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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

Nate Parker's Past, His Present, And The Future of 'Birth Of A Nation': Episode 14

News of a 1999 rape case against Nate Parker raises some age-old questions about culture. Can art be separated from its creator? What moral obligations, if any, do the consumers of culture bear?
NPR

Berkeley's Soda Tax Appears To Cut Consumption Of Sugary Drinks

According to a new study, the nation's first soda tax succeeded in cutting consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. But there's uncertainty about whether the effect will be permanent.
WAMU 88.5

Questions About Hillary Clinton’s Newly Uncovered Emails

A federal judge orders a review of nearly fifteen thousand recently discovered Hillary Clinton emails from her time as Secretary of State. A new batch related to the Clinton Foundation was also released. Join us to discuss ongoing questions.

NPR

Instagramming In Black And White? Could Be You're Depressed

Researchers analyzed people's photo galleries on Instagram, then asked about their mental health. People who favored darker, grayer photos and filters were more likely to be depressed.

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