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 724.

    Apple's "Siri" moment - LOL

  • rate this

    Comment number 723.

    We are now starting to see Apple run out of new ideas for their technology. If this continues demand fro Apple products will fall dramatically and demand for products from Apples rivals like Samsung will rocket high. Apple's loss is Apple's rivals gain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 722.

    @ Gordon poster 706.

    You clearly need to do some research. Samsung & Nokia, as well as many other big companies also use Foxconn, but it was Apple who organised an Audit by the Fair Labor Association to have conditions improved.

  • rate this

    Comment number 721.

    @704, and others, I've been in the business for forty years and I do know what I'm talking about. If you're going to make self-centered, because-I'm-worth-it assertions about the harm evil Apple does you, please provide some reference to evidence.

    When thinking about lovely companies that do things for nothing (Google?) remember, if you aren't paying, you're not the customer, you're the product.

  • rate this

    Comment number 720.

    This has to be the biggest pile of kak produced by apple - and when you add to it the fact that initial info released earlier in the year said Siri would be on the Ipad2 as well as the Ipad3 just goes to show that without Steve Apple is beginning to flounder...I know I wont be buying any more apple products if this is their new standard of excellence.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 719.

    LMAO - Apple fanboys you are so lame. iShyte products are on the way down with the Blackberry crud...Chad Valley and Crayola make better phones. Wake up, smell coffee and buy Samsung S3 or Nokia 920 - real phones for people not brand-blinded sheep.

  • rate this

    Comment number 718.

    Search for Gatwick and it puts you at Stansted Airport Coach Station. I use PlaneFinder which now uses these maps for underlying location. Obviously never been to Male as it doesn't exist and the resolution at some locations is poor

  • rate this

    Comment number 717.

    To use a local expression, its mince. I used street view and it looks like its gone. I was able to see my house and garden, all I see is a mass of cubes. A BIG U TURN needed by Apple.

  • rate this

    Comment number 716.

    & us android users are stuck with with what we've, cuz apple is sooooo much better, & that is why it costs more :D

  • rate this

    Comment number 715.

    Yet still the press lap up everything they say or do. The Guardian had 8 articles on iphone and 1 on the new HTC and Nokia??

    The day HTC was released, the Guardian did a 5 star review on the iphone???? I just don't get the media obsession with everything Apple does. It's almost Orwellian

  • rate this

    Comment number 714.

    Apple maps actually has black and white imagery for where I live. It is hilariously bad.

  • rate this

    Comment number 713.

    @702 I made no judgement as to whose "fault" it is. But there is no doubt Apple and Google were united against Microsoft in 2007, and no doubt that Google switched from copying Blackberry to iPhone, and is out to destroy iPhone. Read Foss patents blog.

    The idea that Apple could have magically got a perpetual unrestricted licence to Google's maps is absurd. Big business is war. Always.

  • rate this

    Comment number 712.

    In London the inaccuracy is such that it is as if the app has been corrupted. The blue locator pin is about 100 yards from where I am standing, my home is pinpointed 100 yards from where it actually is (and the postcode mangled), nearly all shops, restaurants and bars are 100-200 yards out.

    Surely all that data can't be simply wrong? If not, maybe it's a software glitch that can be easily fixed?

  • rate this

    Comment number 711.

    I don't understand why everyone is so surprised that Apple didn't beta-test a product before releasing it to the public. Seems like company policy for them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 710.

    Re 256, I don't use any Apple devices therefore I am very intrigued to know what 'the Apple ecosystem' actually is.

    Would you please enlighten me.

    Thank you for your time

  • rate this

    Comment number 709.

    56 Minutes ago
    Good old Apple - more style over substance. Looks like something from the early 80's"!

    No it doesn't. In those days we had the Collins Road Atlas and a sense of direction.

  • rate this

    Comment number 708.

    15 Minutes ago
    So people are happy to spend +£529 on a phone that doesn't give you accurate mapping?! Its almost as bad as the incident where calls were dropped when people were 'holding it wrong'.

    You had to do an "Apple Turnover" and hold it differently if you weren't born with iHands..

  • rate this

    Comment number 707.

    Apple are the author of their own misfortunes.

    Part of me wants to snigger but mostly I feel that this is rather sad. Apple did once give us a few seminal products and that is the Apple that I want back. Greed then moved in and replaced the geeks with lawyers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 706.

    Apple with their constant bickering and law suits are fast burning their bridges, when the leaky ship goes down - who will be there to throw them a life line? Samsung, Google, Adobe, Nokia. Anybody? Certainly not the employees at Foxconn.

  • rate this

    Comment number 705.

    Apple leading from behind as usual, one of the most backward, greedy and self obsessed companies i've ever seen. They sell 2nd rate products at premium prices and treat their customers with contempt.


Page 7 of 43


More Technology stories



Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. 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.