Developers: We warned Apple about iOS Maps issues prior to launch

“To the casual observer it might appear that Apple was caught off guard by just how bad its in-house maps app was. But the company had plenty of warning,” Josh Lowensohn reports for CNET.

“Developers have been complaining about Apple’s Maps since shortly after they were given the first pre-release version in early June, CNET has learned,” Lowensohn reports. “They say they filed bug requests, sent e-mails to specific Apple employees, and vented on message boards only other developers and Apple could see.”

Lowensohn reports, “All of the half dozen developers with whom CNET spoke — each of whom have applications that rely on Apple’s maps technology — requested that their names and the names of their applications be kept out of this story because of ongoing relationships with the company. But they say the issues were well-documented among developers, who used four pre-release versions of the software before it was given to the public last month. Apple declined to comment.”

Much more in the full article here.

46 Comments

    1. Well, I guess I’m just imagining things then when I see that my wife’s office building, shown and labeled in Google Maps, is an empty field in Apple’s Maps. The building is about four years old, and I live in a city of a million and a half people right here in the USA.

      1. Interesting… I have found the new apple maps to be a far batter app than the old one, and (curiously given the “blogger furor”) the mapping data to be BETTER not worse (I travel in the Boston-washington corridor and most NY-Wash and have not tested much (couple days in San Diego and a few in Hollywood)
        Care to give us the address of the 4 year old building that does not show up?

      2. You are just in the long tail. My zip code was changed more than 10 years ago, and I still find national vendors whose zip code database is still insist that they can’t ship to my new one because it doesn’t exist. There will always be data anomalies. Folks, you are just going to have to get over being the center of the universe. Maybe you should try getting to your wife’s building with out a map, then the anomaly won’t be so glaring.

      3. You can file a bug with the maps app. It will get fixed. You can see the link to file a bug if you tap the page curl icon at lower right and the link is titled “report a problem” is just above the print button.

      4. Google Maps is not the be-all either. I think none of them are. Until pretty recently, Google Maps showed near to my house a lot either empty or just having construction. The house has been lived in for 5 years. Just cause they’re up to date this second, doesn’t mean they always are or will be. I’ve had some of the GPS apps tell me to take a left onto a street when the street doesn’t exist on that block. And, again, this IS a 1.0 version of Apple’s own Maps.

  1. Even that I did noted issues with “off line” cache and some addresses, most of the application was working good enough. I mean, Every Windows OS version and Android OS is way worse than Apple’s Map App, and I don’t see CNET or other reporters waining about how bad they released their OSes.

  2. It’s not about Google or Microsoft releasing a bad product it’s about Apple releasing a product that was flawed. Apple screwed up and screwed up bad. There is no excuse yet I keep hearing all of the excuses for Apple. I can only imagine if Microsoft or Google have done this. The venom would be dripping off each letter of each sentence. Never dance around a problem that you have created. Own up to it, promise you won’t do it again and then fix it! The map issue isn’t going away because it is so important to mobile. Personally I use motion X Drive so I could not care less. But I’m in the minority, I only use it occasionally. Maps is a big deal and Apple screwing this up is a big deal. Apple will fix this as best they can but it will probably never ever be as good as Google maps. Apple just doesn’t have the resources to continually improve maps like Google. No one does. That’s simply a fact. This will die down eventually but will die down quicker when people quit trying to make excuses about Apple screwing up. They screwed up. Get over it. Quit making excuses for them. Move on. Apple does almost everything perfectly so I’m not upset. But they do screw up once in a while remember MobileMe, Ping? Apple will be just fine, it doesn’t need anyone here standing up for them. They’re still the biggest company out there. If you want to stand up for somebody, stand up for some of the small companies that are affiliated with Apple. Now they could maybe use your support. Otherwise just move on.

    1. Microsoft and Google screw up all the time. Most of us don’t notice or it is non issue because we don’t use the service. At best some eye rolling.
      Haven’t made my mind up about Apple, now with these emerging ‘rumors’ that Apple knew of the map problems months before and released it anyway. I have no doubt that it will improve, but is “flawed but ok for now” part of Apple’s DNA now? Hope not. Tim Cook needs to hear our voices.

      1. And I’n not convinced the whole apple maps issue isn’t more smoke (& mirrors) than actual fire….

        I have been using the new maps app several weeks but in that short time I fund it considerably better than the old one (and that includes map accuracy. No map database is perfect (in cluding google’s) so it is possible to spit hairs and find fault with any, but on the whole (at least for me) the new apple maps app is the pick of the litter)

          1. And aparently I am not alone in this opinion given the use and download profiles of iPhone users.

            So I guess my reply to your disparaging troll is;
            Yup, you betcha, and it seems I’m not alone 😉

    2. I would not agree that maps was a screw up. Not at all. The company isn’t perfect and if you want I could point to a list of where I believe that they did screw up. But not here.

