Phones Review

iOS 6 Maps problem, maybe Apple should have called it beta

Under: Apple iPhone, iOS Apps, Phone Software
Date: September 21st, 2012

Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 6, was finally released to the public on Wednesday and has been met with plenty of positive praise from those in the know and consumers alike. Although there’s a lot to be pleased with there is growing and widespread criticism of the new Apple Maps app and Apple’s departure from Google in this respect. This iOS 6 Maps problem now leads us to wonder if it would have been better received if Apple had called it a beta version.

We’ve already told how many people had problems downloading iOS 6 and also given a fix for a Passbook problem that some users of the new OS faced. However, now that many people are getting used to the new iOS on their iPhones, iPads and iPod touches it seems there is increasing displeasure with the new Apple Maps app that Apple seemed so pleased with.

With over 200 new feature and improvements it was always going to be a struggle to satisfy everyone with iOS 6 but the amount of dissatisfaction with Maps could be seen as Apple seriously dropping the ball in its usually fastidious approach to a new product. With the iPhone 5 launching today, complete with iOS 6, even more consumers are just about to use Apple Maps and so the disapproval of Maps looks set to grow even further. Before iOS 6 was released on Wednesday we posted an article about the new Maps app being a replacement for Google Maps and although we had been impressed with what we had initially seen about Apple Maps there was already some dissent.

We told how Waze CEO Noam Bardin had spoken bluntly about Apple relying on TomTom data for the new app and said, “you’re literally not going to find things.” Bardin also said that developers had told him that things that worked fine on Google were not working with Apple’s Maps so maybe we should have taken this disparagement more seriously as a sign of what was to come. Now the tech headlines are full of condemnation of Apple Maps and it seems that the extensive criticism has caught Apple on the hop, although at least the company seems to be taking complaints seriously.

Yesterday Apple issued a statement to say that work is continuing on improving Maps and said that because it is cloud-based it would get better the more people used it. Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller explained, “We launched this new map service knowing that it is a major initiative and we are just getting started with it,” according to The New York Times. The statement ended with, “We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.” Of course this was a new initiative for Apple, taking on a massive undertaking but maybe if they’d added the word ‘beta’ to Apple Maps it could have saved itself a lot of criticism.

When Siri was first launched last year there were plenty of comments about it not being as good as hoped, not understanding accents and some functions only being available in some regions. However because Apple said that it was in beta maybe this saved further criticism. This doesn’t apply to Maps though and of course where Siri was a novel new function, Maps is a much more essential service. Hence the blasting that Apple is currently receiving from unhappy customers wishing that Google’s map services hadn’t been replaced. Some concerns about Maps include distorted imagery, misplaced landmarks, a lack of public transportation routes and inaccuracies with some location data.

It will certainly be interesting to see what improvements Apple can make to Maps and how quickly this can be done. While we wait for a better Maps app we’re interested to hear your thoughts on iOS 6 Maps. Have you tried it out and if so, do you think it’s as bad as many are saying? Do you wish Apple had stuck with Google for mapping requirements or at least described its own Maps app as being in beta? Maybe you feel that the many other benefits of the new OS outweigh some of the drawbacks? Let us know with your comments.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.kirkman Jon Kirkman

    The new maps app is dreadful and no amount of spin from Apple will make it or me feel any better. Get it FIXED!

  • Don

    I experimented with ios6 maps. 1 of 4 locations were wrong. I wish that I could return to the google maps app. I do like the turn by turn feature but what good is it if you can’t TRUST it !

  • bgwalls

    Apple Maps is a major step backwords. When activating the voice directions it crashed multiple times. Hard to believe they would have included it in a major release.

  • http://www.facebook.com/COLOMBIANODNY Ricardo Sa Salsadecali

    guys you can get google maps back on the phone just google how to get maps back in ios6

  • kevmark58

    You don’t make a massive change to people’s lives unless it’s a flawless transition. You don’t take the best mapping software (Google) and try using your own unless it’s at the same level as the one you are removing from your customers’ lives. Foolish. If they don’t fix this asap I can see many, many customers reconsidering owning the iphone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Divepink Timothy Scuba

      Lol every thing Is flawed to some degree , try the people running our governments !
      Don’t ever hope for things to be flawless for when that happen then there
      Will be no change , I will give an example are there any people you know
      That are flawless and if you do there will be someone out there that will
      Think otherwise , please don’t make grand comments like massive changes
      To people’s lives ,gee it’s mapping software get over it and give them a chance
      Something tells me even if I had trouble with it , I will still sleep well …

    • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

      “reconsidering owning the iphone.” because of a maps app? seriously? people dont like the apple maps, use the google maps from their own website until they release the app version until apple does this better…

  • David knaggs

    Maps no good

  • Pragmatic

    I think maps is just fine. You people sure do whine a lot!

