Tim Cook to iOS 6 users: Apple Maps is not perfect, try Google Maps instead

28 Sep 2012

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple’s CEO has written an open letter to Apple customers admitting that the new Maps app packaged with iOS 6 is flawed, apologising for letting the fanbois down and – if you can believe it – recommending Google or Nokia maps instead.

Tim Cook’s letter comes in response to a litany of complaints about the Maps apps, created by Apple following the decision to drop Google Maps with the launch of the new mobile operating system.

Users of Apple Maps have reported a number of faults, including buildings with the wrong name (sometimes outdated), locations marked far from where they actually are, and being misdirected by the turn-by-turn navigation feature. One mistake saw Airfield in Kilmacud, Dublin, mistakenly marked as an actual airport – an error that prompted a response from Ireland’s Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

Suggested alternatives

“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,” Cook wrote. “We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”

Sharing some statistics on the error-ridden service, Cook revealed more than 100m iOS devices are now using Apple Maps and, in just over a week since it launched, almost 500m locations have been searched for.

“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,” he said.

Most surprisingly, Cook recommends that users turn to alternative mapping services while Apple Maps is perfected: “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.”

Now that has to be a first.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.