Google vs. Apple, Map Wars, and more Big Apple changes.

. June 8, 2017 . 0 Comments

See also last week’s IOS/iPhone 5 webinar here: http://tinyurl.com/8d3s7mk

Wow, it’s been a big week for Apple.  Not only has their stock consistently been hitting high points all week, crossing $700 per share for the first time ever on Tuesday, but on Wednesday they released the 6th version of their iOS (the operating system that runs iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches), they also released 10.8.2, a significant update to their new Mountain Lion operating system for computers. What’s more, on Friday the new iPhone 5 will be available.

I’ve spent some time working on the new iOS, and even held a webinar showing some of the new features (available by clicking https://www.dropbox.com/s/i5a3fe1oa9biw7m/Sneak%20Preview%20iOS%206.m4v), and I have found it to be a pretty solid release.  The most notable change is the new Apple Maps feature.  Apple and Google have been battling it out for the last year, with Apple accusing Google of stealing their iOS and using it for their Android operating system. Now, we’re seeing some of the fallout from that battle affect users.  Apple has removed both the Google Maps app and the Google YouTube app from the iPhone.  You can still download either of them as stand alone apps, but they will no longer be automatically downloaded on every new device.

Apple can’t exactly not have a maps app on their phones, especially as the iPhone continues to erode the GPS marketplace, so Apple spent significant time and resources over the last year and a half developing their own new maps app.  Among the best features is turn-by-turn voice directions, which are easy to use, and automatically configured.  This was always one of the complaints of the Google app.  The new Maps app is also beautifully rendered with vector graphics, speedy, and easy to use… but what else would you expect from Apple?  Some people have complained that this new app was a flaw to create on Apple’s part since Google maps is a standard of both the internet and mobile phones, but Apple is putting their muscle behind it, and even if it isn’t quite as vast as Google’s version out of the box, I’m sure Apple will continue to tweak, update and improve it.  In my daily usage, I found it to be simple and satisfactory, and although the directions are not always perfect, neither were Google’s, and the voice turn-by-turn feature is a welcome update.

Other features include an updated version of Siri (for iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPad 3), which has the capability of locating and booking reservations at restaurants, pulling up information via voice about new and old movies and displaying Director, Actor and writer information about those films, as well as a vast knowledge of sports which allows you to simply ask about team standings in most popular sports, or scores of recent games.  It’s pretty impressive.  They also added a new app called passbook which allows you to add movie tickets, plane tickets, store loyalty cards, and other “wallet items” to a simple app that is location aware, and allows you to organize and use those items easily from your phone.

The new Mountain Lion update (10.8.2), finally unifies the iMessage app on the new OS, which allows you to receive and send texts to both your apple ID as well as your cell phone number from your computer.  This is an attempt to bridge the gap between “text messages” and “IM software”.  Which I hope will stop parents from asking me what the difference is between texts and instant messages once and for all.

The new phone has gotten a lot of press and attention, and I even wrote a previous blog breaking it down more specifically (link), but for the sake of this blog I will cover the basics.  The new iPhone possesses Apple’s latest A6 processor, which is supposed to be lightning fast and extremely battery conscious.  The new phone also has a 4 inch screen, make the phone slightly taller, and representing the first time Apple has changed the screen ratio since developing and releasing the first iPhone back in 2007.  Finally (and possibly most controversially) Apple has replaced the standard iPhone connection cable, (the well-worn and ubiquitous 30-pin dock connecter that has been around since the first iPod back in 2001) with a new much smaller and all-digital cable dubbed Lightning.

The big fuss about the new cable is all around people not wanting to have to buy new cables for their new phone, and a lot of people have asked me what my take on it is.  Simply put, the old cord was large, blocked the ability to have good speakers on the iPhone, and most of its 30pins were unused by the majority of people.  Those of you that know me know that I have no loyalty to old technology.  If it’s better, smarter, faster, more convenient, or just time for a change, I don’t mind throwing down a few bucks for it.

My final note on all of this is really a reflection on Microsoft… yes, Microsoft.  The thing that has always hurt Microsoft is their deep commitment to not upset their largest client base… the enterprise market.  To that end, they have been very hesitant to make any major changes to their operating systems over the last 10 years, resulting in a lost decade of innovation.  Many companies have told Microsoft they would not upgrade if anything was dramatically different in a new operating system… so they left everything the same and apple swooped in, and surpassed them with consistent innovation.  My fear for Apple, as they become more and more popular and ubiquitous, is that they will fall into that same trap and stop changing things (screen size, cable connectors, operating systems, etc…) out of fear of upsetting their client base.  Hopefully the new iPhone cable is a sign that nobody in Cupertino is going to let that happen.  I say if you’ve got something newer and better, bring it on… in spite of the moaning and groaning of a certain type of person who is afraid of change.  My mantra is and has always been, “CHANGE IS GOOD!”

— MacWhisperer.. out.

Category: The Mac Whisperer

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