Developers claim they warned Apple about iOS maps

When a consumer thinks Apple, they think of quality and ease-of-use. With a brand that’s seen in such a positive light by so many, it’s hard to image a scenario where Apple would launch a product that’s full of holes – risking damage to that brand.

In a new report from CNET, there are now claims that developers were actively complaining (through official and unofficial channels) for months before the launch of the iOS 6.

According to the developers, they were not only unimpressed with the APIs offered, but they raised major concerns over the quality of the data in the maps. The words of one developer clearly echo what the press and public have been saying for weeks now: “What was needed wasn't so much an interface for reporting a single point as incorrect, but for selecting an entire region and saying ‘all of this -- it's wrong.’”

"...wrong". This is the kind of issue developers tried warned Apple about. 

The developers argue that it doesn’t matter for them where the data comes from, so long as their customers are still getting a great experience. If their applications are now broken or operating poorly due to issues with Maps in iOS 6, there’s a good chance that their customers will be coming to them for a solution – meaning that they’ll be spending time trying to find solutions to mapping problems instead of working on new features.

One developer claims that an Apple employee responded to their email complaint, stating that the issue was “well understood” internally. Apple declined to comment on the story.

Developers did express that they were pleased with some of the improvements that Apple has made to Maps since iOS 6 first launched, and of course consumers are also beginning to see the light at the end of the long tunnel ahead.

Source: CNET

Image courtesy of: The Amazing iOS 6 Maps (Tumblr)

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29 Comments

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"When a consumer thinks Apple, they think of quality and ease-of-use."

When an intelligent person thinks Apple, they think of a scam and the reality distortion field.

I'm not trying to defend Apple or iOS 6's maps, but I've been amazed at how many people have asked me how I deal with the maps on my iPhone 5 - only for me to point out that they now have the exact same thing on their iOS 6 phone now.

It seems that a lot (clearly not all - I dearly miss having a good maps app) of people are just talking about "some news story they heard," but don't actually use Maps much at all.

This reminds me when 3 european tourists asked me for directions last month. I couldn't help them since I was in a rush so they kept following their apple device and it was towards a secluded bridge and abandoned railroad. I was pretty sure they had no business going in that direction. No joke.

KSib said,
It's not like people can't use the mobile version of google maps.

Not as fast as a native app, doesn't support the compass and doesn't integrate with the OS (so if you tap on a contacts' address it will load in Apple Maps).

Not good enough.

Brian Miller said,
Would this happen if Jobs was still alive?
Time for Tim Cook to get fired.

Yes, because--though everyone has selectively forgotten this well-publicized fact--Apple's roadmap was laid out and defined by Steve Jobs for the next few years.

You can ask this question 2-3 years after Jobs' death. Not one.

Joshie said,

Yes, because--though everyone has selectively forgotten this well-publicized fact--Apple's roadmap was laid out and defined by Steve Jobs for the next few years.

You can ask this question 2-3 years after Jobs' death. Not one.


Somehow I doubt that there was something in the roadmap that said "launch the alpha version of our Map app to replace Google's."

Rudy said,
Apple doesn't listen to iOS developers, nothing new really

Apple just doesn't value developers the way Microsoft does. I've known some Apple developers who have gotten banned on the developer forums for calling Apple out. Apple doesn't value the opinion of anything other than its designers.

tsupersonic said,
Well they did any developer and beta tester should have done - report issues with the iOS build. If only Apple listened...

I'm sure they listened but knew that there was nothing they can do (except not launching Apple Maps). Fixing the data in the maps will take years.

a0me said,

(except not launching Apple Maps)

IMO, that's exactly what they should've done. they should have stuck with Google Maps until they had a product that actually worked.

not that I'm complaining, I'm actually glad for something new to bash apple about

Matthew_Thepc said,

IMO, that's exactly what they should've done. they should have stuck with Google Maps until they had a product that actually worked.

not that I'm complaining, I'm actually glad for something new to bash apple about

Exactly. Their contract with Google doesn't expire for more than a year, I don't see why they couldn't have held this off until next year. I'll just enjoy Google Maps instead on my Note though.

Avi said,
So many news items about this single feature. Yes, Apple f00ked up. Got it. Move on.

Maps in a mobile device has become a basic, important features for millions of people. Almost a month after release it's still not fixed (fixing the data that Apple Maps relies on will take years) and a lot of people are stuck with iOS 6 Maps and a couple of cumbersome workarounds.

Avi said,
So many news items about this single feature. Yes, Apple f00ked up. Got it. Move on.

Spoken like a true Apple lover. Please, if Microsoft pulled this kind of easily foreseen retardation, whole web sites would be created and they'd be hammered for it until 2019. It's just Apple's true nature finally being realized.

devHead said,

Spoken like a true Apple lover. Please, if Microsoft pulled this kind of easily foreseen retardation, whole web sites would be created and they'd be hammered for it until 2019. It's just Apple's true nature finally being realized.

My friends who switched to the iPhone 5 or iOS6 have suddenly stopped using Maps. They're like yeah, we don't need it, even though I have seen them using Maps/Navigation apps before. Magic.

a0me said,

Maps in a mobile device has become a basic, important features for millions of people. Almost a month after release it's still not fixed (fixing the data that Apple Maps relies on will take years) and a lot of people are stuck with iOS 6 Maps and a couple of cumbersome workarounds.

