Sure, iOS 6 users can access Google Maps via the web, but that isn’t the point, is it? No, because Apple has caught significant flak for forcibly removing the Google Maps App in iOS 6 and replacing the navigation tool with its own half-baked Maps app.
The main problem for Cupertino? Many users have found Apple’s maps to be woefully inadequate.
Indeed, the app is so bad that many people ended up downloading map apps from the App Store rather than use the software packaged with iO6.
Clearly, Apple is not used to designing products that make people upset. Indeed, Apple CEO Tim Cook has now offered up an official apology via a online letter.
Cook apologizes for falling short of Cupertino’s commitment to world-class products. He also suggests consumers might want to try alternatives while Apple improves its own Maps. Cook specifically recommends map apps such as Bing, MapQuest, Waze, Google, or Nokia. As you may recall, Apple (under Steve Jobs) was notorious for trying to convince consumers that issues or problems were actually “features.” As such, it’s rather nice to see Cook finally adopting a different, more responsible strategy.
Cook wrote, “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.”
Cook’s full letter reads:
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.