While many people are scratching their heads and wonder what exactly Apple was thinking when they dropped Google Maps from their iPhones, Tim Cook has taken a step that is very rare for Apple to do and apologize. Yesterday, in an open letter to customers, the CEO admits that the new maps app “fell short.”
Now, it is something for the CEO to try and explain away the mistakes their company makes, like Reed Hastings did after the debacle that was Netflix of 2011, but Cook has decided to inform customers that there are third-party apps that they can use while they try to improve upon Apple Maps. Suggestions included Bing, Mapquest and Waze, as well as web apps like Nokia and Google.
One of the downsides for most of these apps is that transit lines are not featured, as well as some of the web apps are not configured to work on the iPhone 5. However, this special promotion from Apple could help get their butts into gear. Here is the Cook’s open letter to 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.
What is sad is the fact that this takes away from the relatively good reception overall that iOS 6 has received from cultist and reviewers. While they claim that there is nothing overall that changes for the operating system, it has some deeper integration and some newer features that run well. However, it the flaw of Apple Maps has taken some of their thunder away. Let us know what you think. Do you think this whole thing is overblown or is it a truly major screw up for Apple?