Apple Map Mess Overshadows Release of iPhone 5

“Inaccurate” and “ridden with glitches” aren’t words that typically come to mind when talking about Apple products. But on Friday, as millions raced to be among the first to get their hands on the new iPhone 5, thousands of iPhone users flooded social networks with harsh criticisms of Apple’s new Maps application.

“It’s a complete failure,” interface designer Jeffrey Jorgensen told the Associated Press. Jorgensen works for a San Francisco-based startup that began using Apple Maps months ago. “It’s slower, its directions are poorer and its location data doesn’t seem to be accurate. All around, it’s not quite there yet,” he said.

Apple rolled out its new operating system iOS6 on Wednesday, two days ahead of the iPhone 5 release. With the upgrade, previous iPhone users gained access to new features including a panoramic camera and the Maps app.

Previously, Google Maps came standard on each iPhone handset. With iOS6, Apple ditched Google’s program completely in lieu of a new Apple designed Maps.

At a preview event earlier this month, the Apple team described the switch as an “all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography, turn-by-turn navigation and an amazing new flyover view.”

Apple Maps users, on the other hand, described a starkly different experience including misinformation and a lack of public transportation options.

“Searches for an in-town destination sometimes return results for an entirely different city,” wrote John Paczkowski in his most recent post for the tech blog All Things Digital. “It occasionally mistakes farms for airportssome of its Dali-esque flyover imagery is lousy; and it places gas stations in utterly untenable locations ,” he wrote Thursday.

One disgruntled user launched a Tumblr blog to chronicle the various, and sometimes humorous, app errors. Others took to Twitter using the phrase #Mapocalypse to tag the flaws.

“Steve Jobs would be turning in his grave over this maps fiasco,” tweeted Jenny Gorman of Manchester, England in response to the glitches she found.

“Def. will be getting an #iPhone5, but not this month. Just can’t tolerate the iChaos and iLines. Not to mention the iOS6 #mapocalypse,” tweeted Michael Markoswsi of Pennsylvania.

Apple, however, downplayed the criticisms. In a statement released Thursday, Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told the tech magazine Wired, that users should be patient.

“We launched this new map service knowing it is a major initiative and that we are just getting started with it,” said Muller. “Maps is a cloud-based solution and the more people use it, the better it will get. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.”

Google is reportedly already working on an iPhone friendly version of its Google Maps application to be added to the iTunes App Store. The new app would have to be approved by Apple, but it could deny it on the grounds that it directly competes with an already existing iPhone functionality.


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