New Apple Maps app under fire from iPhone, iPad users

“Inaccuracies and misplaced towns and cities in Apple’s new map software have provoked anger from users,” BBC News reports.

“In June Apple announced it would stop using Google Maps in favour of its own system, created using data from navigation specialist TomTom,” The Beeb reports. “Apple is yet to comment on the complaints about the software, which comes already installed on the new iPhone. TomTom said it provided only data and was not responsible for how it worked.”

“The software is packaged with iOS6, the latest version of Apple’s operating system, which runs on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Previously, the system had an app running mapping software from Google,” The Beeb reports. “But users are now forced to use Apple’s new maps once they upgrade or buy the latest iPhone – which goes on sale on Friday. There is not currently a Google Maps app available in Apple’s App Store, although Google’s system is still accessible via the phone’s web browser.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We rather like Apple’s new Maps app. Beware the FUD. This predictable anti-Apple Maps media barrage smacks of a concerted PR effort.

MacDailyNews Note: TomTom told MacDailyNews via email yesterday:

TomTom supplies maps and related content to the majority of handheld players, including RIM, HTC, Samsung, AOL (MapQuest Mobile), Apple and, yes, Google (for the areas where they don’t make their own maps).

Our maps are used by businesses around the world, which have standards for coverage, detail, quality and safety.

When people use a map, their experience is determined by two things. Firstly, the underlying content, notably the maps. This is what TomTom is currently supplying the mobile industry with and it is what gives their maps the best foundation. Secondly, user experience is determined by adding additional features to the map application, such as visual imagery. This is typically defined and created by the handset manufacturers and third party software providers on the basis of their own vision and needs.

125 Comments

    1. Mine works fine for me also, so far anyway.

      Even demonstrated it last night, no issues.

      It may not be as detailed as the old google maps, but its not google… One more app that gets away from google is good for me.

      It will get updates, there will be errors with new software it’s a given.

      Ms maps had some huge errors back in the old days. They were fixed.

      1. Under iOS6 on my iPhone3GS, the Maps app looks different, but images are still bitmapped. Worse, my street is now mislabeled, as it was till 2 years ago on Google Maps. My TomTom iPhone app shows the name of my street just fine. Strange.

        1. You’re totally missing the point.
          Google maps worked, Apple’s cobbled together replacement -as predicted- is NOT working for a lot of people.
          MDN is living in a fantasy world where any criticism of Apple is some kind of conspiracy, any company not Apple is run by morons and is doomed and anybody that comments in a forum such as this and is not an Apple user is a troll.
          This constant ‘us vs them’ mentality is foolishness, it’s little wonder we’re accused of “drinking the Kool-aid”.

          1. But they’re also working for a lot of people, and now have turn-by-turn directions that we didn’t have before, a detail many of the highly critical articles conveniently miss.

            I agree with MDN there’s too similar articles for this not to be a PR move. Google was seeding a lot of bad PR just before the WWDC event too, as well as pitching their own rushed maps event.

            it seems the loss of iOS maps is quite a blow to Google. Maybe they miss the information gathering potential?

            1. Apple fans are crazy, they just DO NOT want to accept that apple can make a mistake.

              Apple fans are so crazy that if apple starts selling dogs’ poop, they will buy and eat it. MDN would be the first one.

          2. I disagree. I like Apple’s new Maps, and the turn-by-turn has worked very well in my short time testing it. I also live in an area where Google Maps did not always find addresses, or the address had to be input in a different manner (city name b/c we’re unincorporated) to find a house. So it’s not like Google’ Maps are perfect either.

            I love how TomTom says they provide data to Google too.

            1. Oh and I use the word journalist loosely here. They are internet bloggers. The thing about internet bloggers, they have no reason to maintain any sort of journalistic integrity.

              Even the actual news, as in the case of the BBC are getting their story from reading internet bloggers. Modern journalism is a sad state.

          3. Actually, I think the Google maps app was TERRIBLE for driving directions. It was good at finding things close to you, but often it was much easier to click on the desired item found, and get it’s address, and put into WAZE or some other actual turn by turn mapping software. The google maps app on iphone was really not that good. It worked very well on Android devices however. I’m looking forward to the new Apple Map App (That’s a tongue twister).

            Regarding Kool-Aid, there are two types. Type 1. My preferred such and such can do no wrong! (Android Head’s, Mac Addicts etc.. all display this type). Type 2. That thing/group/device is always bad, and can do nothing right. Then there are those of us who see all these things (computers, phone’s, tablet’s) as tools to use, and use the one that works reliably, easily and most effectively. I will take effectiveness over geek ‘gee-whiz’ gadgetry any day. Apple tends to make products which just work (with some hickups here and there).

      1. Well, sometimes it might be better for driving but what good are turn by turn directions if apple maps can’t find your destination? Currently apple maps can’t seem to find it’s ass with either hand.

