The search giant made the original map application for the iPhone but Apple introduced its own app in September. The Apple Maps app was flawed and highly criticized in the media as lacking some key features, such as labeling of businesses, street level photos and public transit information.
Google says its new app was downloaded 10 million times in its first two day of availablity. Reviews are saying the application is not only better than Apple Maps, but better than Google Maps for Android phones. The new app was designed specifically for the iPhone with a cleaner, simpler interface. Google executives said the company saw the need for an iPhone version as an opportuinity to rethink the app from the ground up.
The new app was designed with two new ideas in mind: quickly moving across the map and removing clutter from the screen. Users can swipe horizontally or vertically to quickly jump among places or routes in the new app and labeling for buildings is now optional. Google executives said the project was so focused on simplicity that the build team was forced to abandon the usual Google Maps colors in favor of a new black and white color scheme.
Despite the re-imagining, the Android version of Google Maps still has a few features the new app lacks. Android users can view maps of interiors of malls and airports, bicycling directions, and special offers from businesses. The Android app also offers offline maps. Google said these features may be added to the iPhone app over time.
Apple officials say the Apple Maps app will remain bolted to the iPhone. The company is reportedly already improving its competing app.
The Huffington Post has released a list of 6 Apps that will make you a better person:
Terrible at remembering names? Download Namerick and never say “Heyyyy… man” to your sister’s new boyfriend again.
Organize your life with to-do list app Clear. It’s pretty and easy to use. And you won’t forget to buy your significant other an anniversary gift.
Thank you notes are much better to receive than thank you texts. The people at Thank You Pen will write your note on high-quality paper in real pen, and then send it your recipient in first class mail.
GoTime keeps track of your calendar events, location, and estimated travel time so you’re never late to anything ever again.
Perfect Photo is a powerful photo editor than can whiten your friend’s teeth before you post it to Facebook.
Organize your goals, tasks, and health routines with Habits Pro. At the very least it will get you to floss more.
In a very visible post on Apple’s site entitled “A letter to our customers regarding Maps,” Apple CEO Tim Cook apologizes to Apple’s customers for the lackluster performance of Apple’s new Maps app that comes standard on the new iPhone 5 and iOS 6. Cook begins the letter by saying, “At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment.” Cook then apologizes, saying, “We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”
Cook continues by saying, “The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.” Then, rather than telling everyone to be patient, Cook surprisingly recommends alternative map apps from competitors. He recommends users to download “Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.” This marks quite the difference between Cook and Steve Jobs, as recommending competitors apps is not something Jobs would likely do. Tim Cook’s full letter can be read here.
Google, however, seems to be doing so well that they are no longer satisfied with merely mapping out the Earth’s dry land. Last week, they ventured out into the ocean: http://maps.google.com/help/maps/streetview/gallery.html#!/ocean
Google has launched a new app for Android called FieldTrip, which the tech company says is “your guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you.” The app runs in the background of your phone and when you get close to something interesting, a card pops up giving you worthwhile information about the location. Google says the app can help you learn about everything from “local history to the latest and best places to shop, eat, and have fun.”
Google says that there are many publications contributing to the app, and it looks like FieldTrip is a culmination of many companies’ efforts. Arcadia, Thrillist, Food Network, Zagat, Sunset, Atlas Obscura and Songkick are only a few of the publications that will give you insights to local history, restaurants, bars, unique stores, local music, and the opportunity to “uncover hidden gems no matter where you are.” Not a fan of Songkick? Users of the app can manage what type of information they receive in the settings. The app is currently only available but a version for iOS is on its way.
Check out the commercial:
There have been over 15 billion apps downloaded from Apple’s App Store. On top of that, there are over 500,000 available apps. From those 500,000+, Time has ranked what they believe are the best 50. Here are a few unique ones you may not yet know about:
1. Find My iPhone – Use one of Apple’s iOS devices to find another.
2. ShopSavvy – Use this barcode scanner and QR code reader to find the right product at the best price.
3. Dragon Go! – A great substitute for Siri for those who don’t have the 4s.
4. GasBuddy – Find the cheapest gas stations nearest you.
5. Cleartune – A portable tuner that determines precise frequency for musicians.
6. Springpad – Save notes, tasks, ideas, images, and more.
7. Skyfire VideoQ – Converts videos that require Adobe Flash to a format the iPhone can play.
8. CardMunch – Converts paper business cards to digital files in your address book.
To read the whole article, click here.
As reported by Chloe Albanesius of PCMag, Google has decided to release a revamped version of the YouTube App, just before tomorrow’s premier of the new iPhone 5. The current YouTube App came standard on all previous iPhones, but Google and Apple decided not to renew their deal for iOS 6, prompting Google to create a YouTube app for the App Store. In addition, Apple will use its own mapping app as opposed to the Google Maps app that came with all previous iPhones.
Some new features of the Youtube app include access to tens of thousands of more videos, Google’s suggested search results, a swipeable channel guide to view subscriptions.” In addition, users will now be able to share videos via text, Facebook, and Google+. Currently, sharing is only available through email and Twitter. Google is currently working on a YouTube app for the iPad, which should be available in the next few months.
As reported by Tech Crunch, the acquisition of Chomp back in February has led Apple to completely revamp their App Store, particularly with its search and discovery features. The new iOS 6 App Store will come standard on the new iPhone 5, which is set to make its debut on September 12th. The website 9to5mac.com has released pictures and video of what the new app store will look like.
Adopting some of Chomp’s interface and algorithms has allowed Apple to give users an easier way to find what they want amongst the App Store’s 500,000+ apps. With the current App Store, many of the newer apps have a hard time breaking in and getting discovered. Apple hopes to change that with this new version, which will include swipeable “cards” in the search results in place of the old list format.
Apps will still be searchable by its current lists (Featured, Top Paid/Free/Grossing, etc.) and the Genius button will now appear at the bottom of the App Store instead of in the Featured Section. Since the new app store hasn’t been released yet, it’s possible that things can change. However, if these changes are applied, it looks to make app store optimization even more imperative going forward.
As reported by Julianne Pepitone of CNN Money, Twitter has become much stricter with the guidelines for their application programming interface (API) to the dismay of many of its most popular app developers. Twitter will strongly restrict access to their map of user connections. Apps will now be limited in how many times per hour they can access Twitter’s API and apps that attract more than 100,000 users will need approval to add more. Due to these mandates, both Tumblr and Instagram have lost their applications which allow users to find twitter friends with similar interests.
In addition to these new rules, Twitter wants to eliminate all apps like Tweetbot and Echofon that show tweets through different platforms and interfaces. Essentially, any app that tries to do Twitter better than Twitter. Many developers believe that these new rules attack their internet freedom and were simply put in place to slow down competition. Some others, however, have stated that they think the mandates are reasonable and they’re happy that there are now clear cut, non-ambiguous guidelines.
Check out this article on Mashable that discusses the role mobile smartphones (and apps) will play to help tackle major social issues like: disease response, education through games, government accountability, saving the rainforest and disaster response. The article also projects 9 billion global mobile subscriptions by 2017…. hmmm isn’t that just about EVERYONE?