In case you don’t have access to the internet (and subscribe to The Noisecast: Carrier Pigeon Edition) there’s been a lot of unhappy people with iPhones and without the Map App of record, Google Maps. The negative reactions have been coming nonstop since the official roll-out of iOS 6, and they’re everywhere: Twitter, blogs, journalist. Everywhere.
Today, CEO Tim Cook published an open letter apologizing for the frustrations users have experienced using the new maps app. In what reads like a truly hat-in-hand apology, Apple goes so far as to offer alternatives – namely Google Maps and Nokia Maps (as web-apps) and some native mapping solutions as well. It’s well meaning, it’s honest, but it isn’t special.
If Steve Jobs was here….
If you’re talking about Apple, Inc. theses days a phrase starting with, “If Steve Jobs was here…” is bound to come up. “If Steve Jobs were here, Apple wouldn’t have apologized.” It’s utterly a silly statement, especially when you consider that in 2007, Steven Paul Jobs, then CEO of Apple, apologized for reducing the price of the original iPhone by $200. Furthermore, why is that many consumers (and even some journalists) feel that a company apologizing, for a clearly stupid business move that affected millions of customers, is a negative thing?
No, it’s the right thing.
The truth is not a matter of should Apple have dropped Google Maps or not, it’s also not about the griping we’ve done at Apple’s expense. The Map App is a flawed piece of software that was spun by the company that created it as a revolutionary piece of software you can’t live without. Apple sold potential but failed to deliver the goods. They’re now sorry they couldn’t meet your expectations; so sorry in fact, that they’ve even told you how to get some alternatives as well (and we showed you how to get that ol’ thang back).
First world problems.
Apple’s Letter To Maps Customers
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.