I’ll stick with Google Maps thanks

A quick comparison of central Wellington as depicted in Google Maps (on a Nexus S running Jelly Bean 4.1.1) and in the new Apple Maps (on a 4th Gen iPod Touch running iOS6) that got released yesterday.

First up, Google Maps:


And now Apple Maps:

Well, if you like it simple I guess and don’t care about all that messy detail! 😛


OK, how about satellite imagery. Again Wellington, at the intersection of Molesworth St and Lambton Quay near the central bus station and Parliament buildings…

Google Maps (and not at full zoom I might add – I can enlarge this more, but chose this scale for a similar scale comparison with Apple):


Apple Maps (close to full zoom before losing imagery):

Yikes – that’s a tad blurry!

Now since I had more layer info displayed in the Google Map, here’s the same area in Apple Maps with the Hybrid option turned on:

Hmmm, no thanks – terrible info overlay.


So, I think that’s pretty convincing. Google Maps is an excellent offering. Apple, not so much! The new iOS maps lack detail while satellite imagery and the hybrid option both at full zoom are poor. And of course if you want Street View imagery you’re now out of luck with Apple Maps. 😦

Needless to say, stories regarding the new maps are all over the tech news today, eg The Verge, Mashable, CNET, BBC

On a positive note however, this is Apple’s first release and Apple’s Maps will improve in time (hopefully soon!). In the meantime, I’d suggest using Google Maps in the browser – Chrome of course! 😉

And for some bonus reading, check out the following story from The Atlantic: How Google Builds Its Maps.

Nice 1st release Apple, but I’ll stick with Google Maps thanks.

Safari vs Chrome on iOS

A little comparison on my 4th gen iPod Touch – Safari on the left, Chrome on the right:

Safari vs Chrome on iOS

Safari 0, Chrome 1. More page real estate ftw! ‘Nuf said.

I’m a Samsung

A brilliant ad from Samsung taking a pot-shot at the Apple fanboys:


The best line in the ad would have to be: “If it looks the same how will people know I upgraded?” followed closely by “I could never get a Samsung, I’m creative”. LOL! 😀

Nice one Samsung. I’d like to think that S2 will be my next Galaxy phone…

A little perspective

A couple of colleagues at work use iPhones and are (often justifiably) quick to boast about them. The iPhone is after all a revolutionary device, but it does have its shortcomings.

One thing worth noting however is the market size they live in. In its first year the iPhone sold 6M units (to June 2008), and Apple’s goal for all 2008 was to sell 10M units (I haven’t yet seen offical figures to confirm or deny this). So, that’s a lot right? Well, it kinda is, until you compare that to Nokia who has volumes in excess of 100M devices per quarter, or >1M per day! Now that’s a lot of phones.

Movies finally in the NZ iTunes Store

Apple announced today that movies are now available in the iTunes Store in both New Zealand and Australia – for both purchase and rental,

According to Apple there are “over 700 films for purchase and rent” with “over 100 titles available in stunning high definition”, and new releases should be available for purchase the same day they are released on DVD.

A quick browse of the titles suggests that most downloads will be around the 1-1.5GB size – pretty hefty unless you have a decent broadband plan for both download speed and monthy quota.

Pricing in NZ has been set as follows,

iTunes movies in New Zealand start at NZ$9.99 for catalog title purchases, NZ$17.99 for recent releases and NZ$24.99 for new releases. iTunes Movie Rentals are NZ$4.99 for library title rentals and NZ$6.99 for new releases, and high definition versions are priced at just one dollar more.

So not too shabby for pricing I suppose, but the barrier will be download speeds and broadband costs on top of that – unlike other countries, NZ doesn’t have unlimited data caps and super fast download speeds in general, so many people will be either ruled out or face an unenviable wait while the file downloads.

Another important point to note is that for movie rentals, you have 30 days to start watching it, then 48 hours to finish watching it. The ideal solution for viewing would have to be an Apple TV, otherwise you’ll be stuck watching it on your PC unless that’s wired to your TV.  Oh, and of course your video iPod, touch or iPhone will also play them.

A nice addition to the iTunes Store, but what I’m looking forward to is the eventual(?) arrival of TV episodes…

Vodafone NZ embarrassed by its own plans?

Just three days before the launch of the iPhone here in New Zealand, Vodafone NZ announced some of the most expensive data plans accompanying the phone ON THE PLANET. Like many, I thought $199 was reasonable for the legendary device, until I saw the associated data price tag that is – a whopping $6,000! (see this post).

While browsing the Vodafone website this morning, I decided to see if there was any change in the plans given the general disappointment by the public (see here* and here*). To my surprise there has been a change in the listed plans(!), but not a change I was expecting.

So lets play spot the difference…

The listed plans today:

And the plans announced on July 8:

As you can see above, and for yourself on their iPhone plans page, Vodafone have ceased advertising their exorbitant 1GB data plan – you now have to visit a store to find that one.

So why the change? I can only conclude that Vodafone are EMBARRASSED by their own plans to the point that they are trying to hide the true cost to “heavy” data users. I say “heavy” as I believe that is complete bollocks by the way – 1GB per month is a mere 33MB (or so) a day and trivial to burn through given the richness of the internet. Furthermore, paying $6,000 for 24GB over two years is plainly insane when my ISP can offer me 50GB in one month for $40. Go figure (coz I can’t).

So yeah, SHAME ON YOU VODAFONE – firstly for pricing your data ridiculously high and secondly for trying to hide it.

(* WebCite links to the Stuff.co.nz articles here and here)