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
    +2

    Comment number 644.

    The criticism is entirely valid, Apple Maps is a severe downgrade. It's not only not quite as good as Google, it's dangerously bad. This is anti-competitive behaviour from Apple, using a monopoly position to bundle a sub-par app to collect data from users in the hope of improving over time.

    Even if Google release a replacement, it won't be inbuilt, everything will default to the new useless app.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 643.

    I live out here in Worcestershire, and I don't mind telling you that I've rarely been this underwhelmed. Back to Google maps please?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 642.

    You pays your (excessive) money and you get what they throw to you - Apple have a nice line in ripping folk off.

    Fools and their money are soon parted.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 641.

    To be perfectly honest, it server all you sheep right for going out buying it because its the "NEW" iphone... I bet most of you only just bought the iphone 4. looks like google will have the last laugh with this one.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 640.

    I am expecting a candle lit vigil outside stores

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 639.

    According to the new map, I live directly between a petrol station and a restaurant. Haven't noticed either of them in the decade I've been in this house. Must be time for me to take an eye test.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 638.

    I live in Southport which does not exist according to Apple. Other towns missing in NW England include Morecambe, Heysham, Wallasey and Widnes. Also the village of Hightown near Liverpool is in the Irish Sea! Very disappointing application from a company like Apple.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 637.

    TomTom is out of date also. I downloaded the latest update yesterday and it is way out.
    Google Earth is also not up to date either.
    The only map that is up to date is Bing and as I have a TomTom the company needs to pull it's finger out as some of the changes were made to road names etc.last November. Almost a year and I have the latest European download.........What are TomTom playing at!!!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 636.

    I have got a 3 year old Nokia, which works fine on a £10p/m contract. With the money I save, I can have several weeks on a Greek Island, or visit nice restaurants, with interesting freinds...... anything but end up like the sort of "boring geeks", many of which posting here, fretting over equally boring technology. Get a map, get a book, talk to people , look around at the world not a 3" box !

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 635.

    The iphone was rushed out, Christmas and a new windows product to compete with.
    You may think windows will not take off, but as soon as you start playing with the tiles on your pc, you will want the same on your phone.
    No getting away from the fact, windows will be in more homes than apple. A new gen of people will see how easy a windows phone is to use, uncluttered and compatible.
    It makes sense.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 634.

    BTW the best navigation app by far (on Apple or Android) is ViewRanger - you get Ordnance Survey maps with a "you are here" dot and track recording, all the features of a £350 outdoor GPS unit for £15 (including some maps). Use that instead!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 633.

    I think this is partly a mistake by apple and partly by TomTom, yes Apple should not have released this product if it was not ready to go, they should have tested more and made sure it worked, however, for TomTom to say this is not their responsibility is daft, data is missing? Well TomTom I would have assumed YOU built this for Apple who put it in place therefore it is your fault it is not there.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 632.

    @43.Flackster

    Why spend money on R&D when you can just sue other companies doing it better then you, win and then ban them from making anymore :)

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 631.

    Re 192 Bartonfox.Frankly Ide be more concerned by the blatantly Pro EU BBC Well before any anti Apple bias! The British people should rename it the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation!! Ime more concerned with our kids future freedoms and our autonomy than their GagdeOphones! Strange how some of us have managed to circumnavigate the world,without a iWhatever!! Sent from a working piece of junk!

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 630.

    No publicity is bad publicity.
    What I'm more interested in is the fact that the BBC homepage made no mention of the emergence of IOS6, but when Android's ice cream sandwich came out the BBC were all over it, saying how great it was.
    Now that there's something to put their claws into about IOS6 it suddenly makes the news.
    Impartial BBC? I don't think so.

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 629.

    Can't beleive Apple have released this Steve Jobs must be turning in his Grave. I live in Tingley Wakefield but not according to Apple I live in Gildersome some 4 miles away and a Leeds Post code not Wakefield. I also tried the routing to my daughters, it sent me via two motorways when there is a direct rought 4 times shorter. Just wont use it until sorted and that could take months.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 628.

    Anger... Why not outrage? At best someone might be annoyed that they can't find Dudley on the map, but its hardly the end of the world.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 627.

    I checked the Apple map of my property, it is incredibly blurred, but is a more recent image than Google's. not much use though. It was a great mistake to release the program in its current state. A pity, but I look forward to the Google App. Sreve Jobs must be turning in his grave!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 626.

    Absolutely Woeful Apple! You have robbed me off my local pubs on Maps and replaced them with a restaurant that doesn't exist, I want my pubs back. My whole experience of iOS6 so far on an iPhone 4 has been a damp squib, I think it runs slowly. Bye Bye iOS, Hello Android

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 625.

    Its a tall order for ipple to compete with Google...even with TomTom. - for me' to have an iphone - it'd have to be FREE

 

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