New Apple maps app under fire from users

 

Rory Cellan-Jones compares Apple's new map app with Google maps

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Inaccuracies and misplaced towns and cities in Apple's new map software have provoked anger from users.

In June Apple announced it would stop using Google Maps in favour of its own system, created using data from navigation firm TomTom and others.

Apple is yet to comment on the complaints about the software, which comes already installed on the new iPhone.

TomTom said it provided only data and was not responsible for how it worked.

The software is packaged with iOS6, the latest version of Apple's operating system, which runs on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Previously, the system had an app running mapping software from Google.

But users are now forced to use Apple's new maps once they upgrade or buy the latest iPhone - which goes on sale on Friday.

There is not currently a Google Maps app available in Apple's App Store, although Google's system is still accessible via the phone's web browser.

Museum in river

Among the user complaints regarding Apple's maps sent to the BBC were:

Screenshots of satellite coverage in Dingwall Users have complained about the quality of satellite images in the new software (bottom)
  • Some towns appear to be missing, such as Stratford-upon-Avon and Solihull.
  • Others, like Uckfield in East Sussex, are in the wrong location.
  • Satellite images of various locations, particularly in Scotland, are obscured by cloud.
  • A search for Manchester United Football Club directs users to Sale United Football Club, a community team for ages five and above.
  • Users also reported missing local places, such as schools, or strange locations. Another screenshot showed a furniture museum that was apparently located in a river.

The Twitter account which posted the screenshot, @fake_iOS6maps, has since been suspended.

TomTom, which also licenses data to a range of other mobile manufacturers, defended its involvement.

A spokesman told the BBC that its maps provided only a "foundation" to the service.

"The user experience is determined by adding additional features to the map application such as visual imagery," a spokesman said.

"User experience fully depends on the choices these manufacturers make.

"We are confident about our map quality, as selling 65 million portable navigation devices across the world and more than 1.4m TomTom apps for iPhone in the past two years reaffirms this quality."

Prior to the release of iOS6, several developers had expressed concerns over the capability of the mapping app, in particular its ability to find businesses via search.

Spot the difference

"This is incredibly different from using Google Maps," one Denver-based blogger wrote on 13 September.

"It's a tremendous step backwards and something that cripples iOS for Apple's customers.

"I [searched] 'iPhone Repair' and 'iPad Repair' since that's relevant to our business. The results broke my heart.

"All of the work I've put into our local recognition is completely gone."

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 164.

    @143. Rich
    You live in the wrong world if you think every organisation release a product that does not have teething problems. Toyota, Sony, Philips, all of them have been dogged by initial release problems. CD and DVD players have all had issues, format wars and software bugs. At the end of the day no one can say something is 100% on release. Have you not heard of firmware upgrades

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 163.

    136.bankskank

    Absoultely right. Now you cannot use your old iPhone charger, you have to fork out £25 for an adapter. Why couldn't they use a Micro USB port like all the major phone companies? There will probably be problems with using the iPhone 5 with all the iPod/phone docks and interfaces that people use

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 162.

    it is awful so disappointed with this - i have the iphone 4 and there is no turn by turn. lack of street view is a big loss for me. hope google bring out app soon.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 161.

    If apple had used OpenStreetMap rather than Tom Tom - I would have easily forgiven them. Any mistakes would have been corrected much easier and would have benefited everyone.

    But as already mentioned , this wasn't about improving the user experience just corporate squabbles against google.

    The company is going down the pan - just like Nokia.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 160.

    @132. Pickers - So the iPhone is the only phone that cuts out when the signal drops? Oh, and there's adapters to continue using older docking stations etc. My iPhone 4 has been fine for the last 2 years. Even as a keen user of Apple stuff (which are very well made!), this iOS release leaves me pondering if it's worth sticking out another 2 year contract. That's what annoys me more.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 159.

    This is a turning point for Apple. Looking at the share price I'd be selling now because they've lost the ball in quality control. The iPhone is way overpriced now compared to the competition and Apple Maps is nothing but shoddy.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 158.

    "Weird, weird move from Apple. It's not like providing maps is a huge money spinner"

    They're about to sue Google and don't want to be left with no mapping app..... Mark my words ;)

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 157.

    @Kuga, 129:

    "I suppose this story is proof that the British press always love to try and bring down a success story."

    That's true, but they also report on genuine failures. Such as this.

    @Turtle, 140:
    "Regardles of the iPhone 5's issues, people will still buy it! Hence Apple will not be too concerned"

    Sadly, too true. Many people have far more money than sense.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 156.

    Is the fact that an Apple product is bad worthy of a news item? Apple is a fashion statement.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 155.

    Apple fans are quite a hilarious bunch- willing to pay double for a product that is almost always lower spec'd than something considerably cheaper. "At least Apple Products work!" claim the fans- yeah, I suppose this PC I am using is a shambling mess then is it?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 154.

    I upgraded my iphone to ios 6 yesterday and the new maps is pretty much shambolic to be honest. Compared to google maps, the level of detail is not there and search for a place brings weird result. I try to search a place in Delhi, India which Google maps used to pin point me even 6 years ago. With Apple Maps, no such place exists.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 153.

    I live in London I used google maps to give me public transport directions. The new Maps app resembles google Maps about a decade ago, is out of touch with the competition, and I was shocked that Apple would rather keep their users behind closed doors and in the dark than renew their license with google. Apple starts to resemble China. What's next I wonder? Banning google search perhaps?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 152.

    Obviously Apple employees had never actually used TomTom or they would have anticipated these problems.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 151.

    “Apple is yet to comment”, I can't recall them responding when deciding to introduce Airprint, rendering squillions of printers useless for direct print. Never big on democracy for users, Apple, a benevolent dictatorship has ditched the benevolence.
    Am I missing an obligatory ‘Apple masochistic’ gene making me happy to be used as cannon fodder in Apple's petty squabbles with competitors?

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 150.

    Yet again Apple reinventing the wheel so they don't need to pay other companies for systems that are perfectly adequate...

    And they cocked it up! HAHAHAHAH!


    You get what you pay for, don't you???

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 149.

    "Manchester United Football Club directs users to Sale United Football Club, a community team for ages five and above." This is a shocking mistake. One is a well run, professional outfit, the other filled with immature toddlers who throw tantrums at the slightest knock.....

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 148.

    i think Steve Jobs would be turning in his grave right now. when he came back to apple he said the first change he made was to ''use the best software in their products''

    i think the iphone 4 was the best phone on the market when it was released but i think failure to move there product on has only led to the rest on power if not better than them now.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 147.

    @p lars
    "Apple's persistence to own every aspect of their devices and their functionality will continue to leave them behind"

    I agree.

    I would also like to say that I drive hundreds of miles every week, up and down the UK, using 'Google Maps' on my android; it is fantastic! Much better than the TomTom I use when i'm desperate. You need continuous updates or it is a waste of time.

  • rate this
    +26

    Comment number 146.

    Not to worry, Apple will just start suing someone to recover its losses. ;-)

  • rate this
    +16

    Comment number 145.

    Spending a fortune on your legal team and peanuts on R&D doesn't seem to be a clever business plan

 

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