I heard the other day that the new map app(lication) from Apple, which replaces Google’s map function on the iPhone 5 (and its latest operating system update for older phones) lacks, uh, direction. According to NPR, the “new map software that is glitch prone.” In another NPR story, “Early upgraders are reporting that the new maps are less detailed, look weird and misplace landmarks.”
As someone who uses the map app (from Google) incessantly on my (i)Phone, the news that Apple’s map app does not contain information on train and bus schedules is a major stumbling block. The cost of a bus pass, which is subsidized by my university since I am still a full-time student, makes taking mass transit a money-saving must. Without the ease of being able to find the next and closest bus in an instant represents a step backward.
While it is a seemingly minor issue that will likely be fixed, it will prevent me from getting the newest iPhone, as well as updating my operating system. It’s bad enough that consumers are all but forced to replace their phones every two years. The last three phones I’ve had were non-functioning within a year to two years. Since I don’t have a landline, I use my phone a lot. A durable, functional product is essential.
Changing small features like the adapters yields tons of e-waste. In addition, a thinner battery that lasts longer is great for usage, but often these cannot be easily recycled or replaced, causing users to discard the device in its entirety. Megan’s recent articles about minimalist living raise a great question about what we want versus what we need. A phone that can increase use of mass transit is great. One that inhibits this use, well, not so much.