      They needed to build their own app for maps based on data that they managed and controlled. There is always a point when you start out something as big as this maps thing where you need public input. Google went through this period and arguably still is. It’s impossible to have a flawless maid database because a worldwide maps database will have billions of entries and its in flux meaning it frequently changes. Businesses close, buildings come down or are built up, bridges collapse, roads wash out or are closed, built. Some of these changes occur fast, others more slowly.

      In short it’s impossible to do maps perfectly given current technology. Maybe some far future tech will allow for that but nothing we possess now or in the near future can produce perfect maps. Google is ahead of Apple in this but far from perfect.

      So no, sorry but you are just wrong here. Apple did not “screw up” here.

      1. Honestly will get rocks thrown at you here. Be careful. It’s very un-Apple like for them to do this. I am disappointed. And that has definitely hurt the stock price there’s no doubt about that. Of course that’s just a fantastic buying opportunity for people who are not buy-and-hold investors. Those folks are sitting on the sidelines now just watching and wishing they had cashed out some AAPL and could buy back in at these low low prices. This drop in Apple will happen again folks. It will happen before the first quarter earnings report in January 2013. Count on it. Invest accordingly. The 50 day moving average does mean something. Analysts are not all dumb assholes. There is no deep dark conspiracy against Apple any more than any other companies out here. If you followed other companies on their message boards you would know that. Apple is the biggest company so why wouldn’t it get the most attention in the press? Apple will rebound from this in the next few weeks hopefully. But they are making some mistakes and there’s too much competition out there to keep making mistakes. You can hate Google and you can hate Samsung but they are world-class competitors make no mistake about that. As an analyst said this evening, Apple is good near-term for the next few months but after that they need to ramp it up in emerging markets. Android is eating their lunch in emerging markets. And it doesn’t matter whether anyone here thinks Android is a good phone, they are cheap. And that’s what matters in emerging markets. Apple needs to get their shit together and quick. Deserved or not, they have too much bad press. There is potential for some real problems with the overseas manufacturing plant employees. If you want to see the stock drop like a rock let that pop up a few more times. Let the bleeding heart liberals get hold of those stories and see what happens to Apple. They are getting a little sloppy at Apple. You have read about the Roman Empire?

        1. They are getting a lot sloppy at Apple. When you are on top you can go down easier than up and Apple is not showing itself as being focused on quality control, innovation and user satisfaction. More like bottom line.

      2. Oh PAP, you are such a pathetic little troll…

        In answer the the original (legitimate) poster, I have been using the new maps app for several weeks and [refer it to the old one hands down (and that INCLUDES map database)

        I am in the Boston-Washington corridor which is (for those who don’t know) one of the most convoluted, contorted and confusing sets of highway on the planet. (GPS, or a nearly supernatural sense of direction) is a requirement.

        The new maps app is far better operationally (particularly missed turn recovery and rerouting) And I fond the directions better than the old google based app.

        1. “Boston-Washington corridor which is (for those who don’t know) one of the most convoluted, contorted and confusing sets of highway on the planet”

          Only if you are from Alabama. Try the old world.

          1. And PAP takes a play from the pathetic troll handbook:
            When your original nonsensical argument had been debunked simply move the goal post and attempt a different argument this will get you trolling again and (more importantly) will distract from your (now) painfully obvious previous humiliation.

            I think the proof here is in the use, not in the trolls and google funded bloggers winging and whining endlessly but the actual iPhone users. They were offered a multitude of choices for navigation (even set up a special listing in the Appstore) but you know what? they are overwhelmingly using apple’s new maps app. Why? Because it works better than the others.

      3. So you troll political threads, and now here too.

        Your statement is childish and absolutely false. Their database isn’t perfect but its better than Googles in many areas, worse in others, about the same in most parts if the US. Their mapping data’s biggest flaw is missing support for certain countries like much of the Asian pacific rim and many other parts of the world outside the US. That will take time to address but it will be fixed.

        Database aside the app has done major flaws in terms if showing traffic which is awful, but its very responsive and the turn by turn is by far better than almost any other GPS.

  3. I have had a few problems here and there, but had problems with Google Maps, too. All in all, I like Apple Maps a little better, and LOVE the turn-by-turn maps. I guess I’d feel differently if I lived in, say, Serbia (guess there aren’t a lot of good street maps for Serbia yet), but living in Southern California, I find the app just great!

