vastly different, however not Apple Maps.

In order to locate the town to get the screen shot of the two side by side i had to enter the actual longitude and latitude of the town into apple maps, which for those of you that are interested in located at -34.202858, 142.135105

Mildura police have had many calls recently from motorists who have become lost or stranded in the remote national park after following directions given by their iPhones as Apple Maps thinks that the town of Mildura is located in the centre of the National Park, in realist however there is nothing in the middle of the national park! There’s no water supply and temperatures can reach almost 50 degrees Celsius in the summer sun, making this a very serious issue for police.

Some of the motorists located by police have been stranded for up to 24 hours without food or water and have walked long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception.
Police have done their own tests and found that Apple Maps is in fact routing motorists into the middle of nowhere, and are telling people to ditch their iPhones until Apple fixes it.

This is even worse than when Gizmodo Australis reported that Apple sent people seeking a hospital to some stranger’s house.

Apple promises that maps will improve

Dudley

Apple has released a statement after coming under fierce criticism from various blogs on the internet including this one commenting on the very poorly executed maps app included with the latest iOS 6.

The maps app angered users who said it was riddled with inaccuracies, misplaced towns and cities and missing key landmarks.

Apple said it appreciated all the customer feedback it was receiving about the app and would work hard to improve it.

In a statement from apple this afternoon Trudy Muller said

“We are continuously improving it, and as Maps is a cloud-based solution, the more people use it, the better it will get,” she said.

“We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better”

TomTom have also reportedly been quoted as saying they are more than happy to assist apple in updating all the location data which is apparently missing as well as saying they stand by the quality of their maps.

Apple Maps is a big let down

AppleMaps - Doncaster

Well now we have all had a chance to download and play with apple’s latest offering at iOS 6, how have all the new changes and tweaks turned out, on the whole, generally not too bad, a lot of new features and a lot of cool ideas taking shape.

After the majority of the world practically performed a DDOS attack on apple’s datacentre things eventually calmed down and people where able to get the iOS download onto their devices, unfortunately though the majority of reviewers have skipped apple maps, assuming it to be of a similar quality to Google maps however they are very seriously wrong!

AppleMaps - UKColour Scheme

The first thing you will notice about the new Apple Maps is the colour scheme, while looking clean and fresh and generally very smart, gone are the colours and icons we are used to and in their place we have something which resembles how Bing maps used to look when it first started up.

Various different icons are used to symbolize different points of interest and the usual colour coded A and B roads and Motorways in different colours, however although different the colours used do seem to make it obvious which roads are which.

Apple has retained their symbolic blue pulsating dot to mark your current location and also the all familiar red push pins to mark locations and way points.

Satellite Images

The satellite images aren’t particularly important I will agree as the majority of the time we simply use them to spy on a friend’s house or see if we have been caught on the Google street view camera however the quality of the satellite images just aren’t up to the same standards as on Google dedicated platform. As you can see below the quality images just don’t match up! And I’m sure someone will comment saying that Google actually uses Ariel photographs to provide better quality images but that is just the point, this is what’s missing from Apple maps, the attention to detail.

Points of Interest

WimbledonNow apple have used data from TomTom maps to put together the points of interest however this is where apple maps have fallen flat on their face, public transport data just isn’t accurate.

The image below for example is in the very touristy area of Wimbledon, where people are likely to want public transport directions or simply walking directions, the Croydon tramlink stations are marked, but the Wimbledon mainline and tube station is totally missing, even though the tramlink goes through the main station, and even the rail lines themselves converge on the spot where the station should be. In other areas of London, some tube stations are marked, but others aren’t, and it’s not like the tube stations are new. It’s really quite strange, in fact, because why some are marked, as they should be, and some are missing assumed dead, I have no idea. Incomplete data makes for an incredibly frustrating and flat-out unhelpful experience.

It’s not just public transport that Apple Maps totally fails on; it can’t find businesses or places either. Yelp has apparently provided its database to Apple, but compared to Google Maps it’s just poor. Searching for a Center Parcs in Longleat, which is something rather big and really should be in Apple’s business database, Apple Maps protested that it, frankly, didn’t exist. Combining missing places with incorrect listings, like Birmingham’s Bullring being spelt “Bull Ring,” it makes it really hard to find what you’re looking for. Oh, and Apple didn’t bother to correct “Duncaster” either before launch (as you can see up top), which goes to show just how much it cares about the UK.

 

Missing Town’s and Village’s

SolihullMapOther major towns and villages are also missing from the maps, for example my home town of Solihull doesn’t even exist according to Apple, (it should be the red pin in the image seen on the right) however the nearby small village of Bickenill is marked in large lettering, as is Elmdon and Dorridge, all of which are relatively small villages when compared to the large Touchwood shopping center in Solihull.

