Why Must I Sign In, Google Maps?

Brian S Hall describing his aversion to the new Google Maps iPhone app:

From the moment you open up the app, Google asks you to sign in. Because, apparently, you can’t really get from fucking point a to fucking point b without signing in to your fucking Google account.

This sums up my feelings about the new Google Maps app. Why must I sign in to get directions? I don’t need to sign in online to get directions. And why can’t you access the contacts on my iPad? Do you seriously think I am actually going to retype all of my contacts into my Google account? Give me a break.

Apple Gets What It Wanted With New Google Maps

Unless you have been living under a rock, Google Maps has been released for iOS devices on the App Store. Even though 74% of Apple Maps users are satisfied, this is still great news nonetheless—they now have a native app that ties into Google Map’s architecture and data.

What does this mean to Apple?

Simple: they got what they wanted without having to compromise.

Apple originally wanted Google to bring turn-by-turn directions to the original iPhone Maps app, but Google asked for more than Apple was willing to deliver on. Instead of waiting around, Apple set off to build their own maps app and remove Google from the equation, literally. Up until today, if you were on an iOS 6 device, your only way to access Google Maps was via the web.

What does this mean to Google?

To tap into the iOS user base you have to play by Apple’s rules. Judging by the fact that Google released Maps for a competing platform, the users must be worth a lot.

What does this mean for the iOS user?

One additional choice. As a Navigon user, I already enjoy a great mapping solution with Street View built-in, so I am not sure what benefits Google Maps will bring to the table for me. But if you are part of the 26% unsatisfied by Apple Maps, and do not want to pay for an alternative, Google Maps is a great option. Just make sure you have a signal because Google Maps does not support offline maps.

Outsourced Calendar Management Created Unnecessary Headaches

It may make sense to outsource a certain segment of your IT work, say calendars, to a respected third-party to cut costs. But what happens when things go wrong? Just ask Rian van der Merwe about his experience when Google Apps for Business caused huge calendar issues at his company:

We run our company on Google Apps for Business, and we’ve never had any problems. Until now. On Friday morning we came in to work to find that all our calendars are completely, utterly messed up. Not only did we lose data and access to our own calendars, but there appears to be a major security breach as well.

The support he has received from Google so far has been so poor that he wrote a blog post asking others for help. Why Google wasn’t able to simply restore it from an acceptable point-in-time is beyond me. After all, they do state their service has “simultaneous replicated storage for your calendar appointment” and “built-in disaster recovery.” This must not be considered a disaster.

As much as we may like to complain about dealing with internal IT folks, at least you have some recourse when you receive terrible service. When dealing with an external support center, unless you have sway over future contract negotiations, your only option may be to wait and hope for the best.

Gmail 2.0 Now Available on the App Store

Google updated their Gmail app for the iPad and iPhone to 2.0. From the official blog post:

With version 2.0 of the app, you’ll get a totally new look and feel, plus a bunch of improvements like profile pictures in messages, numerous new animations from swivels to transitions and infinite scrolling in the message lists.

The app also supports multiple accounts and much more. Head on over to the blog or App Store to see the changes.

Google and Twitter Relaunch Tweet2Speak

Google and Twitter have relaunched Tweet2Speak to help Syrians tweet without internet.

Call +902123391447 or +302111982716 or +390662207294 or +16504194196. Press 1 to tweet, 2 to hear tweets.

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