This morning, Apple Maps let me down badly on my way to a meeting. All I needed to do was look up a London postcode and find the nearest tube station. Simple. It’s something I’ve done many times using the Google-powered Maps app on my iPhone. But for Apple Maps (which replaced Google Maps in Apple’s recent iOS 6 update), this simple request was too much to ask.
Thankfully Google Maps came to the rescue (via web browser). Have a look at the screenshots below and witness the Apple Maps shambles.
How it should be – Google Maps clearly showed three named tube stations, with Tottenham Court Road closest to the pin (showing the result of my postcode search). Result.
Create a "cheat sheet" like this to let friends access your Wi-Fi easily
When friends come to visit, it’s increasingly handy to let them connect their smartphones and tablets to your Wi-Fi network. Whether they want to share amusing YouTube clips, download the latest and greatest apps/games you’ve been discussing or just access web and email, Wi-Fi usually makes it quicker than relying on the mobile phone network. There’s another benefit if they’ve got an iPhone/iPad and your house has an Apple TV as part of your audio/video setup. By connecting their Apple gadget to your network, they can beam their choice of music, videos or photos to your TV/hifi wirelessly using AirPlay. It’s really simple and makes media sharing much more immersive than passing someone’s iPhone or iPad around.
Spotted this juice label. Surely M&S mean “with fruity bits” rather than “with juicy bits”? After all, the product is JUICE, isn’t it!
For more-frequent Fin blurts, follow @finventing on Twitter.
Here’s an amazing visual history of the technologies underpinning the web:
The Evolution of the Web
I’ve heard of “self help” but surely this “help yourself” sign at Glasgow Airport is taking things a bit far? At least you know you’re on your own…
ASDA has raised the bar on the classic checkout clanger. Not content with using “less” rather than “fewer”, it has imposed a strict item limit of “about 20”. Who’s counting?
Usain Bolt was disqualified from the final of the 2011 World Championship 100m for one false start. The IAAF rules are now coming under fire for being too harsh, since they afford no latitude for accidental false starts.
The false start rule used to be more lenient. Historically, every athlete would receive a warning on their first false start and disqualification on their second. In 2003, the rule changed so that the first false start warning applied to the entire field rather than just the offending athlete. In 2010, warnings were eliminated entirely. Avoiding delay to TV schedules was a key driver for streamlining the rule, but I suspect that broadcasters would rather show “The Lightning” competing than have him disqualified on their account.
So, let’s explore the rule and consider alternatives.
Here’s another example of a misplaced “only” messing up the meaning of an important-looking sign.
The photo was taken in a public area of Luton Airport. As a departing passenger, I was evidently in the wrong place, because the sign required “Passengers Only Beyond This Point” and I was not beyond that point.
What they really meant was “Only Passengers Beyond This Point”. For greater ease and accuracy, they could have simply written two words: “Passengers Only”.
Seems to have been a week for bad adverts (or “badverts”, as I have decided to call them).
First I saw the Nature Valley advert, proclaiming “We wanted to increase deliciousness by 200%… So we put two bars in each pack”. How embarrassing that they messed up their percentages! It would have been safer to use words like “doubly delicious”, but they threw in a spurious statistic instead. Still, it got them lots of unexpected publicity.
Then I saw a puzzling proposition from Orange: “Free iPhone for just £25 a month”. Has inflation spiralled out of control? £25 a month seems steep for something which was free four words earlier. That can’t be right. Maybe they mean “free” as in freedom, so the handset is not locked to their network and is “jailbroken” so that it is freed from Apple’s functionality shackles? No, and No. And yet freedom seems a reasonable expectation from a company whose parent is called “Everything Everywhere”…