Google Maps/Navigation/Latitude/Offers/Local out of control?

FifthElement

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May 23, 2012
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What is going on at Google? They are taking a great app and ruining it! Google Maps was one of my favorite apps and now it's just a bloated memory hog with tons of useless and unwanted features?! The new Google Maps Mobile is now Maps, Navigation, Latitude, Offers, Places (renamed Local) and Google+ sprinkled in for good effect! I strictly use it for Maps and Latitude but it sometimes runs up to 3+ processes & services in the background and drains a battery faster then a 12 year old tween girl!

Also bugs are so fully rampant it's not funny! I have GUI elements that appear and disappear, Latitude is missing all contact images (even my own) and that is when you can get it to load without having to press the refresh icon every time! Also according to some Navigation appears to no longer be announcing street names but I haven't tested this as of yet. Google Maps is becoming an app that only powerful devices can run comfortably. My friends have a Huawei Ascend and a Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G, which both devices have issues running the latest version of Maps. On the Huawei Ascend is can take as long as 4 minutes just to get Maps loaded but even then it's unusable! It's not quite as bad on the Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G but the loading and slowness will still test your patience. This is just unacceptable! And why hasn't Maps added the ability to disable some of the features and/or allow you to transfer to external memory (SD/microSD)? I know some apps that are placed on the external memory have issues running on start-up or 24/7 but that is what is needed. Google Maps has become a huge program at 60MB+ on my EVO LTE!

And this just in Google added Zagat reviews to Places, which now requires you to have signed up for Google+ prior to reviewing a restaurant/place, or to even change a previously rated review that you've already made! I don't want Google+ so stop forcing me to sign up for it!? You can still read reviews on Maps but why would Google limit their reviewer base to only those who have Google+? What are they smoking? Reviews should be limited to those with a Google account (for accountability) and nothing more? Why make it more complicated? And Google while you're at it remove the huge red Google+ Zagat review notification advertisement on Places, oh wait I'm sorry you renamed it "Local"!

I remember when Google tried to add Google Buzz features into Maps and then just recently they added Google Offers. Oh and don't forget when they made Latitude Check-Ins a Google+ only feature! Why do they keep adding unnecessary and duplicate features? You already have an Offers app and why limit Latitude check-ins to Google+ only users!? Google create a new App or if you want to add these features at least allow us to disable them? On the newest update Google integrated bubble buttons (graduating the feature from Labs) and added the option to only choose ONE type of bubble which would appear: call, navigate or directions. However, on previous Map builds Bubble Buttons (via Labs) would always display at least two bubbles (call and navigate or directions)! Why not have the call/phone option (which used to be to the right of the location name) stay permanently to the left of the location name and then allow us to select the other option which would be to the right of it? WTF? Google thought it would be better with only one option? Another huge step backward!?

I'm not alone as if you go to the Google Maps Play Store page you'll see quite a few reviews complaining of the many issues I have brought up in this post. Also many have sent their criticisms directly to Google via the Feedback option in Maps, which by the way doesn't work on my EVO LTE (I try to send a comment and then go to another app thinking it's done and sent but maps feedback re-pops up on my screen automatically blank forcing me to type everything again and I'm still not sure if it ever sent!). If Google were reading my post I would ask that you: Number one, stop forcing Google+ down your users throats as you're limiting your reviewer base; Number two, fix the huge bugs I have named which have been present in multiple previous and current Map builds; Three, finally reduce Google Maps to a decent size, aka stop filling it up like a gossip magazine on a grocery store shelve, and/or add the ability to move the app to an external memory source (SD/microSD).

Thanks for reading this post (aka /Rant),

5th :-$
 

elshagon

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Jun 13, 2010
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I agree with all the above. A number of google apps have gone backwards. It makes me wonder who is in charge of developing these apps, and what they're smoking to believe any of these updates are for the better. I used places and maps a lot when on the road, but now I'm not sure if I'll use them at all. Places (now Local) now uses a number system for its ratings of restaurants etc. The star system or rating 1-5 was much easier than seeing a number "22" next to a restaurant. Most places that show up do so with a "6 reviews" but nothing indicating what it's rating is without reading those reviews. When I'm traveling I don't have time to read a bunch of reviews, show me the rating. There is no explanation how they arrive at ratings either. It seems to be a combination of sheer number of ratings along with how well its rated. The app is a piece of junk now, and I will now have to switch to Yelp.
 

secretmethod70

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Jun 6, 2010
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In some ways, I understand and agree with your complaints. On the other hand, I'll never understand the complaining about Google+. Maybe it's Google's fault that people don't seem to be understanding this, but Google+ is not a separate product. Google+ is Google. To use Google, you WILL use Google+, and they've been upfront about that fact since Google+ was unveiled. The name is very intentional: Google+ is the evolution of Google, tying all the services together to create a better, more integrated experience. That doesn't mean you have to use the social networking hub of Google+, but it does mean that no one should be thinking in terms of "I don't want to sign up for Google+, I just want to use Google Maps." Think of it this way, plus.google.com is Google+Social, maps.google.com is Google+Maps, calendar.google.com will be Google+Calendar in due time.

Google+ is not Google Buzz or Google Wave because those were separate products, not intended as an evolution of the entire Google brand. Google+, on the other hand, is Google evolved. In many ways, it's what people have been saying Google should do for a few years now, but for whatever reason people don't like it now that it's here since it's also tied to the social layer of status updates and sharing. I think sometimes Google's problem is that they're too transparent. hen they updated their privacy policy a few months ago, there was this big uproar, and yet all it really meant was that your GMail data will be used to serve you ads in GMail AND in other Google products. Oh, and that your data from any one Google product can be used to improve your experience on another. It's the kind of thing people who didn't pay close attention probably assumed was already happening, but Google made a big deal about the relatively minor change to their privacy policy in the interest of informing users and all of a sudden there are articles all over the internet about how Google is becoming evil... for doing what any outsider would have expected them to be doing in the first place. Rather than have many separate services, Google is finally pulling everything under one umbrella: Google. The glue that will tie these services together? Google+. Not the website, but the concept. The plus.google.com website is just a hub, nothing more.

I understand that not everyone likes that Google is going in this direction, but at the same time Google+ has been out for almost a year and they haven't done anything to hide where they intend to go with this. This is intended generally and not toward you specifically, but I do think it's time for people to either stop complaining and accept it or make the decision to move away from Google. I have plenty of my own criticisms, so I'm not saying don't criticize, but at this point we should be criticizing whether they are doing a good job of integrating all their services, not whether they should be doing it in the first place. That second issue has been settled: it's happening.

As for some of the specifics in your post, I'm not familiar with the phones you mentioned, so I don't know how powerful they're supposed to be, but Google Maps works just fine on my HTC EVO 4G LTE (and worked fine on my original HTC EVO 4G as well). I'm actually really happy with Local (formerly Places) and the Zagat integration. From my limited use since the update, it looks nicer, benefits from Zagat reviews, and is generally just a much better tool than it was before.
 

wsachen

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Jul 24, 2013
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Is there a way to restore all the previously saved locations before the migration? How am I going to find my way home... geesh!
 

kronosqq

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Apr 19, 2012
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The updates to Maps may make some things less obvious in terms of functionality but most of the features are still there, you just get to them in different ways. That's been covered earlier in this thread. Personally I'd rather complain about the travesty that is the hangouts app. Looks great but if you want to actually use it as Google talk to chat with people who don't have phones and who aren't always online, you're kind of out of luck. There's no easy way and sometimes no way to tell who's online. That's ridiculous to me.

Sent from my EVO using AC Forums mobile app
 

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