Tim Cook: Apple Is ‘Extremely Sorry For The Frustration’ iOS 6 Maps Has Caused Users
Cook: You can alternative maps from Bing, Google, and Nokia.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has today issued a letter to customers regarding the issues they have been experiencing with Maps in iOS 6. Cook says Apple is “extremely sorry for the frustration” the new service has caused to its customers, and he insists the company will continue to work incredibly hard until Maps is fixed. Cook even suggests a number of alternative services users can try in the meantime.
The full letter is below.
To our customers,
"At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. 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.
We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.
There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you."
"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.
Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard."
09-28-2012 10:17 AM
he shouldn't said anything, or maybe just stated ...we are aware of the App and we're working on a update. Never apologize, its a sign of weakness.
He's not filling his "new" resume for the first year very well is he??
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Apple crowd-sourcing its own retail employee army to help improve Maps app
In the wake of Apple’s Maps controversy, Tim Cook noted in an apology to customers that the company is “doing everything we can to make Maps better.” Today reports from both ifoAppleStore and MacRumors claim Apple is testing a new program that will see retail employees test the maps and submit corrections to Apple on company time:
According to MacRumors:
Apple is piloting a program to tap into its vast number of retail store employees to help improve the company’s new Maps app for iOS 6. Details on the initiative remain unclear, but multiple sources have indicated that participating stores will dedicate 40 hours of staff time per week, distributed among a number of employees, to manually examine Apple’s mapping data in their areas and submit corrections and improvements.
How exactly Apple will handle the program is unclear, but MacRumors noted at least one store would have a team of ten employees participating, while ifoAppleStore said the program at this point is still voluntary. Earlier this month Tim Cook recommended users take advantage of third-party mapping apps while Apple is improving the its Maps experience. Google is one company taking advantage of frustrated users and this morning The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg confirmed tomorrow the company will release an improved Google Maps web app with StreetView.
Free App Puts Native Google Maps Back On Your iOS 6 iPhone
Behold! Native Google maps return to iOS 6!
If the lack of a native Google Maps app on your iOS 6 device is giving you headaches, then good news: someone’s just made one, and you can grab it for free.
Katsumi Kishikawa has created an app for iPhone and iPad, called ClassicMap.
It’s a wrapper for map data culled from elsewhere. Its “Standard” mode shows you the same maps data that Apple’s own much-derided Maps app shows you in iOS 6. But flip up the bottom-right corner and tap “Classic”, and suddenly you’re back where you were in iOS 5: it looks, and behaves, like the Maps you knew and loved. The ones that Google created.
I say it behaves the same, but that’s not strictly true. This is much more basic, so there’s no direction-finding functionality and no Street View, and it feels quite a lot slower than the original. There’s no Points of Interest. But it works. It shows you where you are, and the search function shows you places you want to go. It’s got map, satellite and hybrid views in both Apple and Google – sorry, Standard and Classic – modes.
What’s more, for the technically minded among you, the whole project is up on GitHub for you to download and meddle with. It’s free. If your heart yearns for maps the way they used to be, go download it, before The Authorities decide to yank it off the Store.
Developers Say They Warned Apple About Maps Issues In iOS 6
Apple’s much-maligned Maps app, released along with iOS 6, is an easy target, what with mixed up locations, cloud-obscured satellite images, and the infamous melting bridges. However, several developers have come forth to say that they had been warning Apple via reports on developer-only forums since the first beta came out at the beginning of June, 2012.
Some of these developers filed bug reports and sent e-mails to Apple employees as well, all about the poor performance of the upcoming Maps app in iOS 6.
“I posted at least one doomsayer rant after each (developer) beta, and I wasn’t alone,” one developer told CNET. “The mood amongst the developers seemed to be that the maps were so shockingly bad that reporting individual problems was futile. What was needed wasn’t so much an interface for reporting a single point as incorrect, but for selecting an entire region and saying ‘all of this — it’s wrong.’”
Of course, each of the developers who spoke to CNET on the condition of their anonymity have applications in the App Store that rely on Apple’s mapping technology, making the switch from Google data all the more impactful. They all say the issues were documented well, at least among developers who had access to the iOS 6 beta.
“During the beta period I filed bug reports with Apple’s Radar system (notorious for being ignored), posted on the forums several times, and e-mailed multiple people within Apple’s MapKit team to voice our concerns,” said another developer.
One developer reports that an Apple employee did, in fact, get back to them, and noted that the issue was “well understood,” reports CNET, though there was no further report on updating or fixing the Maps technology. Sadly, the low volume and specificity of communication stayed at this level throughout the month long beta process, according to the same developers.
“This has been a frustrating experience for us and we don’t care where the imagery comes from, we just would like our customers to be able to have the same experience within our app when they update from iOS 5 to iOS 6,” said the developer. “Instead, the OS upgrade broke some of the features we built within our application despite being told that only the imagery would be swapped out.”
WSJ: Google putting final touches on Google Maps for iOS, distributed to few testers
After Apple moved to its own mapping solution on iOS, the rumors of Google bringing a standalone Maps app to the platform have intensified. The Wall Street Journal reports that the highly-anticipated Google Maps for iOS may be here soon, with word the app has entered its final testing stages and that it will include turn-by-turn navigation.
The WSJ wasn’t able to give specific time frame for the app’s launch, but the report adds that the app has been distributed to a few members outside the bounds of Mountain View for testing before it gets submitted to the iTunes App Store review team. The launch sounds like sooner than later, as several publications in the recent months have pegged the launch before the end of the year. The question is: will Apple accept it?
Google won’t be alone in the iOS Maps-alternative battleground, however. Nokia announced yesterday it plans to release its own iOS map solution under the “Here” brand. Nokia says it plans to make the app available on the iTunes App Store in the coming weeks, offering offline maps, voice-guided navigation, and information on public transport.
Today’s report further adds that Eddy Cue is now overseeing the continued bug fixing of Apple Maps. Cue is taking over what was once Forstall’s responsibility, until the executive shakeup that took place last month. There have been several meetings with Cue and the Maps team to better the product, says WSJ.
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