People use Apple Maps????????
Apple has released a set of "Mobility Trends Reports" – a trove of anonymised and aggregated data that describes how people have moved around the world in the three months from 13 January to 13 April. The data measures walking, driving and public transport use. And as you'd expect and as depicted in the image atop this story, …
@ Stuart -
I'd love to stop using Google and use Apple Maps, but it is just too limited. Things I can't do with Apple Maps that I can do with Google Maps
- I can't create custom maps or even a folder (collection) of favourites on the Mac.
- I can't create collections of favourites on my phone cos it's not supported on iPhone 6
- in spite of what t'internet says, I can't synch whatever I do on the Mac with my iPhone/iPad.
- I can't see my favourites on the Mac map - except for one at a time when I search for them.
- I can't import and export files with Apple Maps.
- Even if I could create something useful, I can't share it with most of my mates cos most of them haven't got Apple devices.
If Apple really has spent an awful lot of money improving maps it's not obvious to me what they've done to make it any better than it was in 5 years ago - and it still finds fewer pubs than Google and Bing.
Let's just hope they've stopped sending people to the middle of Australian nowhereness
What a wuss. I hope you aren't tasked with solving IT problems.
On MacOs, drop a pin and mark it using the favourite icon. It will go into your Favourites collection.
Pick one of your Favourites in the Map app. It isn't hard to do,
Click the information icon
Click the Share button
Choose Copy Link
In the URL that is copied to your clipboard, change 'apple' to 'google'. Anyone, including your friends, can open it in a web page.
For example, here is one of my favourites from a visit to Japan.
"On MacOs, drop a pin and mark it using the favourite icon. It will go into your Favourites collection."
Yep - and when I delete it from the search bar it will disappear from the map - no sign on the map that there's one of my favourite places there. It appears to me that I can only see one favourite location at any one time. I find this hard to believe, but I can't find a way to see more than one favourite at a time on the Mac app. This is a pain; e.g. if we're going on a pub crawl I can't show the 8 pubs that we're going to on a single map all at the same time.
"Pick one of your Favourites in the Map app. It isn't hard to do," - that's my point - I can only do this for *one* favourite at a time in Apple Maps. It's hardly worth sharing the link you've included cos you could have just said "Tokyo Tower, Tokyo" and I'd have got the same thing. In Google my pub crawl maps include all the pubs, the route, timing notes, food stops options, bus stops, tube station, BITE scores, .......all in Google maps, annotated, colour coded and shareable. I can't see any way to do this in Apple maps.
Search for "Beeston Pub Crawl Map" - It's not one of mine and it's a bit light on detail, but it's the sort of thing that I'm on about and and there doesn't seem to be a way to do anything like it using Apple Maps.
No need for Apple
I agree. I don't understand those politicians making such a kerfuffle about it. GPS corona app. Bluetooth corona app. Using personal health/ sports tech. Developing a new app from scratch. Can't everybody who wants to participate just get on Grindr? Available immediately for Apple and Android and seems to work very well...
What's the point, how many people/nutters/drug dealers who plan on unnecesary travel will use their phones if they intend to willinglly break the current rules? These reports from Apple and Google are just a few hundred pages of the bleeding obvious. I can look outsde my window and see for myself, the police patrols whos job is literally that and are also on the streets can also see, what value would it add to use "anonymised" data from ISPs or Gapple.
The only thing this will do is whet the government's appetite to develop a solution that will track forever and always named individuals so they can one day ASAP make it law for "our own good".
It looks to me like there used to be peaks associated with weekends, but now there are troughs at the weekend. That implies that it is now being used for work related travel more than leisure, which is a good thing.
Well, kind of. I mean how many people are going to get lost on their way to work, or end up on an airport runway?
Well it would depend, wouldn't it. Maybe public transport is too crowded for social distancing so you brushed the cobwebs from the bike in the shed and got peddling but confused about where the cycle paths are or just had to drive to work instead. We have a friend who would need satnav guidance to do something like that. Me, I have a photographic memory for routes.
I could probably still do the across North London to Heathrow avoiding the North Circular and joining the motorway only a couple of changes short of the terminals we worked out when we lived down there.
I've been to my separated wife's new place once but I could drive/bus-walk/cycle/run there no problem. I once got my mother who was visiting down from Dundee to my cousin's rural place near Macclesfield on a remembered map (I was driving so couldn't look).
But not everyone is like me. Was also astonished that when the kids started to learn to drive it turned out they had paid not the slightest attention to how to get anywhere whilst being driven about all those years.
Indeed, I once drove all the way across the country to a rented cottage that we hadn't seen before, purely on intuition. My parents made the same journey at the same time but using sat-nav (we were coming back at different times hence needing both cars).
I arrived almost 2 hours before them.
Sat-nav has its uses, but is not always the right solution.
Anyway, back to the topic... from what I've witnessed, public transport is pretty much empty at the moment. A friend commutes by train (to a hospital) - normally it's standing room only and getting friendly, but the last 2 weeks she has had three whole carriages to herself.
