September 28, 2012
Tim Cook Apologizes For Apple Maps App
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Much hay has been made about Apple´s latest version of Maps in iOS 6. Much of this hay is very valid, as the new, native app does appear incomplete in many regards. Maps became the laughing stock last week as millions of users rushed to install iOS 6 (15% of iOS users upgraded within the first 24 hours, according to analysis firm Chitika) and play with an app that had been hyped for months. After looking for their houses, places of business and other points of interest, many began to notice a few errors and oddities, bringing to life the newest Tumblr meme (The Amazing iOS 6 Maps) and even the hashtag #iLost, an attempt by Motorola to jump on the Apple Bashing Bandwagon.
As people began to complain, rather loudly, about these new, terrible maps, many began to wonder if Apple would ever publicly address the issue. Today, Tim Cook took the mantle of responsibility and issued a public apology for the poor performance of Maps thus far.
“At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers,” begins Apple´s CEO.
“With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”
For those who have been living under a rock for the majority of this year, Apple and Google split ways when it came to their collective map efforts. Up until iOS 6, all versions of the iPhone software had a mapping application installed which was the combination of Google´s mapping data and Apple´s design prowess. According to the latest reports, the deal between the two companies was set to end at the close of this year, and talks to continue this contract fell apart, likely due to a dispute over turn-by-turn navigation.
Voice-guided directions have been a clear advantage of Android phones, as Google´s own mapping app has long included this functionality for free. According to the All Things D report, Apple had grown tired of not having this feature and pushed Google to give this data. When Google refused, Apple struck out on their own.
“There were a number of issues inflaming negotiations, but voice navigation was the biggest,” said an unnamed source speaking to John Paczkowski of All Things D.
“Ultimately, it was a deal-breaker.”
Apple issued a statement last week concerning the debacle surrounding the Maps app, asking customers to be patient as the app is supposed to get better with time as more users call on it.
“We are continuously improving it, and as Maps is a crowd-based solution, the more people use it, the better it will get,” said Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller.
Today´s open apology from Tim Cook is exactly what Apple needed to help quell some of this noise over Maps. As it stands, many are hesitant to upgrade to a great new phone or even a greatly improved OS because they feel Maps will get them lost or stranded in the woods somewhere.
Ever the gentleman, Cook even took time to suggest users download competitors´ maps apps while Apple works to improve their own.
“While we´re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.”
“We know that you expect (the best products) from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard,” concludes Cook.
It isn´t often that Apple offers these kinds of public apologies, but when they do, they always do them right. This was a smart move on the part of Apple and Apple PR.