This was totally unintentional and entirely magical.
On September 19, 2012, Apple released its own map app, supplanting the app that had previously used data provided by Google. To say its reception was frosty would be an understatement. Rarely has an app been greeted with such disappointment, bafflement, and occasionally outright furor. Two momentous things happened in the immediate aftermath:
Apple isn’t ever without fault; it’s had its fair share of public embarrassments. I’m thinking of Ping, AirPower, and the still gorgeous Power Mac G4 Cube, to name a few. They may play like they’re unassailable, but oftentimes they show a great lack of insight and transparency with their releases. I guess world-shaking products like the iPhone, Apple Watch, and MacBook help to keep the balance.
Perhaps it’s because I live in Southern California, but at the beginning, I never had the sort of truly awful experience that others did. It was clear that its edges were as rough as could be, but calling it an abject failure? A catastrophe? Something worth getting fired over? It was an embarrassment, sure, but the reactions always felt outsized. Indeed, I think everyone should have taken some deep breaths over the whole thing.1
Anecdotally, the general feeling around my circle of family, friends, and acquaintances was one of disappointment and ridicule. Many expected it to be as capable and reliable as Google Maps was at the time (and continues to be). What a ridiculous notion that was! To write off an entire app—and for many, never use again—because it wasn’t immediately as good as its predecessor/competition felt like the wrong sort of knee-jerk response. Google Maps launched on February 8, 2005, a full seven years before Apple Maps. Of course Apple is going to be playing catch-up for a while. If you told me that Google’s product was rough and problematic at launch, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit.
We’re coming up on a decade of Apple Maps and, baby, it’s come a long way. We’ve got useful mapping data, gorgeous 3d models, and a Look Around function that’s second to none.2 As Krol describes in the article:
When navigating somewhere on an iPhone, you’ll notice that you’ll see clearer details about lanes in a road. Lanes are depicted accurately — with road markings — and intersections show crosswalks. It not only helps with accessibility since you’ll know those elements are there, but also extends to knowing what lane you need and how to get there properly. Even neater, you’ll see proper elevation when navigating complex highways that have ground-level roads with overpasses that intersect.
It’s a treat to use the app now. The service is capable and trustworthy. They’ve turned what would otherwise be an app lacking in personality into an experience that feels friendly, is chock full of helpful information, and is littered with eye candy.
Maps has a special place in the history of Apple. Roundly criticized and rejected at its release, it has since become one of their crown jewels. The app shows Apple at its best—quietly improving a product or service until it gleams with polish and essential utility. There are few apps on my devices that are as simultaneously useful, entertaining, and educational as Maps.
That being said, there were undoubtedly some areas of the world that were failed by the app’s rough edges and shoddy mapping data. It’s a damn shame that people were let down by Apple’s mistakes. ↩︎
Yes, it’s a far better experience than Google’s Street View. The only downside is that it doesn’t have the same coverage that Google’s feature does, but it’s only a matter of time before that changes. ↩︎
In this week’s new Stream Dream Team, I’ve got serious questions about public tooting etiquette, Lee is dropping knowledge about the Sabrina-Riverdale universe, and we meet newly famous musician, Larry Underwood, in The Stand.
Listen to this informative new episode right here! 🎙️
Merry Christmas to everyone!
I hope you have a lovely day full of cheer, family, friends, giving and receiving nice presents, delicious meals, and as much happiness as you can stuff into a day. 🎄
The film was produced by Frank Capra, along with Liberty Films. 🎞
All I don’t want for Christmas is finding rain water leaking into the house through a window frame and under the eaves of the roof.
I’d like to send this terrible present straight back to the North Pole, thank you very much!
As it happens every year, the confusion and stress of trying to schedule a holiday visit with everyone in my life are enough to make me not want to do any of it. A quiet day with my wife (and some cozy blankets, Christmas music, and maybe gingerbread cookies) sounds way better.
In this week’s new episode of Stream Dream Team, I suck at making vuvuzela sounds with my mouth, Lee is given the title of “Dingmeister,” and we delve into the post-apocalyptic horror world of the recent The Stand mini-series.
Listen to this silly new episode right here. 🎙️
If the company that makes my eggless mayo could stop adding an incredibly rich and noxious artificial egg smell, that would be great.
If I could get paid for rearranging my desk, I’d probably be on par with Bezos and Musk right about now.
The film was produced by Dana Brunetti, Ceán Chaffin, Michael De Luca, and Scott Rudin, along with Columbia Pictures, Relativity Media, Scott Rudin Productions, Michael De Luca Productions, and Trigger Street Productions. 🎞
A cozy, rainy day is nearly impossible to beat (and it’s especially welcome after the hot year we had)!
In this week’s new episode of Stream Dream Team, Lee’s been keeping the most terrible of secrets, I’m all about Captain & Tennille (I guess?), and one last time, we travel to the beautiful and emotional world of Violet Evergarden.
Listen to this moving episode right here! 🎙
In an IndieWire article by Ryan Lattanzio:
I mean, look, we’re all nervous about people getting back to the theater, but you know what’s going to get them back in movie theaters? ‘Spider-Man.’ So let’s be happy about that.
Like a cooling oasis in [a desert of bad hot takes about superhero films](https ://www.dandy.cat/2021/10/14/david-fincher-announces.html), Paul Thomas Anderson says that movies and the theatergoing experience will be fine, even if there is more money than ever spent on high budget, blockbuster films. There’s still room for everybody to play. Indeed, it’s the enormous movies like the new Spider-Man film that will allow directors like him to continue doing what he does.
So it’s a universally held truth that calories don’t count during the holiday season, right?
The Apple TV app interface could undeniably use work. However, I think a lot of its terribleness could be mitigated just by letting me like/dislike items in there.
I want it to stop guessing what I’d like poorly, and instead, just let me tell it.
Music, sound effects, heck, even the sounds of the birth of the universe! It’s all at my fingertips.
In this week’s new episode of Stream Dream Team, Lee is enjoying the heck out of brinner, I’m less than enthusiastic about the movie, The Night House, and we’re saying a tearful goodbye to our beloved Moonbeam City.
Listen to this heated episode right here! 🎙
May your days always be as full of 91 cent class action settlement checks as mine has been!
May those lawyers’ gift-wrapped presents always be filled with the enormous payouts that those cases grant only them!
May there be nothing but coal in the stocking of Bank of America!
Whoever popularized the “Jump to recipe” button on recipe blogs needs to receive a Nobel prize or a knighthood or something. That should be a required element for every one of those websites.
Total movies watched: 22.
Favorite movie of the month: Psych 3: This Is Gus. I’m a little biased here—Psych is one of my favorite things ever.
Least favorite movie of the month: Red Notice.
Be sure to follow me on Letterboxd! 🎥