The newly launched Apple’s home grown feature, Apple Maps turned out to be a total failure with users and analysts criticizing all over the world for missing out basic information and producing erroneous results. The feature was presented with much fuss in June by Apple’s software chief Scott Forstall and is supposed to compete directly with the services offered by Google Maps. However, when the users downloaded the highly awaited update to the mobile Operating system, iOS 6 on Wednesday, they found a rather disappointing guide in the form of Apple Maps which replaced the Google Maps.
Inaccurate and missing information, bundles of geographical errors and lack of reliable data governed these maps. The characteristics which made the counterpart, Google’s maps highly successful – comprehensive data about traffic, clear street views, public transit directions and smart knowledge about landmarks and roads were missing too. Following such glitches, many users took to twitter and discussion forums to pour their frustration. “The people who thought the world was flat were more accurate cartographers than Apple Maps,” @RayneBradley said on Twitter. Users have also created a Tumblr blog, (theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com/) sarcastically calling it, “The amazing iOS 6 Maps” where images and screenshots of the errors were posted. Images showed Norwegian town of Leknes in the Norwegian sea, the whole city center of the British city Stratford-upon-Avon marked as a hospital, highways ending abruptly etc. Some errors have even surprised politicians. A constituency has been marked with an image of an aircraft which might be disturbing for the pilots.
To react, Apple’s spokeswoman stated that as the Maps are a cloud based solution, the more the people use it, the better it will get. “We are continuously improving it and working to integrate some of the amazing transit apps”, she further added, asking for customer feedback to make the experience better.
Analyzing the available causes and fixes to the problem, it seems rather than the software issues, the whole problem is pretty fundamental. Marcus Thielking, co-founder of Skobbler, maker of the popular GPS Navigation 2 app, built using the crowdsourced OpenStreetMap platform says, “The question is really how much expertise do they have in-house and what they sourced from third parties. Apple needed people with very specific skills to fix it. “It’s not their core competence”.
Google on the other hand has not yet revealed if it would produce the Google Maps version for iOS 6 or not. Users can access these maps through browser as of now. However, the company mentioned in a statement that their goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system.