Apple releases statement after iOS 6 Maps blunder: “We’re just getting started with it”

Daniel Bader

September 20, 2012 5:46pm

In a rare and visceral backlash against one of the company’s biggest initiatives in years, Apple fans are irate over false, or deceptive, information in the new iOS 6 Maps app. After touting an all-new experience, with 3D “Flyover” abilities and free turn-by-turn navigation, iOS 6’s Maps was supposed to, along with eschewing YouTube, remove most traces of Google from the mobile operating system.

But as people downloaded iOS 6 and tested out the new Maps offering, it became quickly apparent that the old Google Maps, despite its lack of vector-based graphics and turn-by-turn, was far more accurate and complete than Apple’s nascent data points. In fact, there are so many errors in Apple’s Maps data that a Tumblr has been created to showcase all of the discrepancies.

In a statement made to AllThingsD, an Apple spokesperson said: “Customers around the world are upgrading to iOS 6 with over 200 new features including Apple Maps, our first map service … We are excited to offer this service with innovative new features like Flyover, 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. Maps is a cloud-based solution and the more people use it, the better it will get. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.”

Whether this means that things will get better quickly, or take months to flesh out its many error-filled sights remains to be seen. But what was considered a small compromise during the beta (likely because many beta testers were using iOS 6 in major cities, which are more accurate than rural areas) has turned into a full-blown PR nightmare for Apple.

It might be a bit unfair to be hurling such criticism at Apple this early in the game; both Google and Nokia have multiple years of historical data, and while TomTom is providing much of the underlying data structure for these maps, the company denies that it is at fault. “We supply maps and related content to the majority of handheld players, including RIM, HTC, Samsung, AOL (MapQuest Mobile), Apple and, yes, Google (for the areas where they don’t make their own maps). When people use a map, their experience is determined by two things. Firstly, the underlying content, notably the maps. This is what TomTom is currently supplying the mobile industry with and it is what gives their maps the best foundation. Secondly, user experience is determined by adding additional features to the map application, such as visual imagery. This is typically defined and created by the handset manufacturers and third-party software providers on the basis of their own vision and needs.”

Of course, the fact of the matter is that nobody wants to take responsibility for an unfinished product. While I have yet to experience incorrect directions or stark omissions in Toronto, it seems that large Canadian cities are among the most accurate and complete at this point. We’ve shown you the difference between Apple’s 3D and non-3D satellite imagery, and the technology is just astounding. It doesn’t excuse the basic omissions and misdirections people are receiving, but it points to a brighter future ahead.

Via: AllThingsD

  • Nick Swardon

    Fine. Then let users have the freedom to rollback to iOS 5

    • PkaTka

      Why would you roll back to iOS 5 if you can just download google maps from the app store…

    • @pkttka

      @pkttka

      it’s not on the appstore. and apple’s blocked some google apps on the app store in the past, wouldn’t be suprised if they do the same for maps

    • havy

      maps.google.com …not so hard
      What they’ve shown is how useless Apps really are.

    • BB

      can you imagine the police/fire fighters or ambulance were using this…i’m sorry i’m an hour late getting to your assistance, our iphone 5’s are currently leading us in the wrong direction. dang siri.

    • i feel sorry for iphone users who depended on google map.

    • bbb

      even blackberry has more stable map than this, plus it has option to install google map if you want.

  • fnair

    You’re navigating wrong.

  • TKG26

    LoL Samsung must be laughing…. There advertising team got more new material to use

  • Squirtle

    Did Apple also confess to why it finds it necessary for everyone’s device to check in with their mainframe and report their current GPS location, WiFi network name, and other information every time they connect to a WiFi network?

    Seems really shady and no one talked about it until people were booted off the internet for ‘upgrading’ to iOS 6

  • ns.dev

    Google should release an app similar to the Android version and sell it as a 99c/mth subscription.

  • mark e. mark

    I’ll download the google map for public transit directions until apple integrates that. Can’t wait for the 5 to come in the mail.