  • Vangelis

    I do believe that there’s a lot to be done with he maps. I’ve experienced several crushes and some directions were completely wrong. Apple should have issued an app in order to collect all this negative feedback in advance, and then release ios6 version.

  • me

    200 new features and one or two have a small problem. I’d say that was a great score and it can all be corrected. How many problems are in the Android system. TOO MANY!

    • http://www.facebook.com/Divepink Timothy Scuba

      So true android systems is open source so it gives phone company’s a chance too screw more money from you and in there pockets when will people learn this lol …

  • Graham Scott Stewart

    On the ios5 I could drop the pin on a road then hit the hit person and go into street view but now can’t on the new maps :( bad times

  • Jtamad

    D
    After installing ios 6, downloading an app from itunes takes muchnmuch longer.

  • Phil j

    Since installing iso6 everything runs slower, the battery life is awful and the Passbook link to the Apps Store doesn’t work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Divepink Timothy Scuba

    I find no problems with the new apple maps so far it has worked great , and as far as the new iOS 6 goes my iPhone 4S and iPad 2 are running better than ever ! It’s faster
    With lots of great changes.

    Gee I don’t know what some people a complaining about
    Could it be that they have there devices bloated and requires a clean out of all the hundreds of apps running or is it simply not understanding apples simple to use iOS.

    Look google maps was great but I think apple foreseen the chance to make something
    Better if your haveing a problem let them know and give them a chance…

    If your considering throwing the iPhone away for something else (android)
    Over theses new changes apple have made then clearly you have rocks in your head
    The iOS works better and is easier to use than most other phone os if you do then
    Go back to an old phone cause clearly that would be all you can process …

    Remember change is a good thing people and with a company like apple they
    Will listen to there consumers ….

    • gigi

      beeeeheeeee

  • geomeeks

    I agree with most of the comments below; overall I’m disappointed with iOS6. The whole look is too geometric and akin to other older non-mac operating systems – like an unfortunate experience I had with a Samsung ~2008. I will certainly miss Google Maps, but saying that Apple Maps has huge potential. How long has Google been working on Maps, it must be over a decade?? Think of all the development costs and user data that’s gone into it. To expect even the might of Apple to replicate this overnight is a huge ask. I reckon give 6-12 months and hopefully we’ll see some improvements to iOS6, right now it’s yuk.

  • Grahamb18

    Really disappointed with maps aps I seem to be surrounded by blurred greenery within half a mile of my house and nearby towns do not seem to exist. Possibly things are better in the US but no amount of feedback from users will improve the satellite view that where it appears is not as sharp as googles and unless apple make a major investment in trawling the streets with cameras like google we can probably forget the fantastic street view feature that we have all got used to. It would be nice if apple could forget the bottom line and in fighting between rivals and think of the users instead.

  • john kidds beach

    It’s dumb to try and reinvent the wheel Apple. Seriously come on. Stop and think what apple is tryin to do. Firstly Google came out with Google earth that everyone loves followed by Google maps that private and busines users use. Secondly when they need to show where a place is on tv they use Google earth. Ever since apple went after Samsung and Google about stupid patent things they basically put the nail in there coffin as majority of the world has a gmail account and Google drive much easier than Icloud so I think apple is gonna loose customers.

  • http://twitter.com/Eiburamu Abram Plaut

    I live in Tokyo and use the iphone map app daily. In a hectic city like Tokyo the map app is absolutely essential to finding locations and addresses. The new map app is absolutely TERRIBLE! Almost every time I try to use it there is some kind of problem. Wrong locations, addresses coming up as “not found”, lack of data, etc. Apple needs to get this fixed ASAP as it has been a horrendous experience for me since I upgraded last week. Apple should be ashamed putting out a product like this.

  • Peter

    My partner and I have travelled from Melbourne to Augusta in Perth. Apple maps V6 showed Augusta as a major inland location. It’s the southern most point on the coast in Western Australia. It had freeways on the opposite sides of major towns. It had other coastline towns.
    My phone also froze and locked up downloading V6.
    Total disgrace Apple. I don’t pay good money for crap service.

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