(Simon Porter) #23

Sounds good. Will wait to see the redesign :+1:

((☞゚ヮ゚)☞ ☜(゚ヮ゚☜)) #24

I think it was related to the place data they use.

(Tommy Long) #25

This would make sense, Monzo will only want to integrate with a single database of places and Google’s is vastly superior


-1 to the switch to Google Maps in the iOS app from me. Why? Privacy. Do I want Google to potentially have the locations purchases I’ve made, with possible inferred linkage to particular retailers? No thanks. What data’s shared with them in exchange for use of their mapping API? 'Cause they’re exceptionally good at connecting seemingly disparate dots.

I know Apple cares about the privacy of its customers – its business model is selling expensive hardware & services and they’ve made a big deal about privacy of late – but Google actively mines everything it can, as does Facebook, because they’re both advertising companies. I know a lot of people don’t care about the trade-offs of using Google’s & FB’s services, but given the choice of opting out of that, I’d choose Apple Maps every time.

Maybe make the choice of map provider an option (and default to the corresponding platform’s native choice)?

(Jolin) #27

I have to echo a lot of the pro-Apple Maps comments on here. In addition to the above, the map loads much faster for me, as the tiles for the area I’m in are already cached on the phone. I looked at a transaction yesterday in the updated app and it took so long for the map to load, I had to move on to something else before it ever happened. I never found out if it was properly located.

I’d be quite happy for Monzo to drop the Google places database if that’s the cost of using Apple Maps, and using other sources instead. I know this is probably futile, but I can’t help but plea for a reconsideration! :wink:

(James Nicholson) #28

A lot of great discussion in here as always – I love you folks. Will try and answer as many of the raised points as possible, pull me up if I missed any :wink:

A couple of people mentioned privacy. This is something I care about personally, and that we care about a great deal as a company:

Just to be clear about this: pins are drawn onto the Google Map locally on the device. Data about merchants is gathered on the server-side from Google Places, but that request is not tied to a specific user.

No geocoding is done on-device – our API returns a lat-long with each transaction (Monzo API Docs – the app uses the same APIs) which we draw on the map locally :round_pushpin: If you’re bored and geeky like me :nerd: you can grab an SSL proxy (I like Charles Proxy on Mac) and watch the requests we make to Google for yourself :thumbsup:

This is the reason :point_up:

Looking at location data has kind of followed me around in my career – at Hailo (map-based taxi app), I tested Apple, Google, FourSquare, OpenStreetMaps, Nokia HERE (remember them?) and dozens of others for location data quality – Google is far and away the best source of accurate data we can get for merchants, by an order of magnitude.

I’d be interested in a side-by-side comparison. Although it’s only briefly mentioned in the release notes, a huge part of the iOS 1.9.4 release (and something I’m quite proud of) is speed – a ton of careful profiling around power, CPU usage and memory allocation, along with more fundamental architectural changes (if you’ve got a lot of transactions, try logging out and back in – used to be slow as molasses to load feed, is now instant!)

With the change to Google Maps specifically, we allocate a single map instance which is shared across the app. That means when tapping in and out of transactions, the map is visible immediately (including any cached tiles), and should feel really fast :runner:

Just want to echo @zancler here – lots of beautiful things on his screen right now that I’m really looking forward to implementing :slight_smile:

Provide alternate map options when submitting merchant data
Amazon Partnership
New iOS Update: Upload Profile Pictures!
New iOS Update: Upload Profile Pictures!
(Jolin) #29

Thanks for such a thorough and informative reply @james, much appreciated!

Sorry, I was not trying – at all! – to come across as ungrateful for the focus on speeding up the app in the last release. The speed improvements are actually what I’m most excited about from this update (as nice as profile pictures are), so I am hugely appreciative of all the time you and the team must have spent. I know this kind of thing can be very time intensive without having something flashy to point to at the end.

I’ve only used the app once or twice since the update, and my feed seemed to update instantly when I did – previously (on a 5S) there was a delay of a few seconds, which was not great. So I think this has made a difference. In my above post, I was talking purely about the maps aspect. I’m sure once I’ve used the new version of Monzo a bit, the tiles will be cached, and I won’t have the same issue with a delay in the map appearing. There are still the visual style aspects, but I appreciate you have good reason for switching, and especially that you took the time to explain them.

(James Nicholson) #30

Aw shucks :blush: I really appreciate your kind words, and keeping us held to account! The Monzo community rocks :monzo:


@james just to second @jzw95, many thanks for that answer, really is appreciated!


At the end of the day, ultimately, I trust @hugo to get the design right. At the minute it’s fugly cause of the Google logo, but that will change with future design implementations. So Hugo, we’re holding you to account now :joy:


Great to see the move to the best of breed maps. Thank you @james for outlining how the nuanced implementation of Google Maps.

(Jolin) #34

Having used the updated app a bit more now, I can confirm that:

  1. It is much faster. Huge improvement, transactions are just in my feed, instead of having to wait a while to see things update. Now that map tiles for my area are cached, they appear immediately, too. :+1::pray:

  2. Google maps is a lot uglier than Apple maps! (I realise this is a subjective opinion, so that phrasing is tongue-in-cheek. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:)

Provide alternate map options when submitting merchant data

I agree, :100: percent. It is growing on me, very slowly. Not used to Google Maps at all.

(Eve) #36

After the last update, we no longer use Apple Maps but Google maps- and I hate it. It looks ugly and doesn’t zoom in to your precise location immediately (so you just see a vague pointer somewhere and you have to click on the map and manually zoom to get a more precise view). I like viewing it to track the stores I’ve visited and the neighbouring stores, and Google maps doesn’t highlight the surrounding store names.

I guess Google maps might have more precise support or something or the other, but we don’t see Google Street views or any added features so I don’t understand why the change was done. This seems like a massive fuss over something trivial but a huge reason why I enjoy using Monzo is how attractive and colourful everything looks, and this ruins it for me a little. It doesn’t fit, and all I see is a swathe of beige and green.


They have to use Google Maps if they want to use the Google Maps places API which gives them info about the places you’re using your Monzo card.

See the TOS here:

So, you either have a “colourful” map or good data.


There’s nothing stopping Monzo from styling Google Maps to look similar to Apple Maps though:

Here’s one I found already styled to match Apple Maps:


So finally got to the top of the queue, credited my account with £100, waiting for my card to arrive & come across this! This is a massive deal breaker for me, as silly as it sounds I do not use anything Google UI designed at all, I cannot stand Google maps, this is a real disappointment on an iOS app! I use iOS for a reason, to avoid Google at all costs.
Why not add an option to switch between Google and Apple maps? Or just switch it back to Apple Maps on iOS, its Apple after all.


For the bank to run two different maps/databases for merchants just won’t cut it. Using a standardised map/database across both OS makes it easier to ensure merchant data is correct and up to date and any corrections made are replicated across both customer groups without rekeying.

(Tom ) #41

Deal breaker? Goodness me.


Yes, you read correct, deal breaker