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 404.

    For those wanting google to release an app for iOS, remember that Apple usually don't allow apps that "Duplicate Functionality" of their own and likely will not approve it for the app store.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 403.

    361 peejkerton: Are you saying that you needed an electronic navigation device to find your way to work? I think you have highlighted the problem with modern tech. We become so reliant upon it and believe it without question that we will do any stupid thing it tells us. So, like good little lambs, we get lost en route to a place we travel to every day then complain about it afterwards. Amazing.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 402.

    That is utterly useless. Unusual for Apple to take a step backwards.
    Come on Google give us an app!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 401.

    Get on to Android and set yourself FREE :)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 400.

    The new maps in iOS 6 are very poor quality. I would pay a lot of money to have Street View with Google maps back. A stroke of luck for Samsung and the best ever advertisement for Android. This is a huge own goal by Apple. They should have waited another year, they can afford it. I expect heads to roll in Cupertino shortly. Worse than iPhone 4 AntennaGate.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 399.

    The Maps App looks shocking! Fortunately I have not updated my iPhone software yet and now I see that I shouldn't be bothering.

    I was using my colleague's updated Map App to look around and it doesn't use the standard Underground and train station symbols making it harder to see these places. And the errors are everywhere. Farringdon tube station does not appear to exist at all!

    Appalling!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 398.

    Compared to Android Google Maps, what Apple are offering is something from 2009.

    It's truly laughable. It's also embarrassing how RCJ picked some choice locations to make it look not as bad as it really is.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 397.

    Apple need to remember they became the most affluent company in the world on the back of excellent products, and a loyal customer base. This is another disappointing release, and shows they are taking that customer base (and their cash) for granted.

    I definitely won't be upgrading to IOS6 anytime soon, and I more than likely won't be staying with Apple when my phone contract is up.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 396.

    Typical Apple - more proprietary technology.

    What else would you expect from them?

    They can keep it.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 395.

    @391. No matter what the topic how does someone on this website always manage to somehow mention 1984. Do you all think of nothing else?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 394.

    New Maps are pathetic and has killed what was a great product.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 393.

    Why all the fuss about Google or Apple maps? The outstanding provider is maps.nokia.com
    Available across all platforms/OSs in html5

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 392.

    Hmmm...Apple have mapped the wrong planet! I feel that I am sometimes viewing images taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Let's hope they don't make a complete mess of their up coming revamp to iTunes, due in October.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 391.

    Ye Gods what has happened to good old fashioned common sense and direction finding - since when do you need a mobile phone/sat nav to get to work. Do you get some sort of comfort from being told by a machine that you "have arrived at your destination". 1984 is here and alive and we have welcomed it in.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 390.

    I thought Mrs Odicean would become redundant as a map reader when I bought a sat-nav for the car. Her sense of direction was so confused that at times she could only read the maps if she was facing the boot with the map upside-down.God help us if we have to go back to that system.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 389.

    Hmmmm, so many people seem to have Apple products and yet complain incessantly about the faults and foibles. If Apple products are so poor, then why do people flock like sheep to them when they want a gadget? I honestly don't see what the fuss is about. There are several alternative products that perform the same function.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 388.

    It may be a absolute pile of trash but its good Apple trash! I just wanna give them even MORE money I cant get enough brother!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 387.

    This is really sad - I love all things Apple but why, oh why did they use TomTom as data provider. Everyone who has ever visited a sat nav forum can see complaints about TomTom maps piling in by the bucketload! And Apple should have been aware of that! Besides, it's no good relying on data that is mostly geared towards motorists. I use Google Maps on my iPhone for walks etc and it works fine.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 386.

    ...or we could all stop expecting everything to be handed to us on a plate, get off our lazy backsides, and use an actual map. those who rely on map apps are in for a shock when they are lost, and their battery dies. and a hard copy of the a-z doesnt need a signal either.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 385.

    I find it amazing that an iFan was happy to blame Google for Apples mapping mess, because Google wasn't updating the Apps as fast as the Android phones....
    Well, if Apple has promised all out nuclear war against a competitor, they are lucky that that competitor gives you anything at all.
    And Apple are going to charge for them, rather then them being free!!!
    Classic Apple.

 

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