Now that the new iPhone 5 is out, along with iOS 6, I’ve compared the map and satellite features of both, plus the Passbook app.  Let me upfront to say I am an iPhone lover and am enjoying my new iPhone 5 that I got last week when it was released.  I’m not going to go over the usual techno-babble specs, just the usability features.

The image is of the Epcot Ball at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and I used both Apple Map and Google Maps to do a side by side comparison of satellite views, street & location accuracy as well as GPS navigation.

Sadly, Google has won the satellite view hands down.  As you can from the same picture, Google Maps is far more apparent, with some details visible while Apple Map is more of a blurry rendition, still apparently able to see what you’re looking at, but there is no detail or clarity at all.

Now onto GPS Navigation;
Apple has decided to keep its less than helpful “dot.”  Not entirely helpful when I am at an intersection and need to know which way to go since I don’t know which way I am already heading/facing.

However, Apple did significantly improve its GPS navigation turn-by-turn directions, which is now free and already included in the Map app that comes preloaded on the iPhone 5.  When using it to navigate in turn-by-turn mode, an arrow does appear, that applause to Apple for that.  The voice, however, sounds more like SIRI with a mild case of Tourette’s syndrome when compared to Google’s, a bright, real sounding voice that flows smoothly.

The accuracy of Information;
Well, I guess we will have to chalk this up to “it is their first attempt.”  I have found a few mislabeled street names and locations in Orlando and Tampa.  That definitely will not help you get where you’re going if you’re using navigation.  But in fairness, Google has had five years of developing their mobile Maps app for the Android, and of course its larger cousin, which has lots of features, some of which see a little big brother like it.

So, onto another review, how about that “Passbook” app?  About all I can say is, very very un-Apple like to release a product that is not even close to ready, compatible, and usable.  Only a tiny selection, and I mean small as in less than 10 have any compatibility.  Not to mention, when I played with the mobile app, an option allows me to add my boarding pass into Passbook, but then United’s mobile app already gives my boarding pass also and has other relevant flight info I need, which Passbook does not.

Opening Passbook, there is entirely no functionality or directions on what to do, very un-Apple like, it almost seems like Apple decided to depart from it “it just works” platform it is so famous for its work.

So, why would I use Passbook if it only gives me one feature of another Apps many features?

Ok, overall, I still love my iPhone 5 despite some much-needed improvements, I guess those will come with the iPhone 5s?

-An opinion article by The Anonymous Customer

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