Thursday, September 15, 2016

Google, google, google, you let me down with Maps.....

I recently hosted a Scooter ride on Vashon Island with the Firkin Scooter Club.  As part of group rides it's customary to map out a route, plan ahead, and take a test ride.

As the island is only so big, and difficult to get lost on, decided to forgo the pre-ride and instead mapped out course the night before, using google maps.  Attempted to transfer these routes to my smart phone to use for directions.  Hence why am a little dismayed about a lack of this type of support in Google Maps.

The problem is, that when transfer a pre-planned route to your phone, or tablet, is that any customizations are lost.  What is seemingly sent to the phone is just the start and end point, then the phone calculates the most direct route, bypassing all the overrides.

Here is the route I had planned..

This is what is actually sent to the phone or if share the map.

Upon doing some "googling", it turns out that this is a common point of angst among many people.  It seems that the devs at Google are somewhat mum about fixing this as many people have mentioned things.

Now, to silence any doubt, some of the things that I've tried, in no particular order:

  • Email an exact link (reproduceable between browsers on PC) to phone,
  • Email a shortened link (using Google) to phone
  • Use "Send to Phone", through Google Maps
  • Use Email to Phone, through Google Maps
  • Opened links on phone directly into Google Maps
  • Open links into browser on phone
  • Insert actual waypoints, or stops, instead of dragging/dropping mouse
    • This is physical addresses for each custom "dot" in top map
    • Only did first few, sent to phone, no success
    • Didn't do whole map, results were less than spectacular
  • Had two additional maps, unsuccessful on any of them
    • Map displayed is most complicated
    • Had two smaller ones, one with only three waypoints
  • Able to print off turn by turn directions using modified route
  • Installed Waze, a Google product, and didn't have success
  • Am sure other things attempted, none successful

In my very humble opinion this should be a basic feature, especially as it's allowed through a web browser.  If companies, not just Google, want to keep a unified front, their apps and websites should work pretty much the same, regardless of the platform in which we access it on or the technology used.

Now, I am looking at you Google.

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