Don’t rely on Google Maps beta when walking

GoMo News gets horrendously lost for 2nd time in a week

desktop is correct - android was way out

This publication likes to eat its own cooking so it only makes sense that when finding our way to a new venue, we rely on technology. In this case the satnav capabilities employed by Google’s Maps. Well, don’t rely on this facility one little bit because last night we got horrendously lost for the second time in about a week. To be fair, the app (running on Android, of course) does warn users that it is still in beta. But we didn’t expect beta to mean worse than useless.

Searching for reasons why Maps should be so appalling all we can think of is that both venues were relatively new.

last night we were trying to find a bar called the Mayor of ScardeyCat Town in the City of London. It didn’t help that Google thinks the venue is in Artillery Passage when it fact it is a short distance away in Artillery Lane.

When we came out of Liverpool Street station (from the Underground/Metro), we were informed that the venue was eight minutes away when it was actually something like three minutes.

It really doesn’t help that Google Maps immediately tells you to walk South when you don’t have a compass, either.

In traffic we can’t hear the spoken instructions. We tried switching to the written instructions but they lack one important facility: – mentioning the landmarks around you.

GoMo News therefore suspects that the walking instructions are simply a poor translation of the driving instructions.

But there is something seriously wrong with the UI, though because the view it presents seems to put you at the top of the screen and as you walk forward you move down the screen.

We also don’t think the app has a very good idea of your precise location. Even though we had both GPS and Wi-fi switched on.

The proof of the pudding will be to try something else. Like a Nokia Lumia running Windows Phone (WP7.8), for example.

What Android navigation app do readers think we should have been using instead?

Oh.And thanks to Kaspersky Labs for inviting us to such a neat venue. You really do enter it through a fridge door.

* Footnote: We have just repeated the exercise on a desktop PC and fed in Liverpool Street station as the start point. This indicates that employing “use my current location” is obviously the root of the problem.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
This article was published in WP7.8, android, google, navigation, nokia and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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