Integrated turn-by-turn directions or more features – duh

The latest version of the IOS has dropped Google maps in favor of an Apple proprietary maps app. Their is an awesome lesson in here for startups and consumers. Leveraging a closed platform limits choice.

With that said, I have been using iOS6 for a few months and the integration of turn-by-turn directions is so much better then the previous Google maps integration that i do not believe they should even be compared.

    • I am not suggesting that Apple is the first mobile OS to offer this feature, their solution is better than other turn-by-turn apps or  that the current implementation choice was the best one for the community.

I am simply saying as a consumer, and someone who is direction challenged, having turn-by-turn directions integrated directly into the OS is f”ing awesome and the way it should  have been since the beginning.

Buying Retail Does Not Have To Suck

I have been researching what i think is a fascinating change happening in retail and I’m noticing 5 concepts merging at the same time, which is wreaking havoc on the entire industry:

  1. Brick and mortar stores are becoming showrooms for online purchases
  2. Products are becoming more sophisticated
  3. Sales people are clueless
  4. Interrupt advertising is not working
  5. Companies are clueless about social

I recently did some research around buying a smart phone. I visited all 3 major carriers plus a big box retailer. These are the best one liners I heard during my conversation with the employees:

  • Sprint told me all Apple apps cost money and all Android Apps are free
  • Verizon said Android is open sourced so the apps are better then the iPhone
  • AT&T said all Android phones could be upgraded to the latest OS
  • BestBuy said the camera on the the latest Samsung was an awesome camera in low light and the sales person illustrated this by taking out his personal phone and taking a screen shot of the home screen

Besides lies and nonsense, none of the representatives could tell me anything really useful about the devices and several told me to go read the reviews online. I was shocked, BestBuy did not even have actual phones on the floor, only slugs. Getting me in the door is hard enough and these companies spend billions to make that happen. I am not sure who had the great idea of telling their employees to send customers home to do their own research.

One interesting note:  If you ask them about the plans, they new the higher level details to sound educated. At first you would say ok they’re the carrier and not the device maker, but if you look at the latest plans for these devices:

  • Verizon Share Everything plan is $40 for unlimited calling and text in the US
  • AT&T Mobile Share is slightly more complicated but it starts at $45 for unlimited calling and text in the US

What’s so fascinating is the complexity is now switching from the plan to the device, and the retail environment is not keeping up leaving me unsatisfied again. A classic one step forward two steps back.

Why are these people selling your products its not just Smartphone and its not the sales people’s fault. This is bigger issue and it needs to be solved in a completely new way.

Hmm, i have an idea.


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