  • staeit

    I’ll translate for the Apple spokesperson into non-spin-doctor language.

    “We know our Maps suck/pale in comparison to Google Maps, and it will take us a very long time to even get close to where Google Maps is today. We know that there are countless features that make our maps solution worse but it doesn’t matter. We heard your complaints and still decided that it really doesn’t matter one way or the other if or when we change it, we’ll still sell millions of these, and we want to do it all ourselves because that’s what we do. We introduce a bunch of useless and new features at the expense of features that are useful.”

    This, for me, is a dealbreaker. I was planning to jump on the iPhone 5 wagon but I use Google Maps all the time.

    • drone

      Don’t kid yourself, fanboy; you were NOT, for even a sec, considering the iPhone 5, but just decided to spout this statement to reiterate your biased fanboy views.

  • Jon

    Jimmy Kimmel will convince everyone that the new maps is better than the old one.

  • Tom

    Yes, Apple should be given some lee-way as they are new to this and Google etc. have years of experience.

    But then why did they dump GMaps in such an aggressive and abrupt way? For example, they could have provided their solution side-by-side with Googles for a year until theirs was polished.

    At least this backlash will give Google a little more leverage in their discussions with Apple about what sort of Google Maps app Apple will allow.

    • som

      I disagree. Apple and it’s users claim to bring out superior products that revolutionizes the world. This is unacceptable. This goes for Siri. If they thought it wasn’t 100% then they should not have release it.

      People spending $699 to $899 for the device should be given products and apps superior to any other OS.

      It’s not an epic fail but it’s a fail.

    • BB

      they should be held accountable but won’t. This is good news for the world though. other players will start getting looked at. This is only the beginning of apple making mistakes with out mr. jobs and as soon as shareholders start to get nervous this will get ugly, and ugly fast. Shareholders are the biggest promoters apple has right now and if they mess this up it won’t matter how good the product is. When people are investing that kind of money into a company you better have your stuff together. Especially gps.

  • Lance W

    They should say it’s in beta like Siri.

  • samps

    I updated to iOS 6, however, since I don’t use maps, this doesn’t really affect me personally.

    That said, this is a big ‘f’ up by Apple. “We’re just getting started with it” is unacceptable. In haste to rid themselves of relying on Google for their maps app, they’ve downgraded this service offering to their customers. In any industry, this is a faux pas. It seriously makes them look like petty fools.

    What they should have done is waited for release until it was more robust, or as others have noted, provide an option to maintain the original maps app.

    I’m really curious to know who made the executive decision to drop the Google run maps app altogether for Apple’s own. They should be falcon punched and then fired.

  • sicpuppy

    My local Canadian Tire is now on top of a mountain by a lake with no roads to get to it .
    Apple should have alerted me they re-located .

    • ns.dev

      If you need rock climbing equipment, Canadian tire has it!

  • Jacquio

    Apple products, they “Just Work”.

    • Curtis

      Hey they never once claimed “They Just Work Right”

  • kenypowa

    Apparently the Apple Maps team is under a lock down. They won’t see daylight for another 5 years.

    I’m sure Google folks are having a fun day.

    • ns.dev

      When it was announced the Google folks were probably preparing to sue, as it is a “stolen product”. Now that it launches, they can’t stop laughing long enough to sign the papers.

  • Og

    Can Google sell a Maps app on iTunes?

    There has been more than one developer blocked from the App store AFTER Apple copied their popular app (they get blocked for reproducing a core function which Apple deems ‘confusing’)

    They’ll probably say Google Maps can be used to obtain pornography by looking up a business address, and thanks to Steve jobs they will never ever drop their App Store censorship now

  • Crocography

    Definition of weak: “We launched this new map service knowing it is a major initiative and that we are just getting started with it. Maps is a cloud-based solution and the more people use it, the better it will get. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.”

  • Is This BB10?

