Apple apologises for ‘frustrating’ Maps

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has taken the surprising move of apologising for the “frustration” experienced by customers using its Maps service and encouraging users to download alternatives from rivals such as Google, Microsoft and Nokia while it improves the app.

Apple Maps
Apple’s Maps app

Cook’s admission comes little more than a week after Apple launched the new Maps app in iOS6, which prompted complaints from users alleging its navigation was inaccurate and that it was ridden with bugs.

More than 100 million iPhone and iPad users have upgraded to the new version to date, according to Cook – many of which will have relied solely on the app for their mapping needs.

Earlier this week Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt said Apple should have stuck with his company’s own mapping application instead of replacing it with an own-brand app when it upgraded its software to iOS6.

Apple had hoped the app would be superior to Google Maps, with features such as Flyover, turn by turn navigation and Siri integration.

Today (28 September) Cook issued an open public apology on the Apple website, promising the company will improve its products.

The letter states: “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.” (Read the full text below)

He recommends users try alternatives while it updates the product, including Google and Nokia’s web-based mapping services or apps from Microsoft’s Bing and AOL’s MapQuest.

Just over two years ago, Cook’s predecessor Steve Jobs was forced to apologise for the iPhone 4’s initial antenna issues, offering free cases and a more open return policy to customers.

Tim Cook’s letter of apology to Apple Maps users

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.

Tim Cook
Apple’s CEO

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