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Good Tidings Of Great Joy: Google Maps App Released For iPhone

Google's native maps app for the iPhone finally was released Wednesday, and there was much rejoicing. Just in time for Christmas, the three wise men are able to find the manger without spilling their frankincense or myrrh.

Unsurprisingly, reviewers like Google Maps better than Apple's maps app, which tends at times to strand travelers in vast and isolated areas.

What fascinates me about this mess is that the new Google Maps for iPhone is not only better than Apple's maps — it's also much better than the old Google Maps app that had been on the iPhone from Day 1. The new version loads faster and offers turn-by-turn directions — something Google had been offering Android users since 2010 — along with a host of other modern goodies.

So while it's fair to criticize Apple for releasing a half-baked and even marginally dangerous mapping app to the public, the move did force Google to finally offer up its "A" game to Apple's customers.

My holiday wish is that executives at both companies will realize that their bickering over maps tarnished them both. When you are raising kids, you're supposed to offer natural consequences for their actions, and I think we should treat corporate executives the same way.

So for now I am going to keep using Waze — it's a scrappy little independent mapping app that I've grown to love. It uses crowd sourcing to give you up-to-date information about traffic, including speed traps and other goodies, and it hasn't (yet) left me stranded in a national park. Crowd sourcing is a clever idea — and worth supporting. It's like giving the three wise men the help of nearby shepherds to guide them to their destination.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

A Glimpse Of Listeners' #NPRpoetry — From The Punny To The Profound

It was a simple idea: Would you, our listeners, tweet us poems for National Poetry Month? Your response contained multitudes — haiku, lyrics, even one 8-year-old's ode to her dad's bald spot.
WAMU 88.5

Eating Insects: The Argument For Adding Bugs To Our Diet

Some say eating insects could save the planet, as we face the potential for global food and protein shortages. It's a common practice in many parts of the world, but what would it take to make bugs more appetizing to the masses here in the U.S.? Does it even make sense to try? A look at the arguments for and against the practice known as entomophagy, and the cultural and environmental issues involved.

WAMU 88.5

A Federal Official Shakes Up Metro's Board

After another smoke incident and ongoing single tracking delays for fixes, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced a shake-up of Metro's board.

NPR

Apple's Lousy Week Could Signal Times Of Trouble For Tech Giant

Apple got hit with a lot of bad news this week. First, the company posted its first quarterly revenue drop since 2003. And then billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn revealed that he has dumped all of his shares in Apple. NPR explores whether the company is really in trouble or if is this all just a bump in the road.

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