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Apple CEO Tim Cook apologizes to customers for Maps in iOS 6

post #1 of 370
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Apple on Friday published an open letter to customers on behalf of CEO Tim Cook, who formally apologized for Apple's new Maps in iOS 6 and "the frustration this has caused our customers."

Cook vowed that his company is "doing everything we can to make Maps better." In the meantime, he said, users can download third-party mapping tools from the App Store such as Bing, MapQuest or Waze, or use Web-based options like Google Maps or Nokia's product.

The comments from Cook also corroborate a recent report that indicated Apple's switch to its own mapping solution in iOS 6 was driven primarily by the company's interest in providing turn-by-turn directions. Under its previous agreement with Google Maps, voice-guided navigation was not available in the iOS Maps application.

"We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS," Cook wrote. "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."

iOS Maps
3D rendering issues in Apple's Maps app.


Upon its debut with iOS 6, Apple's new Maps application was met with a flood of criticism from users who complained of incorrect positioning data, poor routing and Flyover rendering issues. Apple's new mapping solution is generally seen as inferior to the product it replaced, which was powered by Google Maps.

Friday's letter by Cook is the second time Apple has commented publicly on the Maps controversy. The company first issued a statement soon after the release of iOS 6 to say it was "working hard" to fix the Maps application, and that the company appreciates customer feedback.

Incomplete Data
Google Maps' building data (left) versus same view on Apple's Maps (right).


Apple's mapping team was said to be "under lockdown," attempting to quickly fix some of the larger issues with iOS 6 Maps. And the company was also reported to have been luring ex-Google Maps engineers to work on its new application. Apple also began advertising for new positions available for mapping developers on its website.

One of the most-cited features missed by users with iOS 6 Maps is Google's Street View functionality. That feature is reportedly coming to the Web-based version of Google Maps within two weeks.

Cook's full letter is included below:

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.

Tim Cook
Apple's CEO

post #2 of 370

Oh man, in for an epic thread.

 

Tallest Skil, why don't you have a seat over there lol.gif

post #3 of 370
lol!

Just let us download the fully working version of Google Maps that we had from iOS 5....
post #4 of 370

Tim Cook acted like a ceo should, Apple made a mistake, they admitted it, they are trying to fix the problem, it will get better, it will take time. Lets all move on, google maps will be a app in the app store soon. Competition=Cunsumer wins. 

 

So whats the next drama in the tech world?

Weve had:

google policy change is killing babies

Twitter is killing free speech 

Microsfot is dead

Apple maps is worst than satan

 

Any guesses?

post #5 of 370
Classy. But oh so sad for Google as most iOS users will still be gone forever. I am happy with Apple's maps, and even happier that they will get better over time.
post #6 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

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.
 

It's this sentence here why the maps thing isn't a big deal to me

post #7 of 370

"The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get"

 

I don't understand. If we keep using Maps, the image on the right will gradually become the image on the left? How is that possible?

post #8 of 370
Classy. They were really caught in a no-win situation - the needed their own maps solution in the market, but to make it world-class, it needed users, which they can't get until they launch it, but launching it means replacing an existing excellent solution. . .around and around.
post #9 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoXoM View Post

lol!
Just let us download the fully working version of Google Maps that we had from iOS 5....

Exactly. That would be the end of story while Apple works on improving its own offering. Let the customer choose.

 

Google will demand a stiff payment, but that's peanuts compared to what Apple has in the bank. The goodwill it will generate will be more than worth it.

 

As an aside, so much for all the pooh-poohing apologists on this Forum. Man up, and let's see some mea culpa, guys -- Apple's CEO agrees with us! lol.gif

post #10 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Exactly. That would be the end of story while Apple works on improving its own offering. Let the customer choose.

 

Google will demand a stiff payment, but that's peanuts compared to what Apple has in the bank. The goodwill it will generate will be more than worth it.

 

As an aside, so much for all the pooh-poohing apologists on this Forum. Man up, and let's see some mea culpa, guys -- Apple's CEO agrees with us! lol.gif

For what? Google has few options.

 

They can charge for their app and pay Apple 30%, they can make it free, they can decide to not make an app.

 

In any case, Google lost a huge chunk from their mobile ad revenue. It's up to them to loose dozens of millions of iOS users and their position or to lose all of them. Apple played very well.

post #11 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Exactly. That would be the end of story while Apple works on improving its own offering. Let the customer choose.

Google will demand a stiff payment, but that's peanuts compared to what Apple has in the bank. The goodwill it will generate will be more than worth it.

As an aside, so much for all the pooh-poohing apologists on this Forum. Man up, and let's see some mea culpa, guys -- Apple's CEO agrees with us! lol.gif

The only way you will get mea culpa is if Tim decides to go back to Google and scraps Apple Maps altogether. Otherwise those of us who support Apple maps will continue to do so as it gets better.

