Fresh off a backlash of reports on Apple’s new Maps app, CEO Tim Cook responded to the backlash by graciously offering what appeared to be a sincere and heartfelt apology on the Apple website.
While the apology wasn’t entirely unexpected, it clearly was the right thing to do and assures consumers who possess “more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps” that the necessary changes are in store. But what was a little perplexing was Mr. Cook’s deference to other map apps such as Bing, MapQuest and Waze, in addition to simply going online and using Google or Nokia maps and adding a website icon to the Home Screen.
After testing Bing, MapQuest and Waze, there is no question what maps system remains vastly superior to the other suggestions and, not surprisingly, Apple Maps – Google Maps. Of course, it reasonable to believe that the preferences of most consumers of 100 million+ iOS devices is to use an mapping app that is branded with the Apple name, but only developers and management of the Cupertino-based tech giant will know when a reasonable update will be released.
Alas, the best solution is to add a website icon or simply use Safari and then Google Maps. The instructions on how to add a website icon is clear enough, but those who are technologically disadvantaged can still just tap on the Safari button and search for one of Apple’s biggest competitors (along with Samsung) and use Google Maps.
Apparently Apple and Google had another year left on an agreement that allowed the use of the Google Maps app on iOS devices, which includes newer models of the iPod Touch, iPhones and iPads. It would be gratifying to applaud Apple for its boldness in removing Google Maps from iOS 6 devices, but a reasonable argument is to suggest that Apple released Apple Maps far too hastily. By all accounts, there appears no other explanation after the launch of OS upgrade was released less than two weeks ago.
What is important now is that Tim Cook took the initiative to acknowledge the obvious shortcomings of Apple Maps and falling short of the technological excellence that Apple users have long become accustomed to. It’s true that some bloggers and tech writers have criticized the move, arguing that releasing a letter of apology was unnecessary and not helpful to the company’s market position. But the vast majority of opinions have praised Mr. Cook, simply because it was a stifling issue that needed to be addressed, and quickly.
Tomorrow marks the end of another rare hiccup that developers of Apple Maps are destined to resolve. Hardly anyone used iTunes Ping, the software-based, music-oriented social networking recommender system and hardly anyone will even notice its demise, except for the stories that have dotted the internet since Apple announced its plans with Ping. Fortunately, the good people at Apple know the challenge of Apple Maps and while it’s true an update is quickly needed, this update is far from being the last. Credit Apple for its boldness for releasing Apple Maps despite it’s hastiness, but consumers must also acknowledge that it will take some time to be on par with Google Maps. After all, success typically doesn’t happen overnight.