Apple has just released its iOS 6 operating system, but already it’s come in for some harsh criticism due to numerous inaccuracies and mistakes with its new mapping software that replaced Google Maps.
Misplaced towns, cities and businesses, plus dozens of other errors, have drawn dozens of complaints from Apple users, particularly in the UK.
The BBC reports that Apple’s map software, which is built using underlying data from GPS provider TomTom and OpenStreetMap, suffers from outdated points of interest, dozens of towns either missing completely or being in the wrong place, while its search function has also been criticized heavily.
TomTom has moved quickly to deny any responsibility for the poor performance of Apple Maps, insisting that its data only provides a foundation for the service, and that it’s up to Apple to make sure that visual aspects run smoothly.
“We are confident about our map quality, as selling 65 million portable navigation devices across the world and more than 1.4m TomTom apps for iPhone in the past two years reaffirms this quality,” a TomTom spokesperson told the BBC.
The BBC reported numerous specific complaints with Apple’s mapping software, including:
- Missing towns, such as Solihull and Stratford-upon-Avon
- Towns in the wrong place, for example Uckfield in Sussex
- Missing attractions and businesses, such as local schools and shopping centers
- Poor search functionality – for example, a search for Manchester United FC (that’s a huge soccer team for those who don’t know) turns up a local five-year old children’s community team, Sale United FC.
- Dozens of oddities like this furniture museum that wound up in the middle of a river
Clearly, Apple has some work to do on its maps before it’s going to be anywhere near as functional and reliable as Google Maps. Unfortunately for anyone who’s installed iOS 6, there’s no way to remove Apple Maps or re-install its predecessor.
However, a number of alternatives do exist, including the solid-performing Nokia Maps, which is available as a HTML5 option for both iOS and Android. Nokia Maps isn’t quite at the same level as Google Maps, but with functions like mass transit, live traffic data, turn by turn navigation and satellite view (plus all the towns and cities in the right places!), it’s a much better option than what Apple has provided so far.