Pogue goes rogue!

The brainwashed brown-noser pens a vicious critique of Apple’s new maps app. Apparently he just noticed that the software is terrible:

In short, Maps is an appalling first release. It may be the most embarrassing, least usable piece of software Apple has ever unleashed.

Question remains: How did Pogue not notice this when he was preparing his original glowing review? The one in which he said the new maps app was one of the “chief attractions” of the new phone?

Did Pogue write his original review without even looking at the maps app? Or did he know how bad it was and just neglect to mention it for fear of pissing off Apple?

It’s hard to believe any reviewer could not look at the maps app at all. The new maps app was a big deal. It was the kind of thing a reviewer would have high on his or her list of things to check out.

It’s also the kind of thing that an editor at the Times might get pissed about when he sees that everyone is ranting about these messed-up maps and the situation is so bad that someone has even created a Tumblr to mock them and yet his own world-famous and notoriously Apple-conflicted reviewer failed to notice any problem.

So, maybe that.

12 Responses to “Pogue goes rogue!”

  1. Darwin

    I don’t disagree with what you are saying but the issue with critiquing Pogue for you is that he is a much more successful and better writer than you. I’m thinking there is some jealousy involved here.
    So, maybe that.

    Reply
  2. Sablesma

    I do disagree with what you are saying but the issue with critiquing Lyons for you is that he is a much more successful and better writer than you. I’m thinking there is some jealousy involved here.
    So, maybe that.

    Alternately: Commenter makes critique that a writer cannot critique another writer that is “better” and more successful, ends argument with sentence fragment, forgets that they are a commenter. So, maybe irony.

    Reply
  3. Proto

    Dan, several times now you have raised the question: if the iOS 6 Maps app is so terrible, why did early reviewers say such good things about it? The answer is as old as the software business. The demo experience is nothing like the reality of living with a piece of software from day to day.

    Let’s face it, the vector tiles on the maps look beautiful (when they align properly). The 3D and flyover views are really cool. What’s more, most of the reviewers (and many bleeding edge early adopters) live in the greater New York / San Francisco coastal metropoli for which the app has very good data. I suspect that they didn’t complian about it for the same reason I didn’t complain about it: in using the maps app for a while in a major coastal US city, it looks pretty good.

    Your harsh criticism of these reviewers is a bit like asking someone with food poisoning why they finished their plate of swordfish the night before and said it tasted good. It probably was delicious on the way down and the flaws became apparent only after sufficient time to digest the meal.

    Unfortunately, there’s no obvious fix for this. Tech reporters aren’t going to be able to take every new gadget on a round-the-world tour before writing a review. Similarly, they aren’t going to be able to give a report after using the product exhaustively for six months. They can’t start earlier with evaluations because the devices just aren’t finished and if they wait months to publish exhaustive reviews, the public’s attention will have moved on.

    Now that iOS 6 is publicly available, I can say that I ran the betas for months. I used the maps app several times a week and, remarkably, was not hurled off a cliff into a pit of lava. My use case (major US coastal city) was in the part of the world with the best data available.

    The limitations of the app (and by this, I really mean the limitations in the underlying data) were not readily apparent until it got into the hands of a hundred million gamma testers around the planet. Should Apple have QA’d this thing better? Obviously. Could the Apple marketing machine have set a slightly more realistic expectation? Well, they *could have*, but being the Apple marketing machine it’s pretty clear that they had no interest in doing so.

    I don’t think you need to go looking for conspiracies on this one. The app demos beautifully. Seriously, I can spin my building around and have used this feature all the time to give quick demos. It just wasn’t really for a global rollout to a half billion users.

    Reply
  4. Ryan

    >The demo experience is nothing like the reality of living with a piece of software from day to day

    Then don’t review a product based on a demo (as Pogue effectively did).

    > the flaws became apparent only after sufficient time to digest the meal

    Then wait until the “meal” is “digested” before reviewing it.

    (The NYT restaurant reviewers, incidentally, go back for multiple visits, and in cases where far less money is at stake.)

    Reply
  5. Nicolas

    Burn him to a crisp, biased, pre-written reviews are as worthless as the prople writing them.

    Reply
  6. faddah

    weeeelll… pogue is now and has always been more of a standard
    new york broadway song & dance… uhhhhh… man
    , really, more than anything else. singing, dancing, reviewing — oh man, he’s really a “triple threat.” serious tech reviews are “quaint” when he does them, but not to be taken that seriously. too busy auditioning the chorus boys for his next big video, i guess.

    Reply
  7. Proto

    @Ryan: I used the maps app for several months prior to public release and didn’t see the issues people are talking about now. That’s not to say that their complaints are invalid, but that the use I had in the areas in the world where I traveled tended to be the ones where Apple had good quality map and location data. This was probably true for most of the reviewers as well.

    The difference with a restaurant review is that tech product reviews are more time sensitive. If a restaurant review is delayed a week or two, it’s generally not a big deal. Being a few weeks late with a phone review limits the review’s relevance.

    Reply

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