New Apple maps app under fire from users


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

Related Stories

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."


More on This Story

Related Stories


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 584.

    OMG I'm laughing so much at this thread.... hilarious..... who knows maybe the price will come down now for such a mediocre "smart" phone

  • rate this

    Comment number 583.

    If anyone has lost Reading's Madejski stadium on the new Apple iPhone Maps programme, i'm pleased to announce that it has moved to the South -West cornerof my back garden, on the corner of Eastern Avenue and Junction Road. It's a little inconvenient since I've now got to walk around it to get to the local Co-Op, but on the plus side I 've decided to bring the entrance fees down for the next match.

  • rate this

    Comment number 582.

    If Apple is now stopping people from using other software mapping programs on apple hardware I can see the lawyers making a lot of money out of the Anti-Trust/Anti-Competition cases that are bound to follow in the near future.

    In the long run I can see apple doing themselves more harm than good, especially if their own software is so bad.

  • rate this

    Comment number 581.

    What a fiasco. Last year they rushed out Siri before it was ready and it was rubbish and it looks like they've done it again by rushing out Apple Maps before it's ready. Apple's quality control is just shocking these days. They should have left the old Google Maps on until their own version was finished. I certainly won't be buying an iPhone tomorrow that's for sure.

  • rate this

    Comment number 580.

    #527. Tom
    My experience of the new apple maps is excellent, they render faster than the old google maps becuse they are vector maps and not tiles.Just look at the video again to see how the apple map reacts when it renders and when Rory zooms it, its much smoother than the clunky tiles in the other simulation.
    Your surname isn't Tom as well is it Tom?

  • rate this

    Comment number 579.

    I'm guessing it won't be long now until Apple patents interactive maps and sues Google?

  • rate this

    Comment number 578.

    I have managed to stop my husband updating his iPhone, unfortunately I had already done mine & the ipad, I have to say the new maps are pants! But at least I can use Bing or Google Earth on the iPad.

  • rate this

    Comment number 577.

    The 3D function is great - shame it only works for about 2% of all locations. According to Maps, my local train station (5 min walk) was a 2hr car ride away. Apple seem to have missed a lot of the finer details that made Google Maps so great. I suspect Steve Jobs would never have let something so shoddy be released with Apple's name all over it. Hopefully there will be a much-needed update asap!

  • rate this

    Comment number 576.

    At least for the places I have looked the 3-d mapping is amazing. I guess that there is still work to do and you could therefore argue the release is too early - but if you find a location that is complete then makes Google look like a legacy product.

  • rate this

    Comment number 575.

    @riddermark check Apples bank statement is your answer

  • rate this

    Comment number 574.

    This has made the I5 even more of a brick. Apple are on the backward step. They are opening the door to the room that RIM are in. I am a believer in open source and its faster development so like Google. If Google were this bad I would have a Win8 Phone. I would still have a choice of handset. Why would anyone in their right minds buy a one handset one system deal. Its not good at all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 573.

    Having downloaded the new Apple system for my iPhone 4 I have been pleasantly surprised so far and find it a find it a big improvement in navigating from point to point. Directions are correct and easy to read and the map quality and satellite images are excellent. Perhaps we are discussing different systems?

  • rate this

    Comment number 572.

    Maybe the iphone is just not the best device for navigation/mapping.
    Apple has lagged behind Android for a while when it came to mapping and navigation so no change there, it just takes a further step backwards.

    Nokia maps and Nokia Drive are brilliant on my lumia 800 though Drive is better than navigation on my old HTC

  • rate this

    Comment number 571.

    Crapple were paying $4 billion a year for maps. They know they don't need to put in any effort as they have thoroughly indoctrinated the fanbois, especially the Arch-Fanbois Rory Cellan-Jones, so that they will never go elsewhere. So savings: $4 billion. Costs: some annoyed muppets who will continue paying them regardless. No downside really....

  • rate this

    Comment number 570.

    Does it really matter whether the iApp sends you to the right place?

    Wherever you go, you will be seen as an iPerson and that is why you bought Apple in the first place.

  • rate this

    Comment number 569.

    546. Ghost_Tweeter

    No, it doesn't. You are coming west to east, so you're going clock-wise alright. The problem is, it counts the exits wrong... It's 3rd exit, not 4th. And, as I just tried, if you are going in the other direction, it says first exit, while it should be second...

  • rate this

    Comment number 568.

    Apple seems to have given up in terms of producing genuinely innovative phones - the new iPhone doesn't really boast any significant new features. They, instead, seem to be relying on their brand image to sell devices, but they forget that the brand image was mostly a result of the innovative products that they used to make. I'll be changing to Samsung when my contract expires.

  • rate this

    Comment number 567.

    My TomTom Sat Nav uses Google for it's LiveSearch without any problems.

  • rate this

    Comment number 566.

    As an Android and Simpsons fan, I've only one thing to say.

    "HA! HA!"

  • rate this

    Comment number 565.

    Fred Bloggs

    You're missing the point. Yes iMaps is new - TOO NEW to be marketed.

    If Apple valued its customers as much as it hates Google, it would have stuck with Google maps/streetview until it had developed its own enough to be a viable alternative.


Page 14 of 43


More Technology stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.