    1. Before Apple Maps I used Google, of course, MapQuest, Motion-x for TByT, and I’ve had a Naviteq system in my car. They ALL had their share of screw ups and failures, yet the general benefit had been miraculous. This story is now old. We Know Maps is imperfect. Apple’s CEO has publicly begged for forgiveness. But let’s get real, folks. Maps can only improve from its current state, which is a pretty good foundation. And I’m with those that contend that Apple had to replace Google Maps, even if it meant a step backwards.

  4. The “only” way to find all the issues was to release it. The best they could have and probably should have done is put a beta label on it, works for google …

  5. Google maps have sent me to the wrong places so many times, now I often touch the phone number to ask where they really are. Yet I don’t hear a peep about how widely inaccurate Google maps are. Yes, I’ve had more issues with Apple maps, but it’s already improving. I think Apple is held to a far higher standard because they have gotten us used to magical perfection. They should have waited until it was better, no matter what the contractural expense, because the most valuable thing Apple has is their enthusiastic following.

  6. Seriously, it’s not like Apple didn’t know the situation with Maps. They just had to make the switch over when they had to.

    The map data went through a substantial evolution during the betas and is much improved since then.

    This “reporting” is just more limp dick, hit whoring from cnet.

    1. Really? Hit whoring? Because it’s Apple? I guess you don’t think they would bring it up if it was Google? Or is it that you would love it if it was Google and they brought it up? Fair is fair. And Apple gets a pass many times more than other companies because Apple puts out such great products. You just selectively pick out the articles that point out Apple’s few mistakes. Follow CNET once in a while, they’re pretty objective. Objectivity, you could use some.

      1. Come on GM, CNET has never been pro Apple. Look how they destroyed Version Tracker when they took it over. The site used to fly and now it crawls. They lost me to MacUpdate because of their stupidity. Talk about a company that can do things wrong. They need to remember about glass houses.

  7. I was thinking about this the other day. My biggest problem with Apple’s maps is the lack of detail shown. In the UK you have to zoom right in to get a decent amount of labels for things, by which time you’re so close you’ve got very little context of the area. I can understand how in large cities you’re going to reduce the volume at higher levels to make it possible to read, but out in less populated areas it’s a pain to have next to nothing visibly labelled. Often I can only get things to be labelled because I zoom in on areas I already know – for which I wouldn’t need a map. Not everything is done on street level, and for turn by turn directions, and even if it was I’m the sort of person who wants to have a vague idea of my route before I set out and blindly trust any system.

  8. Sorry to report this, but maps is batting 100 for me in Georgia! Google maps sent me to middle of nowhere 2 times this week (cow pasture 1 time really). Maps dead on each time for 3 weeks! Details are GREAT! Voice turn I LOVE! This product was meant for drivers truly anyway! Where did they ever say for transit or such initially? The app is very clear and clean which is an Apple hallmark! Streets are nicely labeled and love how it shows next turn in smaller print below current turn. Google maps I NEVER used because was so difficult slow and no voice turn by turn. Apple maps I use daily and am loving it!

  9. I was using iOS 6 Maps from the first developer preview and it improved rapidly. I can only say that other developers reporting that Apple knew about it and did nothing clearly have no view inside Apple’s map team.

  10. “I posted at least one doomsayer rant after each (developer) beta, and I wasn’t alone,” a developer with three iOS apps in the App Store told CNET. “The mood amongst the developers seemed to be that the maps were so shockingly bad that reporting individual problems was futile. 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.'”

    ..sums up Apple Maps pretty well, maybe it works well in the US, but it’s pretty much useless in many parts of Asia and Europe.

  11. I’ve only used iOS 6 Maps a few times, and turn-by-turn three times, but each time, it worked flawlessly. I’ll continue to use it, but I’m not expecting major issues based on what I’ve seen so far.

    But then…
    — I don’t care about satellite views, or street views, or 3D views. All I care is that the mapping app can my find my location and the place I want to go to on a regular map, and correctly route me from one to the other.
    — I don’t trust mapping apps in general. When I used the old maps app, or Google Maps on the web, I would usually zoom in on the destination to see if it made sense before following the route. If I didn’t like what I saw, I’d try entering the address another way.

    So maybe I’m an atypical maps consumer. I don’t know.

    But so much of the complaining about iOS 6 Maps revolves around what the map looks like, rather than what it does. So this house or that building doesn’t look right. I don’t care. If I enter the correct address for the building, will Maps get me there? If so, I’m fine.

    ——RM

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.