Too bad there are no alternatives. I know, it really sucks that you can't open Google Maps in Safari basically having what was there before.

+devhead said,

Spoken like a true Apple lover. Please, if Microsoft pulled this kind of easily foreseen retardation, whole web sites would be created and they'd be hammered for it until 2019. It's just Apple's true nature finally being realized.

Sorry to get in the way of regularly scheduled bashing of Apple users, but It doesn't take an Apple Lover to see that this issue is reaching kicking a dead horse territory. I part with 2 things.

1: It is, after all, just a maps app.
2: I find it funny that people who don't use Apple products or use iOS maps get the most worked up about it.

omgben said,

Too bad there are no alternatives. I know, it really sucks that you can't open Google Maps in Safari basically having what was there before.


That's what's called a "cumbersome workaround."
Google Maps in Safari is a noticeable downgrade from the Google Maps native app.
If you've ever used an iPhone, you'd know that the web app is way slower, has a very low refresh rate (in terms of GPS), doesn't support the compass and is less stable. So yeah, Google Maps in Safari gives us the same accurate maps as the original app, but that's about it.

omgben said,
1: It is, after all, just a maps app.
2: I find it funny that people who don't use Apple products or use iOS maps get the most worked up about it.

1: A basic feature in smartphones today, that millions of users depend on.
2: I've been using Apple products for the last 10 years. I own an iMac, a MBP, an Apple TV, iPod touch and iPhone 4. I was planning on getting an iPhone 5, and that's the reason I'm "worked up" about Apple Maps. People who don't use Apple products are only getting a good laugh over it.

omgben said,

Too bad there are no alternatives. I know, it really sucks that you can't open Google Maps in Safari basically having what was there before.

Sorry to get in the way of regularly scheduled bashing of Apple users, but It doesn't take an Apple Lover to see that this issue is reaching kicking a dead horse territory. I part with 2 things.

1: It is, after all, just a maps app.
2: I find it funny that people who don't use Apple products or use iOS maps get the most worked up about it.

I know, isn't it horrible how the anti-Apple people bash Apple, but no Apple fan ever says anything bad about Microsoft? I mean, no Apple fan has ever said something like M$, developers, developers, developers, or bad about BSOD, Zune, WP7, Win8, the app store on either of those devices, IE, Surface, Xbox, XP, Vista, Win7, and so on, and so on. No, no, no, Apple fans are completely friendly to a little competition.

Of course, you claim that people complaining about maps do not use the Apple products. Ignore the fact that I regularly use my iPad 3 (and had an iPad 1 received on the original ship day), the iPhone I used, or iTouch (multiple versions) for the maps, I have a Mac mini (no longer supported by Apple even though it is only 4 years old), and two iPod Nanos. But I am a hater because I now use maps on my WP7 because of the horrible state of Apple Maps, which, when entering my own address is miles off, along with the address of the business I had a job interview at last week. No, it is all about hate, not because Apple put out a crap product and we should all worship Apple because they tried.

But let's give Apple a participation trophy, because they showed up, and tried their little hearts out. We should encourage them, because they are so deserving of us wishing them our best. Oh, and people don't like the box that Win8 is shipping in? Well screw them, Microsoft (sorry, M$) is horrible, horrible, horrible and deserve to burn in lower pits of hell because they for forcing the M$ tax upon us.

Edited by nohone, Oct 11 2012, 6:28am :

Avi said,
So many news items about this single feature. Yes, Apple f00ked up. Got it. Move on.

Why would anybody stop complaining until the complaint has been adequately resolved?

That would be like Judge Koh stopping the Samsung v Apple trial in the middle and saying "I'm sick of you both whining all the time, let's get over it and move on."

tsupersonic said,
My friends who switched to the iPhone 5 or iOS6 have suddenly stopped using Maps. They're like yeah, we don't need it, even though I have seen them using Maps/Navigation apps before. Magic.

I've stopped using maps. I have a TomTom so I use that for driving and if I'm out walking I'll just ask for directions or use a street map if there is one! Or my mrs has my old Galaxy S3 which still has Google Maps, so if I'm with her we're good

Apple Maps are absolutely appalling. For me, it's not the end of the world and it's not a deal breaker. I bought my iPhone 5 even after I'd seen how bad maps were on my iPad. I would use maps extensively if they worked, but I can get by without them.

Apple really dropped the ball though, don't expect such bad customer service from them.

omgben said,

Too bad there are no alternatives. I know, it really sucks that you can't open Google Maps in Safari basically having what was there before.

Please read the article again...The developers are complaining because their apps have to interact with the broken maps.

But yeah, stupid customers! Always expecting what they paid for to work!!!

Yea, installing another Map app is real cumbersome... I see your logic now.

a0me said,

Maps in a mobile device has become a basic, important features for millions of people. Almost a month after release it's still not fixed (fixing the data that Apple Maps relies on will take years) and a lot of people are stuck with iOS 6 Maps and a couple of cumbersome workarounds.