    Trying to reinvent maps will be a fatal mistake for Apple. They should have stuck with Google maps, a proven system. No need to reinvent the wheel. It will be a dismal failure and they will have to go back to google maps. Millions of dollars will be wasted. Apple’s arrogance is sickening.

    • paulysworld

      One word: Hubris.

  • Patrick

    Google’s statement – “Did you all miss us yet?” :D

  • HY

    Let’s hope there aren’t a higher frequency of iOS6 users ending up in a body of water due to faulty map directions!

  • iphoneuser

    As a long time iPhone user. I’m jumping ship to Android. Follow me sheeps!

  • Brian J

    bahahahah, apple should put a paper road map in every new iphone 5 :)

  • Androgynousdroid

    Funny, apple accuses everyone of copying them and here they are copying the very business model that google has always used: push out unfinished software and services and just promise users that eventually it will get better, someday. At least Apple could have given a nod to google by calling Beta for a few years. This is google’s MO and it works well. Google should sue over this.

    • Carlo S

      Not the first thing Apple ever pushed out that wasn’t finished. Funny how Siri is still tagged beta over a year after it was released. Maybe they should try some truth in their advertizing when they release new features and call them what they truely are “pre-alpha”

  • me

    iFail.

  • laweege

    mapplegate your just holding it wrong

    • Carlo S

      Can’t wait for Tim Cook to trot out on stage with a giant blowup of an SGIII as the background and cry “BUT THEY HAVE PROBLEMS TOO” just like his mentor Stevie J did over antennagate. :-p

  • Betty Koyle

    Well bb10 will have their maps perfect. That’s why they are taking so long to release it. Good thing, I have the patience to wait.

  • Azure

    They could have done a beta testing release with it and gone with Google Maps until they worked out all the problems. But no, in their arrogance they wanted to screw over Google so badly that they ended up pissing off a big part of their consumer base.

  • revelant84

    The Samsung ad writes itself. Two cars, one at a restaurant parking lot and one in the middle of a field.
    Car in the parking lot’s occupant (George)(on Galaxy SIII): “Yeah, Bill we just used Google Navigation, we’ve been here for 10 minutes, where are you?”
    Car in the field’s occupant (Bill)(On iPhone looking device): “George, I AM here…the restaurant just isn’t…”
    George: “Do you want me to come find you and bring you here?”
    Bill (looking around confused): “But my map says I AM here…”
    (tagline) Galaxy SIII. It ACTUALLY works.

    • samps

      @revelant84…you should send that to Samsung. Serious. That stuff is golden. It would make a great commercial!

  • Mike

    I can’t believe fandroids have all the time to keep bashing either Apple or iPhone. And worse yet, u call iPhone user isheep. Don’t u guys have better things to do. If u lov android so much, talk about them. Don’t say things like “oh my phone can do much”. Back it up.

    • OgtheDim

      Is the map thing a fail or not?

      Yes or No?

      If you won’t answer that, you’re just as much a fanboy.

    • paulysworld

      Nokia windows phone user here. Not bashing anyone, however, I am smiling at the cracks showing in the RDF.

  • J.T

    I asked it where the nearest best buy was, and sure enough it put the location pin on the building I work in. I don’t remember having a corporate take over, and I still don’t pay cost for TVs….

  • Pat

    The fail is bigger when you factor in the fact that google gives you a web version for desktop …so you end up using two distinct map solutions if youre a iOS user…viva MyPlaces

  • OgtheDim

    Looking at that tumblr is like watching a bob sleigh go down the whole track after depositing its occupants on the first turn.

  • Android4Life

    I really hate these religious wars. For every Android fan that is making fun of Apple for releasing half completed software, remember where you came from. Android was released initially pretty far from ready for primetime. Google Voice is still Beta after 3 or 4 years. Google apps, Gmail, Gtalk, Google+, Google Gears, etc all were/are beta for years. Almost all software, service or hardware Google releases is beta or should be labeled beta. The good news is that it gets better over time and thats a good thing.

