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Google Earth Going Away in 2021?

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Old 11-20-2017, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by superswiss View Post
The killer feature of HERE is the offline support. It can download and sync entire continents offline so that navigation continues to work even w/o a data connection. I use HERE on my iPhone whenever I travel overseas for example. The offline support is much more advanced than what Google Maps offers.
Out of interest, have you compared this to the current Google Maps offering that lets you store offline maps for your planned areas of travel? Is it significantly different? I find the Google Maps function for this works flawlessly if you're in, say, one city (which I am most of the time) - but if you're driving across several countries (a la ED trip) then downloading all the areas is a pain.
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Old 11-20-2017, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by FLkiwi View Post
Out of interest, have you compared this to the current Google Maps offering that lets you store offline maps for your planned areas of travel? Is it significantly different? I find the Google Maps function for this works flawlessly if you're in, say, one city (which I am most of the time) - but if you're driving across several countries (a la ED trip) then downloading all the areas is a pain.
Yes, I have and it's significantly different. Even for a single country you don't have to think about where you are going. You just download the entire country. Larger countries you can download more granular. For example, for the USA you can download individual states. For the UK you can download England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales individually or the entire UK. Similarly for Germany you can download the individual Bundeslaender. For example I'm going back home to Switzerland over the holidays and visiting my sister-in-law in London, so I already prepped my phone by downloading Switzerland, Lichtenstein and England, so I can navigate anywhere in those countries completely offline w/o having to first plan which cities/areas I'm gonna go to.
Attached Thumbnails Google Earth Going Away in 2021?-20171120_225132000_ios.png   Google Earth Going Away in 2021?-20171120_230217000_ios.png  

Last edited by superswiss; 11-20-2017 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:10 AM
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I'm dredging this topic up again in case anyone has any new back-channel info. I have an order in for a new 2018 S5 SB and I've been quizzing Audi through every channel available to me (chat, email, Twitter, dealers) and haven't gotten a straight answer about what, if anything, is actually happening in the MY2019 models. The gist has been "don't assume anything about anything", including the following Twitter exchange:

We understand this circumstance is not ideal, however, with technology changes and Google Earth moving to a different software version, many of the 2018 and older model year vehicles do not have hardware equipped to handle this. [...] The best information we can provide you at this time is that online services are subject to change at any time, and Google Earth features will not be available after December 2020 for model year 2018 and older vehicles. However, please keep in mind this does not necessarily indicate that 2019 and newer model years are guaranteed to be compatible with Google Earth. At this point in time, we regret to inform you we do not have information on the 2019 model year vehicles, so it is too early to confirm or deny this, and we do not want to provide you any misleading or incorrect information.
I suspect that the "new hardware" is the new MIB2+ that's going into the A8 along with the switch to a more touch-oriented UI, and I don't think that the relatively-new S4 or S5 are in line for a refresh for MY2019. The key part of that exchange to me is "However, please keep in mind this does not necessarily indicate that 2019 and newer model years are guaranteed to be compatible with Google Earth", which could indicate that they'll update the disclaimer to include "MY2019 and older" when they actually announce the MY2019 vehicles that still use MIB2.

There's nothing wrong with my 11 year old Lexus IS350, so waiting a few more months to get future-proof MY2019 S5 is certainly a possibility. It's just not clear that I'll know enough to make a decision before my April delivery date.

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Old 01-09-2018, 05:34 PM
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If anything happens in MY19, I'd expect it to be a switch from Google Earth to HERE for satellite overlay. Since Audi is a part-owner of HERE, they can presumably ensure that it stays compatible with their current MIB2 system.

My guess on refresh is MY20. The B7 only lasted 4 MYs, and B8 went an identical 4 MYs before its mid-life refresh. With sedan sales decreasing in favor of CUVs we probably can't expect a B10 already, but a B9.5 for MY20 doesn't seem at all unreasonable.

IIRC order sheets tend to come out around May, so there may or may not be press news on the MY19 by April.
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Old 01-09-2018, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Obsidian3K View Post
If anything happens in MY19, I'd expect it to be a switch from Google Earth to HERE for satellite overlay. Since Audi is a part-owner of HERE, they can presumably ensure that it stays compatible with their current MIB2 system.
Yeah, that's what I'm specifically asking Audi about (remove or replace with something equivalent from HERE). If it's compatible with MIB2, then it should also work on MY18, though, but they've said several times that it requires a hardware upgrade. Since there's nothing hardware-y about it, I assume that they just don't want to backport any changes to MIB2.

My guess on refresh is MY20. The B7 only lasted 4 MYs, and B8 went an identical 4 MYs before its mid-life refresh. With sedan sales decreasing in favor of CUVs we probably can't expect a B10 already, but a B9.5 for MY20 doesn't seem at all unreasonable.

IIRC order sheets tend to come out around May, so there may or may not be press news on the MY19 by April.
Agreed, and that's probably enough for me to pull the trigger now and contemplate the future when it comes. It looked like the order sheets for MY18 came around April of last year, but maybe somebody will hear something in the meantime. I'm waiting to hear back from the factory rep via the dealer.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by superswiss View Post
Yes, I have and it's significantly different. Even for a single country you don't have to think about where you are going. You just download the entire country. Larger countries you can download more granular. For example, for the USA you can download individual states. For the UK you can download England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales individually or the entire UK. Similarly for Germany you can download the individual Bundeslaender.
Thanks - this is definitely an advantage, will have to take a look!
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:54 PM
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Here's what I got from the factory rep about the loss of Google Earth:

I was able to confirm we will be losing the availability and Audi is currently looking
at the options for a replacement. There are a few things in the works but nothing confirmed yet. The Digital Manager
has promised to email me as soon as they get something more concrete.
Fingers crossed that they actually replace it rather than just get rid of it.
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