For those of you screaming to have the Google maps back on your iPhone, I highly doubt they will give you turn by turn directions. So in actuality you are asking for a hampered solution. But hey don't let logic step in your way.
post #12 of 370
Tim, sir, really no need for an apology. I believe the customers who are happy with the new Map(p)s vastly outnumber the people who are discontent. Who, by the way, can get around any shortcomings, like you point out yourself.
post #13 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psych_guy View Post


The only way you will get mea culpa is if Tim decides to go back to Google and scraps Apple Maps altogether. Otherwise those of us who support Apple maps will continue to do so as it gets better.
For those of you screaming to have the Google maps back on your iPhone, I highly doubt they will give you turn by turn directions. So in actuality you are asking for a hampered solution. But hey don't let logic step in your way.

That's almost calling Tim an Android troll. 

 

He did suggest using other maps, remember. He did in fact name the apps. He mentioned the google web app.

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post #14 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

For what? Google has few options.

They can charge for their app and pay Apple 30%, they can make it free, they can decide to not make an app.

In any case, Google lost a huge chunk from their mobile ad revenue. It's up to them to loose dozens of millions of iOS users and their position or to lose all of them. Apple played very well.

Yes, very well stated. I forgot about the 30%. Apple has Google in a corner, that's for sure.
post #15 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Tim, sir, really no need for an apology. I believe the customers who are happy with the new Map(p)s vastly outnumber the people who are discontent. Who, by the way, can get around any shortcomings, like you point out yourself.

Apple fanboys are so pathetic. So you tell the CEO of a company to not apologize for something that a number of people especially outside the U.S are having trouble with. sad. I love Apple but not like you love them. 

post #16 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Tim, sir, really no need for an apology. I believe the customers who are happy with the new Map(p)s vastly outnumber the people who are discontent. Who, by the way, can get around any shortcomings, like you point out yourself.

That's my view. I STILL haven't seen any evidence that it's any worse than the other solutions out there. A few anecdotal reports (including those fabricated by Google) are not valid evidence.
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post #17 of 370
It's about time. Apple maps just plain sucks. I've been an apple fan for a long time and enjoy using their desktop os and laptops, but their mobile offerings are just not comparable to android powered devices. Worst part is that they choose to be shitty because they're pissed at Google.
post #18 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

That's almost calling Tim an Android troll. 

He did suggest using other maps, remember. He did in fact name the apps.

You misread my statement. Most tech pundits and blog whiners are complaining that Google maps is gone and they don't have the choice to bring it back.

Yes Tim did suggest other alternatives, and that's because Google will probably not be back.
post #19 of 370
I doubt Google will lose that much over time. They will build a kick-ass Maps apps that many users will utilize regardless of the state of Apple maps.
post #20 of 370
The new Maps app is the first turn-by-turn voice assisted navigation solution I've used. I never wanted another piece of hardware or another interface in my car (Garmin, Tom-Tom...). LOVE having this on my iPhone, jamming to music, interrupted by directions only when I need them. It's great. Get a better data set and, you know... solved.
post #21 of 370

The reactions people have been having on this forum over this whole ordeal are a bit much.  I haven't had many issues out of maps, but when I posted one comment about my friends having issues with iOS Maps I got labeled a "frandroid" and was ridiculed.  There are plenty of people on this forum that are trolls and are turning this into something bigger than it is, but let's try to stop thinking EVERYONE that has a criticism of iOS maps is a troll.  Especially now that Tim Cook has issued a public letter.  

 

Here's what I think:

 

- Acknowledging problems in iOS maps is a great move.  It shows they're aware that there are issues and will work to correct them.  Exactly what I expected of Apple.

- As an iPhone customer, reporting issues you experience will help Apple prioritize and fix the bigger issues.  Again, I expected this.

- Regardless of whether problems exists in other mapping software, I am sure it is Apple's goal to work to make it the best application for mapping on the planet. So why justify bugs by pointing to holes in other software?

 

I actually sort of like iOS 6 Maps, and all I want is for it to get better and better.  In the meantime, if I actually have the nerve to acknowledge a problem or to and find a work around, I have no problem sharing that when others have similar issues.  I refuse to mock or insult them by telling them their problems are imagined because of my anger over how the media is handling the situation.

 

If all of this makes me a heinous person worthy of ridicule, then I suppose I'll take the ridicule as gracefully as possible.

 

[looking at you jragosta]

post #22 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by na1ya View Post

"The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get"

I don't understand. If we keep using Maps, the image on the right will gradually become the image on the left? How is that possible?

There is a button in the app to report problems. If the old app had such a button, I wish I had known about it, because updates happen all the time and businesses do move.

The Android image showed the satellite view, the ad seems to suggest that iOS doesn't offer them, when they clearly do.
post #23 of 370

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 1/21/13 at 3:06pm
post #24 of 370

I would guess that the Google app "under development" will have all the kitchen sink features in it.  This is the last chance for them to get back to the location search on iOS platform.  They are working against time because people will get accustomed to the Apple Map sooner or later.  If they don't dominate the location search now, it will be now or never.  It will only works better for Apple users.  BTW, Waze is quite interesting app.

post #25 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSF View Post

I doubt Google will lose that much over time. They will build a kick-ass Maps apps that many users will utilize regardless of the state of Apple maps.