There appears to be a total reliance on SatNav now with drivers not having the foggiest of where they are going. They don't even know the major towns or road numbers they are on so that when junctions etc. appear you get total morons changing lane without looking, indicating or anything. The fact that people had so quickly just accepted the SatNav is right so quickly is quite terrifying. The outcome where small lanes are being wreaked by HGVs that should never have turned into them and signs are needed saying "Do not follow your SatNav" just demonstrate the levels of stupidity drivers now have.
I was driving up the M6 to Liverpool and at one point the SatNav indicated I should turn off. It was blatantly the wrong junction so I continued. Coming back later in the day at the same junction it did the same thing.
I'm surprised people seem surprised they can do this. First, it is perfectly possible to count up requests for destinations without needing to store any personal data
Second, how do people think the likes of Google, Apple et al get traffic data? Yes, they get it from Traffic master for major roads, but they add that data to the location data transmitted by phones in any jams..
It's a complete non-issue. And the headline is juuuuust cynical enough to give the impression that Apple are violating privacy whilst claiming to safeguard it, without actually crossing the line and outright stating it.
But yes. Nothing here worth a story.
Turn the bloody things off (or put them in Flight Mode until you actually need the dammed thing).
I have hardly used Google Maps and the last time I used the Apple Version was to get to an El Reg lecture in London (being from out in the sticks...)
Location data is almost always disabled on every app apart from the ones I actually use a lot, such as Zap-Map.
You can control the data leaving your phone... effing well do it. Make it hard for the likes of Google to track your every movement so that they can sling adverts back at you. This is almost irrelevant to me since I hardly use the web browser on my phone. YMMV naturally.
You think Google still don't collect location data? They can infer a lot from the WiFi signatures you pick up. There used to be s time when you might occasionally see jumps in your location trace because of someone having moved house but keept their WiFi access point on the same settings - sniff that one and Google would put you near their old address.
I suspect there's a bunch of info sent back to the Apple and Google motherships all the time
That's not how it works - I suspect it's Google that's doing the triangulation if Maps is doing anything. Try doing the same experiment in airplane mode (the phone still listens for towers and wifi in this mode) - bet it doesn't work. The towers don't tell the phone where they are, mostly. You might be getting info from an A-GPS system, but they're not present in every network
"That's not how it works - I suspect it's Google that's doing the triangulation if Maps is doing anything. "
There's no reason why phones can't do reverse triangulation on cell towers - they receive signal strength and other data from cell towers in the area including the Cell IDs of the towers; it's trivial to put this together and come up with a triangulated location from multiple towers. Accuracy won't be great (+/- 1-300m/sq) but certainly enough for rough locations.
VPNs: no effect at all. Cell towers and access points happen before the VPN, so if the app can read them, it can use that data to locate you. If you want that not to be possible, you have to add lots of restrictions to what apps are allowed to do. My typical policy is that an app can ask for various permissions and be denied, but if it asks for location and I don't want to give it, that app is evicted with prejudice.
I don't necessarily bin the app that asks for location permission. I DO bin every app that doesn't work without it if location isn't core to the functionality. Google Maps gets permission to my location while I am using the application; any app that has no need for my location, but refuses to run without it gets deleted.
Perhaps I should clarify my policy. An app can ask for location permission and need it to work (E.G. navigation), and I will grant that permission. An app can ask for location for a clearly-identified feature, such as adding geotagging to photographs, and I will deny it, but if it still works, it can stay. If an app asks for location and does not have either of the previous two excuses, including where I don't know why it wants location, then I will decide the app is untrustworthy and I will discard it entirely. It doesn't matter to me if it works without the permission--if it asked for that, it might be doing other things it didn't ask about but I don't trust.
"...that if Apple collects the data, they can be subpoeana'd for it (1), given a National Security Letter to demand real-time access to it (2), similary court-ordered forced to de-anonomise it (3) under COVID emergency pretense."
If it can be de-anonymised, it's not anonymous in the first place. Hence all the work that Apple have put in to make sure they don't actually HAVE the de-anonymised data, so it can't be subpoena'd.
Not just what the others are capable of – what they actually do. Android – you do not actually own the device, the device is for the use of Android vendors to monitor you. With iOS, you own it, Apple says they do not use it in the same way others do – and if they were shown to do so, they could be taken to court and sued.
And yes, I do believe we should enforce Apple to keep their word on this and not go down the path of Google, Amazon, etc – their intrusion into our lives is pernicious.
The data are being collected from maps - software people use to find places they don’t know. So all those trips where they DO know where they’re going aren’t counted. The data are therefore useless for monitoring people’s movements during the crisis as during lockdown they’re Supposed to be only walking locally!
"No, Google doesn't sell information about its users."
"Google monetizes what it observes about people in two major ways:
1. It uses data to build individual profiles with demographics and interests, then lets advertisers target groups of people based on those traits.
2. It shares data with advertisers directly and asks them to bid on individual ads."
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