    Yet Apple pulls a google and you guys act like they have failed. If so, we have all been full of fail for a very long time as Android users. Remember that before you gloat. You are pretty much saying “see now you have to deal with beta s**t too, just like us”. Grow up..

    • OgtheDim

      No this is about more then that.

      Like it or not, Google at least talks the game of playing with everybody.

      Apples says they are better.

      In many places, they are.

      But, when they decide, either by being pushed by Google or on a whim, to ditch a product, and provide a new one, they better darn well get it right.

      Like it or not, many many smartphone users rely upon their phones as GPS and as mapping devices.

      Apple HAS to provide that functionality better then this.

      Otherwise, this is a FAIL.

    • JKT

      @Og: The iOS6 upgrade is free. Nobody made you or anyone else upgrade to it. So no, Apple is not “damn well” obligated to get it right immediately. Anyone that reliant on GPS should not risk breaking a working phone. Upgrading anything is a risk and perhaps a bit of personal responsibility should enter this picture. If you upgrade and things don’t work right, then I guess you get to downgrade yourself back again. Or not take that risk in the first place (Personally I’m sticking with iOS5).

    • BB

      too funny. and its not a fandroid site you tools. read between the lines the entire world is starting to think you guys are silly not just android people. talk crap to every other phone user about how great your stuff is, and when people PROVE you wrong you still fight back????? first maps is no good, then wait time increases 4-5 weeks??? Siri???? Adapters??? and new earphones yet to be tested??? Users still fighting the world = priceless or $900

  • Basement Dweller

    FANDROIDSYRUP

  • Fandroid

    Lul iSheep iSheep lul lul hehe baaaah baaaah

  • Daniel Bryan

    Thats it fandroids keep on commenting on all of these apple posts, the more clicks/comments=more apple content on this site. You’re all too stupid to realize it.

    Its taken Google years to perfect google maps, I think apple can be afforded some slack. If anything maybe this will give google a swift kick in the a*s, the google supported apps in ios have been crap for years compared to its android version.

    • OgtheDim

      Yeah, cause, you know, the only people that criticise Apple are android lovers and the only people that criticise Android are Apple lovers.

      Get over yourself. This is all about critiquing a fail.

      And its a darn darn big one.

    • ruddias

      why is everyone saying “oh apple, let them be they didn’t have time to work on it.” They have 5+ years in the phone industry and 6 models, all which sold well. They should have kept Google maps and added this when it was done. That’s what a company with apples experience should have done.

  • AhCup

    Nooooo, you guys just using the map wrong!

  • Tomatoes

    LOL

    This is almost as bad as their landscape mode blunder.

  • Android4ever

    Yaa just started with blunders ….the first one is iOS6 and then iPhone 5 and more to come. All the best iSheep.

  • Nick

    The real point is that that have made this out to be a surperior product to replace google maps “The new Maps app gives you a better way to find your way” (direct quote from apple) and instead have released a sub-par program in comparison to what was alread avaible to their users.

  • steve

    my nexus one has better mapping system than the iphone 5…. interesting… since its a 4 year old phone. LOL

  • paulysworld

    Ya, been using Nokia maps since ’07, and guess what, it’s still the best smartphone mapping program on ANY platform in the world. Don’t believe me? There’s an article on this site that proves it.

  • Mr. Miyagi

    Maybe you guys aren’t holding it right…..

  • Oro

    Pretty funny how all the fandroids fail to realize the marketing strategy that Apple is using, but it takes people with a brain to actually figure it out so I’m not surprised.

    • beyond

      How is shooting yourself in the foot a marketing strategy? So everyone can watch and feel sorry for them until they finally get it right? That would make Apple appear like a giant child, nothing more. Just demanding everyones attention.

  • “We are excited to offer this service with innovative new features like Flyover, turn by turn navigation, and Siri integration.” Bahaha turn by turn navigation is anything but a new innovative feature..