        1. On better news even though my maps on iPad are basic and much of th satellite imagery blurry Siri, now I have it has worked at 100% accuracy and is fantastic, hopefully maps will be better with time and familiarity but underwhelmed at first sight. On another note the BBC is doing its usual hit job while sucking up to its pal Microsoft. Wonder if the finance and technology links could possibly be having an effect.

      1. They’re only good where you are. Come try it out where some of the rest of us live. The underlying maps are terrible. I don’t care what TomTom says. The database has changed significantly – for the worse. This is not FUD, MDN. This is the truth for those of us who now must deal with it. NY may be great. But the world doesn’t all live in NY or California. Come on by and try it out. It’s not just bugs, it’s a bad database!

      1. Software from Microsoft doesn’t usually get better. Apple has a history of making their products better over time. Microsoft has a perpetual cycle of claiming the software will be better in the next release but it rarely ever is.

    1. What is an acceptable percentage of failures for first release?
      How often being misled by inaccurate information is satisfactory?
      If your bank or credit union was as inaccurate in calculating your balance would you be satisfied?

      1. It’s called alternatives. If your driving directions are in error you look up from the device screen and form your own opinion of reality. If your bank doesn’t calculate your balance correctly you have to go to them to get it fixed.

    2. That’s the excuse of an Android user. “It doesn’t work well YET, but hey it’s a new bleeding edge feature that iPhones don’t have!”

      It’s a first major release (not beta) by APPLE. Apple users rightly have higher expectations and demand that things work well out of the box. Not necessarily perfectly, but well. It does people no good to have nice 3D flyover when they can’t find things they’re actually searching for.

      1. DISAGREE! It works great on my 4S and is absolutely stunning! It also directed me on my preferred route to work, which no other map app has ever done. Well done Apple, well done. I love Maps!

  1. This is going to go down in history as one of Apples biggest mistakes.

    Accurate maps was one of the defining points of having such expensive mobile computer in your pocket.

    They’ve made a mockery of this function.

    1. I’ve seen more than one instance of Google trying to lead me down roads that did not exist. Google Maps isn’t 100% accurate either. In the meantime, Apple’s maps zoom and pan much more smoothly. I’ll take Flyover rather than Street View any day.

      1. Not in my experience. I used the TomTom app on my iPhone 3GS and then on my iPhone 4S. Google was last to know about new subdivisions and traffic circles. TomTom was only updated every 5 or 6 months, so Google had plenty of time to catch up, but they didn’t. I’ve had zero problems with the new Apple maps in the several months that it’s been available to developers.

    1. Sorry, even SamDung is smart enough to realize that when it comes to mapping, Google is the best there is. Apple needs to improve in this area in a hurry. Apple’s attempt to snub Google will end up degrading the iOS experience if they don’t.

  2. Unless you’re looking for something in the Yelp database, searching is totally useless. It consistently botches searches by address, even with complete postal addresses. This needs fixing, fast.

  3. Why do I have a feeling that the Maps story feels a bit… errr… coordinated. I’ve been using the new Maps for a couple days and I like its speed and clarity. Yeah, I miss some features but I bet we get some of them back in time. But, meanwhile, these numerous news stories claiming people are upset about Maps seem manufactured to me. There is a big loser in this transition and I don’t think it intends to exit gracefully.

    1. Coordinated?
      What is wrong with you?
      Look at the various news articles, are these people all making this up?
      Apple replaced something that worked with something that doesn’t work.
      They are patently not ready to take on Google maps. TomTom people are already releasing defensive ‘it’s not our fault’ statements, their reputation is going to be in tatters if Apple does not act fast.

    2. Agreed. I’ve been using it extensively since Beta 4, and haven’t had any issues.

      Just yesterday, someone asked me about iOS 6 and Apple’s map app and said that they read that if something wasn’t in the name of a business then it couldn’t find it.

      They said the example was searching for “tacos”. So, I searched for “tacos” and the closest restaurant was Moe’s Southwest Grill. Hmm… do you see the word “tacos” in that name? It also proceeded to show me every mexican restaurant nearby, none of which had the word “tacos” in its name.

      So the person I who mentioned it originally said “How can people just write things that aren’t true?”.

  4. Roads called Avenues. Streets called Roads. Art Museum called Museum of Art. Runways shown but no airport identified. There should be a correction feature so that people who know their own communities can point out mistakes.

  5. What was Google’s maps accuracy like when it was only 4 days old?

    I know, it’s no excuse. We expect perfection. But Apple moves fast.

    Anyway, my experience with Apple’s new maps has been great. I love it. And I think the 3D buildings / flyover / whatever they call it, is ultimately more useful when you’re trying to navigate a city on foot.

  6. Being in Canada we didn’t have Siri integration so that feature mixed with turn by turn navigation worked amazingly well when I navigated through tricky parts of town yesterday.

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