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
    0

    Comment number 524.

    Just checked my location on the iPod - the closest image is of my whole town, then it's maps only. On my Android phone (i.e. Google maps) I can zoom in and see my house and even my car in the road outside.
    Google must be wetting themselves with delight!!!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 523.

    @berty_mcjock "what's wrong with having a spare copy of an a-z to hand (just in case)"

    it doest fit in my pocket, and it think I would look pretty silly carrying an A-Z in my hand everywhere just in case. : ) a little cheap joke but I couldn't resist.

    the people who cant read a map probably cant use a map on a PC or phone so its not really a problem we have to worry about.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 522.

    will apple invest as much to get street view? i doubt it

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 521.

    Oh come all ye techno dweebs and post...alternatively you might like to consider acquiring a life.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 520.

    There is a reason why Apple have a history of going from leading innovation to niche player. Once Apple was the king of smartphones, now Android accounts for over 68% market share and rising, Apple 17% and falling. Niche player on the desktop, niche player in phones and in a few years I'm sure niche player in tablets too. Why do people blindly buy these products?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 519.

    As a committed Apple/ Mac user and fan ( I still have my 1st Mac - a 3G model - about 13 years old) I see this as yet another sign that Apple is slipping since Steve departed. This on the back of the iPhone 5 ... NOT good guys - get a grip.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 518.

    I heard the app was bad. It's actually a joke. And who loses? That's right... The customer. >:( I wish these companies could work together instead of against each other.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 517.

    I'm glad I previously invested in the Tomtom app for my iPhone. I tested the 'Dudley' example from this article and the Tomtom app finds it perfectly. Just goes to prove it's not the Tomtom data but, suprisingly, Apple's implementation of it. Its a real shame they haven't used more of the Tomtom software as it is streets ahead (pun intended) of any other sat nav.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 516.

    Please to all the Iphone lovers stop using excuses,as: It's their first attempt, and they'll fix it. Apple is just a hungry moneymaking business. I have been following the Iphone delvelopment since its early days and an example of the above would be...First few versions came with a camera feature but no "flash".It's the end of the line for the Iphone wake up users and move on

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 515.

    They should have adopted mapping techology from Nokia ;) Nokia have been doing quality satnav and street mapping for a while which is why Amazon decided to use them for thier latest Kindle. At least the new Lumia Phones wont have this issue :)

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 514.

    For any help or assistance with your latest toy from Apple, please mail:

    wesawyoucoming.com

    lol

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 513.

    I've been a fan of Apple for years but this is the most disappointing update they have ever released.

    I can't believe the likes of Apple & TomTom thought the Maps application was ready for release. It requires a major update not just a quick fix. The navigation is terrible and the maps are terrible. The much hyped 3D fly is near useless outside of London.

    Luckily Google Maps works in Safari

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 512.

    Ok so its a very very expensive phone for what it does and the maps are dogs eggs. Its still Apple!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 511.

    how can someone comment, give it time and it will get sorted out??

    I mean, thats like wanting tomatoes with your salad at lunch and you get given seeds to grow

    No way should a product be sold if its not up to standard.

    I wonder what else has been overlooked?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 510.

    Why people fall for the apple marketing strategy i'll never know. Now it's over priced and awful... Well done Apple!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 509.

    This will reveal one of the more unsavoury apects of Apple's "walled garden".To put an app on Apple devices via their iTunes Store - the only way to do this - requires Apple's OK. They may not give it, this has been their practice in the past with competing products. And whoever's app it is, they may not want to pay Apple their 30%.either.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 508.

    Balham tube station is missing and its location is designated as a Cancer Research Centre. Nearby there's an Apple indicator that there is a 'subway' in the neighbouring street Chestnut Grove where of course none exists, no subway and no tube. Maybe the map will call all tube staions subways as in 'the New York Subway'

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 507.

    @485

    by my standards? for the third time, all i am saying is that we are over reliant on modern technology. that is all. whats wrong with having a spare copy of an a-z to hand (just in case)? and not everyone can read a map.

    dont twist my words please. i DID say modern tech is helpful, but we should also be able to use, and fall back on older tech too.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 506.

    192. bartonfox
    "The BBC are blatantly anti Apple"

    You think? If you look at comments on previous topics you'll find that's hardly the popular perception!

    And 327. Michael, I think you're talking about the public comments, not the BBC articles.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 505.

    It's not just Apple - Bing maps currently seems to think that Horsham (West Sussex) is in Worcs. Perhaps wormholes have begun to appear in the world of online cartography ...

 

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