  • Marco

    it’s crap. It’s great.. So glad Apple is getting bad PR for this. KARMA!

    Get a real phone… An Android with REAL Mapping!

  • Nil

    Let’s be honest, Apple is just completing the new Apple experience of being 10 years behind in hardware with a new 10 years behind approach in software as well.

  • Collin

    lol!!!!! Apple with a HUGE FAIL!! AGAIN!!!

    All iOS users are now regeretting not getting a GS3

  • Eric v.

    No stark errors in Toronto eh? Zoom to Oshawa and the 905 and look at the butcher job they did on the label that’s supposed to read “downtown Oshawa”. Or read my twitter for a screenshot. My username is ericvice.

  • Bob

    mapgate

  • Newf

    @JKT: Maybe Apple is not obligated to get it right immediately, so then perhaps the statement, ‘world’s most advanced mobile operating system’ is a bit of an overstatement.As well , if there are areas of the most advanced mobile os that aren’t working 100% then don’t release it till the bugs have been worked out. Maybe 80 billion dollars in the bank wasn’t enough to fund a decent map program .Apple,if you are going to overcharge for a phone and claim it’s the best , you had better produce, or you might find yourself no longer king of the castle, especially with other players soon to be releasing some promising products.

  • vn33

    What do you expect from one of the most arrogant company in history!

  • phucmeister

    The bigger you are, the harder you fall.. Ap.pl has been making a few bad steps recently (stupid patents, maps, new plug, etc) and with the slippery road ahead, IT DOESN’T TAKE A GENIUS to predict a fall in a near future.. So to the rare wises, remember to sell high and buy low..!

  • MB

    2 millions pre-orders cancelled in 12 hours, world record

  • oro

    @beyond: exactly why I said that it takes someone with a brain to figure it out. Not some conclusion jumping band wagoner. Big companies wouldn’t do something bad for no reason. If they set the bar lower than their competitors, people would buy the opposing companies product. although, that leaves apple with a lot of room for improvement. After that their customers come back and have much more respect for apple because when you are the top dog then every other company puts out stupid ads just to shut you down. They are waiting for the chance to capitalize on consumers that just buy ‘specs.’ Putting amazing specs on their phone right now wouldn’t be logical because they already dominate the market. Adding specs is their safety net. That’s a smart company if you think about it. Why invest all your money in one stock if you could spread it out and always have a backup just in case one fails? refer to that when you think Apple has done a ‘stupid’ thing instead of jumping to conclusions without thinking about it.

    • rufusy

      Hah! You sound like a first year management student. I see what ur trying to prove and your way off. Admit it as a big fail and just move on for everyone’s sake

  • billy joe

    Weeeeeeeee! Lets ask this new maps where Steve Jobs lives?! I wonder if it knows the where-abouts of Jimmy Hoffa too!

  • Apple Sales Guy

    Hello folks,

    This is just a minor bump in the road. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day

    ;)

  • MER1978

    There is no good reason why they couldn’t just keep things as is until the software was perfected… which is what a company that actually believes in quality would do… instead they pushed ahead with their typical “best mobile software ever” campaign… karma is a b***h. :D

  • speedb ump

    ***Wait wait***, this is on purpose this way they will patent bugs and start suing everyone for bugs, it’s their Intelectual Property ;-)

  • rip rim

    iDiots.

  • speedb ump

    Just had 2 iPhone users with maps open ask me for directions… :-0

  • Mark68

    “We’re just getting started with it!!”

    Translation is as follows:

    We knew that our lack of innovating led to a rather poor experience with our new iOS6 maps offering and have addressed this with our lawyers to see where litigation on GPS services can rectify the issues in the not to distant future!!

    :)

  • Lea

    Just spent 2 hours trying to revert back to iOS 5…I used streetview all the time for business…:(

  • JC

    Looking back my comments place under the article “iOS 6 Maps data confirmed to be powered by TomTom” back in June 12: I told you so.