Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued a groveling apology over the Apple Maps debacle, following a wave of criticism from frustrated customers who have been quick voice their displeasure with the new application.
In his open letter to Apple customers, Cook acknowledged that thousands of customers were unhappy with the software and reiterated his pledge to improve the app as soon as possible. In the meantime, Cook took the unusual step of suggesting that users download alternatives from its rivals.
Apologies from Apple are nothing new, but this one is slightly unusual in that Cook decided to pen it himself, underlining just how disappointed Apple customers are with the new offering.
Cook was quick to address the level of frustration experienced by Apple consumers, reiterating Apple’s commitment to making the highest quality products:
“At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customer. 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 added that so far, more than 100 million iPhone and iPad users had updated to iOS 6, their latest software which automatically replaces the Google Maps app with Apple’s own program, which is built using navigation data from TomTom GPS.
The biggest surprise though, was that Cook then went so far as to recommend that customers try out mapping software from one of its rivals, until such time as their own app is improved:
“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.”
SiliconANGLE was one of the first to report on the huge number of extraordinary errors with Apple Maps last week. Since then, a new blog dedicated to the ‘amazing finds’ on iOS 6 Maps has appeared, charting the numerous errors that have been discovered so far.
The list of schoolboy errors is as humorous as it is long – with examples including towns and cities located in the wrong position or missing altogether, satellite maps showing only clouds, place names with spelling mistakes, missing roads and bodies of water, and erroneous driving directions to name just a few.
Then there are the 3D images in satellite view – such as the pancake-like Eiffel Tower, and cars that look as if they’re melting into the roads.
Apple hasn’t said how long it will be before it can iron out these mistakes and deliver an improved version of the app.