Changes To Maps, YouTube Create iPhone Frustrations
After downloading yesterday’s free iOS6 update, Apple users around the world have discovered their YouTube app removed and Google Maps replaced with a new Apple mapping service that for many is embarrassingly inaccurate. As Twitter erupts in complaints over both, here’s what you need to know.
Google & Apple No More
The very first iPhone involved a partnership between Apple and Google that provided special iPhone versions of YouTube and Google Maps. Over the years, Google has emerged as a powerful rival to Apple in the smartphone market, enough that Apple has taken to suing makers of Google’s Android phones, and so with the release of the iPhone 5 and a new software update, Apple has taken the opportunity to end that partnership.
The New YouTube
If you buy an iPhone 5 or download this week’s software update, you’ll find the old YouTube app missing. Apple says they had to pay licensing fees for that one and simply have decided to stop paying. Google had to rush to come up with a replacement app which they launched last week (you can download it here).
The problem? There is no iPad version and AirPlay, a popular feature that allows users to stream music and videos to their televisions through Apple TV, works poorly if at all.
The change also removes the Maps app everyone is familiar with, but without a replacement from Google at the ready. Instead Apple has stepped in with their own version, a daring move considering they haven’t invested the years and resources that Google has with their maps.
Instead Apple reached out to Tom Tom, Yelp, and other navigation services to provide mapping information. It’s a quick fix and it shows. British users doing a search for “London” find themselves being directed to our own London here in Ontario. German users are annoyed to see their beloved city of Berlin erroneously labeled as “Schoeneiche”.
London, as in Ontario, not England
This isn’t to say that Google’s maps have always been infallible, they suffered many complaints in their early years that time has given them a chance to fix (well most, the names of Finnish streets are still listed in Swedish), but with Apple starting all over many are going through those issues again.
There’s no Street View in Apple’s version and those who live in new suburbs or developments aren't listed at all. Apple’s Maps offer turn-by-turn GPS directions, but no route information for those who take public transit. Instead users are directed to a weak selection of alternative navigation apps within the iTunes Store, most made specifically for one country.
As with YouTube, Google will likely release their own replacement version of Google Maps for iPhone, but it will take them time to create. Although some might say they're better off to forget it and let the frustration drive users to switch to Android instead.
When Parents Fight It’s The Kids Who Suffer
We get it, Apple and Google are now bitter rivals and Apple wants to sever ties. That’s understandable, but this transition has been an embarrassingly messy one. Both companies have allowed their users to slip from being the top priority and that’s shameful.