Apple's iOS 6 Maps Mea Culpa: "We're Just Getting Started"

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Apple has found itself in quite the kerfuffle over the new Maps app that was released yesterday as part of iOS 6 for the iPhone 5. Unlike the previous Maps application, which was powered by Google, the new Apple Maps is full of errors and glitches, and lacks features such as public transportation information. Unlike owners of the iPhone 4 and 4S, who can opt-out of the iOS 6 upgrade and thus avoid the new Maps app, those who pre-ordered the iPhone 5 will have no choice but to use the new Maps application, warts and all.

Early iOS 6 users have encountered all sorts of issues with the new Maps app, from local searches that return the wrong city to outdated landmarks to cities with missing roads. There's also plenty of warped-looking buildings and bridges in 3D mode. In fact, a Tumblr has sprung up called The Amazing iOS 6 Maps that highlights some of the most humorous and embarrassing errors.

Apple is choosing to focus on the positive aspects of the new Maps application, citing features such as its Flyover 3D mapping, turn-by-turn navigation and Siri integration. "We launched this new map service knowing it is a major initiative and that we are just getting started with it," said Trudy Miller, an Apple spokeswoman, to AllThingsD. "Maps is a cloud-based solution and the more people use it, the better it will get."

The new Maps application draws its data from two main companies: TomTom and Waze. While both companies are established players in the mapping and GPS industry, this new app from Apple proves the closest competitors are still a ways being Google. TomTom has defended their mapping data, citing numerous companies that license the company's data and claiming that the application of this data is out of their hands.

Google launched Google Maps in 2005 and has spent the past seven years collecting usage data and improving their product. Apple, on the other hand, just entered the mapping game yesterday. There is no doubt that Apple will improve their product in the days to come, but iPhone 5 owners may have need to adjust their expectations of a flawless Apple experience on their new phones.

Apple may be just getting started, but let's hope they get there soon.

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Add a comment
  • Loraine Says:

    I have a dumb question...would it be possible to go to via your mobile browser and access it that way? I suppose that's not navigation, but would it be of any use?

    Ray, I am on Android, but it's the "clunkines" of the files over time that is going to drive me to Apple. Luckily, I am an early adopter in name and not in wallet capacity, so I'll be switching to the iPhone 4 (probably not even 4S) soon and will have time to wait it out.

  • Lewis Blaentine Says:

    I do not really care how Apple is going to improves MAPS in the future. I need to use my device today. There are four essential apps on the device: Phone, email, contacts and maps. What apple has offered has a major glaring flaw ... it is not reliable (and initial reputation will be hard to overcome even with time).

    These problems were reported to Apple during the IOS 6 Beta testing yet they chose not to fix (or perhaps could not fix) them for the IOS 6 release. What is really disappointing is that Apple is not allowing unsuspecting user that answer "yes" to the IOS 6 downgrade a path to take their device back to IOS 5 that actually works.

  • Ray Says:

    Trash the iDevice and get an Android (Samsung Galaxy S3).

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