Road Pad Mini 1.2

Version 1.2 of Road Pad Mini should now be available to download on your iPhone. This version allows the user to choose between Apple and Google maps. The default option is Apple Maps. If you prefer to use Google Maps, you can do this via a web interface which is enabled as follows (please note this process is different to the process for Road Pad on the iPad):

1. After installing the update, open your iPhone's Settings app
2. Scroll down the list of apps until you find Road Pad Mini and tap to select it
3. Enable the switch to Use Web Maps
4. Exit the Settings app and open Road Pad Mini to start using Google Maps

As with Road Pad, if you're using iOS 5, Apple's maps will not be available and you'll continue to use Google Maps regardless. In this case, performance is slightly improved with Use Web Maps switched off. However, enabling web maps allows access to Google Street View, which can be a very handy feature.

iOS 6 latest

A quick update on what's been happening with iOS app updates and bug fixes:

Road Pad & Road Pad Mini
Both these apps were affected by Apple's move away from Google Maps. I've made available temporary updates for users of iOS 6. These updates replace Apple's maps with Google Maps.

I've also completed work on further updates to both of these apps, which have been submitted to Apple for approval but are not yet live on the App Store. These latest updates support iOS 5 & 6. They allow the user to choose between using Apple's maps or Google Maps. Both updates also include other usability enhancements. They should be available to download in the next few days.

iOS 6 caused an issue in the Controls app which prevented the handbrake demonstrator from working. An updated version of the app which fixes this bug has been submitted to Apple and should be available to download in the next few days.

Records & Give Way
Both these apps have been updated to fix bugs caused by iOS 6. Both updates are available to download from the App Store now.

UPDATE: Controls update has gone live, but another bug has surfaced! See here for details. Road Pad 1.4 has also gone live. See here for details.

FURTHER UPDATE: Road Pad Mini 1.2 is now live as well. See here for details.

iOS 6 status update

I know some of you have been experiencing problems with my apps since the update to iOS 6. I've been working hard to get the issues resolved, and I'm pleased to report that things are well on the way to being back to normal. Here's a summary of what's been happening:

Users of iOS 6 might have noticed some strange colours when using Records. This has been fixed and the update is available to download now. The update recommended for all users. It also includes a user interface improvement for iPad users.

Give Way
iOS 6 caused some major issues with Give Way. I've fixed the bug and submitted an updated version of the app to Apple. The update is awaiting their approval and should become available any day now. The update will not change anything for users running iOS 5.

Road Pad Mini (iPhone app)
Road Pad Mini lost access to Google Maps and satellite images with the iOS 6 update. I submitted a workaround which has been approved by Apple. The update is recommended for users running iOS 6 who want to return to using Google Maps. If you're happy with the Apple maps, you should not download the update to Road Pad Mini. Users still running iOS 5 will not be able to update for the time being as the latest version only supports iOS6. This is because the older version offers better performance optimised for iOS 5. Users of the new iPhone 5 will notice a bug that prevents drawing in the lower 1/5th of the screen. A fix for this bug has been submitted and is waiting for approval.

Road Pad (iPad app)
Road Pad also lost access to Google Maps and satellite images with the iOS 6 update. I've submitted a workaround which is still awaiting approval from Apple. If/when it becomes available, the update is recommended for users running iOS 6 who want to return to using Google Maps. Again, if you're happy with the Apple maps, you should not download the update. Users still running iOS 5 will not be able to install the update. Better performance will be achieved by sticking with the older version and sticking with iOS 5.

UPDATE: The Give Way update has now been approved. It should be available to download before the end of today (Thursday 27th).

Is it a good idea to update to iOS 6?

In a word, no. At least not yet, and certainly not if you appreciate the excellence of Google Maps, with its impressively high-resolution satellite images and the incredible Street View.

In iOS 6, Apple has entirely replaced Google's map services with it's own mapping service. Apple's maps have a lot going for them, but good quality satellite images are not one of those things.

This is of particular concern if you're a driving instructor who regularly uses Road Pad or Road Pad Mini as a teaching aid. With iOS 6, Apple has unceremoniously dumped Google Maps out of the Road Pad apps and replaced it with their own half-baked offering.

From my point of view, this is by far the most annoying thing Apple has done for a long time.

Put simply: if you update your iPad/iPhone to iOS 6 you will temporarily lose a lot of the core functionality of Road Pad and/or Road Pad Mini.

By temporarily I mean a period of time that could be anything from around a week to a couple of years. Why the uncertainty? Read on...

Why it may be as little as a week:
I've already started implementing a fix that returns the Road Pad apps back to using Google Maps. However, assuming the fix works, it will have to be approved by Apple. There is no telling whether or not they will go quietly or kick up a fuss and try to prevent me from going back to the old ways. This is a political matter between Apple and Google and something us mere mortals can have no real understanding of.

Why it may be as much as a couple of years:
If the workaround can't get past Apple's App Store approval process, we will just have to sit tight and wait for the quality of Apple's satellite images to improve. How long this will take is anyone's guess, but I'd estimate at least a few months, maybe more, for good coverage across the UK.

Another reason not to update your software yet is that, with iOS 6, some problems have emerged (ha ha!) in my Give Way app. The cars have a tendency to disappear in the Emerging and Crossroads section. This kind of quirky bug is a fairly typical outcome of a major operating system update. It won't take long to rectify, but will take at least a week to pass through Apple's approval system. If you want to keep using Give Way as normal, please stay away from iOS 6 until the update is posted.

UPDATE 25-09-12: The updated version of Road Pad Mini is now live on the App Store. This version will only install if you're running iOS 6. It replaces the Apple Maps with Google Maps. You can use the satellite images and also Street View. The update to Road Pad is still awaiting review by Apple.

UPDATE 03-10-12: Click here to read the latest on iOS 6 app updates and bug fixes.