Apple has also made some glaring errors when searching for local businesses in the UK also as they have apparently sourced their business database from yelp.com however the accuracy and reliability leaves something to be desired. When asking Siri to show me local hotels i am shown a selection of local businesses, none of which are hotels! The list of businesses includes Knowle Cars (taxi company) a travel agency and multiple restaurants and pubs, none of which however actually have bedrooms where guests can stay, you know, like you would expect to at a “hotel”.

All of these features are, of course, available and working correctly on Google Maps, but interestingly Nokia Maps on a Windows Phone couldn’t find Center Parcs either, which just goes to show that in the mapping battle, Google Maps is currently the king of mapping and at the moment, google probably doesn’t see Apple maps as a serious competitor, don’t get me wrong i am sure that this will become something great, but at the moment, in the UK, it really is a waste of space.

The Maps Themselves

Now apple maps are simply TomTom map’s with a new colour scheme, and we all know how accurate Satellite Navigation can be, asking us to drive across rivers and drive down one-way roads the wrong way, well now you’re iPhone can do the same!

Google maps spent a lot of time and money correcting their maps and ensuring that the roads on the maps are actually there and passable, the new apple maps don’t have this level of accuracy and we may see this come to light when people start using the new Turn by Turn navigation feature.

A Final Word

Apple Maps isn’t all bad — its 3D buildings are pretty cool, and it looks nice, for a mapping app, but it’s just not helpful. A mapping app is meant to help you out when you’re in a pinch, not be dumb but pretty. I really hope this is a work in progress, for Apple, that’ll quickly get updated on the back end to add these kinds of things, but I have a feeling the UK just isn’t a priority for Apple. Who wants to bet that Apple Maps works perfectly fine in the US, with all the info you’d need? At least, that’s the impression all the early reviews of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 give, and it is also the case with Siri as this has only just been integrated into maps and places in the UK, a full year after its release in the US.

iPhone 5

Its finally here, and worryingly for an Apple device with Steve Jobs out the picture all the rumors seem to have come true!

iPhone 5 Splash

To summarize the new iPhone will have a longer 4″ screen and will also support LTE networks, the new design has slightly beveled corners and the metal strip around the outside of the case is colour coded black or white to match the fascia. The device will utilize a faster A6 chip alongside what seems to be completely re-designed WiFi and Cellular chips to enable “faster WiFi” and access to the faster LTE Network. Apple have also designed new ear bud headphones that are included with the iPhone that are apparently “re-designed from the sound up”

 

4 inch Retina Display

The new 4 inch retina display lets you see more of everything, and everything you see is more lifelike and vivid, its a larger more beautiful canvas made the right way because even though the display is bigger then handset is the same width as previous models making it just as easy to use with one hand.

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Ultrafast Wireless

With support for the latest LTE wireless technologies the iPhone 5 connects to fast networks all over the world. WiFi is now even faster too with remarkable streaming and download speeds wherever you may be.

 

Powerfull A6 Chip

The all new designed A6 chip used in the new iPhone is remarkably powerful yet not power hungry, CPU performance and graphics are up to twice as fast as on the A5 chip and with an even better battery life.

 

iSight Camera

iPhone is the most popular camera in the world. For good reason. Photos look so stunning, it’s hard to believe they were taken with a mobile phone. And everything that made the iSight camera in iPhone 4S the world’s favorite is now on iPhone 5 — and then some. The new panorama feature lets you capture everything from a family reunion group photo to a jaw-dropping shot of the Grand Canyon. With one smooth motion you can shoot up to an impressive 240 degrees. The gyroscope, A6 chip, and Camera app work together to create one seamless, high-resolution panorama up to 28 megapixels.

Another feature worth mentioning is that the front facing camera is now HD quality for using with FaceTime calls.

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Lightning Connector

Making iPhone 5 thinner and lighter required a pivotal change: replacing the 30-pin connector with something newer, smaller, and better. Introducing the Lightning connector. It features an all-digital, eight-signal design that’s significantly more durable than the 30-pin connector. Another brilliant feature of Lightning: It’s reversible. Which means there’s no wrong way to plug in the cable.

 

Apple Maps

The new Maps app gives you a better way to find your way. Map elements are vector based, which means graphics and text are incredibly sharp, even when you zoom in. Pan around, and you’ll instantly notice how smooth and responsive Maps is. Need directions from Point A to Point B? Maps not only shows you how to get there, it tells you — out loud, turn by turn. Maps also gives you real-time traffic information and reroutes you to avoid delays. For a completely new perspective, switch to Flyover and explore major metro areas from above with photo-realistic, interactive 3D views.

 

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