Thursday, December 27, 2012

12 Apps of Christmas: September – Apple makes a serious mistake with the release of its new Maps app

The Twelve Days of Christmas runs from Christmas Day to the evening of January 5th, or Twelfth Night.  TNM's 12 Apps of Christmas, which began last week, will look at significant media apps  released in 2012. Today we have reached September, and will continue the series through New Year's Eve.

There were a lot of really good new tablet magazine released in September, including two mentioned in the last installment of this series – the sports magazines from the SF Chronicle, Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times. But no app got more attention that the new Maps app from Apple, released as part of iOS 6.

On Monday, September 17 TNM reported the issue several days before the public release of iOS 6. The problem was in plan site, if one downloaded and installed the gold master of the new operating system.
The problem with Maps was (and remains) with the data used to populate the app. Bad mapping, imagery and others issues made the new Maps an instant butt of jokes. Bridges that looked like they were melting didn't help, but the raw data is just plain bad.

The issue arose because Apple believed, probably correctly, that it needed to replace Google Maps because Google was withholding turn-by-turn directions. Google, for its part, wanted access to user data for advertising purposes. In retrospect, Apple should have allowed Google to launch its own maps app separate from the OS. Instead, the episode simply highlighted the ways Apple's software has fallen in quality over the past few years – iTunes being but the most glaring example until Maps.

September also saw the release of a new, lower priced app solution from Adobe. Priced at $395, Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition allows media app developers to create a stand-alone app using Adobe DPS.

The downside is that as a single edition the app will not support Newsstand allow for multiple issues. But a good example of its use can be seen in the app for ΜΟΥΣΑ, the Greek edition of Marie Claire released in December.

Then mid-month there was this announcement: “After struggling for close to three years, we’ve decided to discontinue the consumer-facing magazines,” Mark Edmiston told Adweek as Nomad Editions announce that the company was shuttering its titles.