Missing the whole point. Google has already built a kick ass maps application for android. The consumer can see this at the Verizon store and stack it up next to iMaps or whatever it's called. Huge risk for AAPL.
post #26 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techstalker View Post

Apple fanboys are so pathetic. So you tell the CEO of a company to not apologize for something that a number of people especially outside the U.S are having trouble with. sad. I love Apple but not like you love them. 

From where I'm standing with iOS on two devices (whoops that makes me a fanboy I guess!) I don't have a problem with Apple maps, so in my mind I don't see why Tim should apologize. Quite frankly unless a poll were released to show how many people were actually affected by the issue, I choose not to listen to people who bitch and moan so loudly they drawnout everyone else. For all you know they could be a minority.
post #27 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by na1ya View Post

"The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get"


I don't understand. If we keep using Maps, the image on the right will gradually become the image on the left? How is that possible?

In simple terms, Maps data is based off crowd sourced info. So yes, they will get better.

As for the image, no that will likely not change. But not because of data. Google displays detailed information even when you're zoomed out, while Apple displays a cleaner interface that reserves detail for when you zoom in. My car's nav system does the same thing. It's just a different style.
post #28 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphyjazz View Post


Missing the whole point. Google has already built a kick ass maps application for android. The consumer can see this at the Verizon store and stack it up next to iMaps or whatever it's called. Huge risk for AAPL.


yes and Google didn't want to bring it to iOS unless it received branding and user data for Google services for a price.

post #29 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psych_guy View Post


Yes, very well stated. I forgot about the 30%. Apple has Google in a corner, that's for sure.

As long as Apple relies on Apple maps to find that corner Google will be OK. (couldn't resist)

 

The only way this can hurt Google is if they develop a turn by turn navigation app and Apple blocks it, which would be the dumbest thing Apple could do.

 

There is no way Google is sitting still on this one.

post #30 of 370

This is a very classy move by Tim Cook. Kudos. I'm not sure you would have gotten the same response from Steve, but a little humility goes a long with a lot of people. (myself included)

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post #31 of 370

The problems with the map are not about engineering - the map is fast, the vectors are better than images. Those of you who like it are probably in the US, and in a certain States in the US. Everywhere else the data is hit and miss, more often miss.

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post #32 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoXoM View Post

lol!
Just let us download the fully working version of Google Maps that we had from iOS 5....
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Exactly. That would be the end of story while Apple works on improving its own offering. Let the customer choose.

Google will demand a stiff payment, but that's peanuts compared to what Apple has in the bank. The goodwill it will generate will be more than worth it.

As an aside, so much for all the pooh-poohing apologists on this Forum. Man up, and let's see some mea culpa, guys -- Apple's CEO agrees with us! lol.gif

I wholeheartedly disagree with Apple putting the old Maps back in iOS. Even if they let you switch between Google and Apple Maps for the duration of the contract it's a bad idea.

Just in case you don't recall I've pointed out issues with Apple Maps since the first iOS 6 beta. I've been attacked and ridiculed for month on this issue by saying this will be a problem for Apple if they don't get it worked out (mostly by MacBook Pro). Not only has David Pogue and other Apple loving tech writers spoken out about Apple Maps issues but now we have Tim Cook making note of it and apologizing.

I've been saying that Apple needed another year to build up the app properly but one thing I didn't know was the now rumoured expiration date on their contract with Google. That is being presented as June 2013. Since iOS releases have moved to an Autumn release cycle that becomes an issue for Apple. You either have to release the new Apps mid-iOS 6, renegotiate a contract you only want for 3-4 months, or jump ship and learn to swim fast. Looking at how complete Apple Maps is on launch the 3rd option is really the best of a bad set of options and I, for one, commend Cook for making this decision as it's the one I would have made based on this rumoured Google Maps contract expiration date.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Techstalker View Post

Tim Cook acted like a ceo should, Apple made a mistake, they admitted it, they are trying to fix the problem, it will get better, it will take time. Lets all move on, google maps will be a app in the app store soon. Competition=Cunsumer wins.

That's part of the problem. Apple's keynote at WWDC of Maps didn't allow for any indication that it was still going to take time to make it great. All they had to do was say that need us to help make Apple Maps the best mapping software in the world. I think we would have supported them. I surely would have tested it more for errors and then submitted updates for months now, but there was absolutely no indication that Apple saw this as an issue. For that I can't commend Cook.

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post #33 of 370
"Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world"

It could be argued that this was about making the most money.
post #34 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psych_guy View Post


From where I'm standing with iOS on two devices (whoops that makes me a fanboy I guess!) I don't have a problem with Apple maps, so in my mind I don't see why Tim should apologize. Quite frankly unless a poll were released to show how many people were actually affected by the issue, I choose not to listen to people who bitch and moan so loudly they drawnout everyone else. For all you know they could be a minority.

 

But why are you being so defensive to the point? So you don't have any problems, fine. You know, what, in using iOS 6 on my iPhone 5, I haven't had any problems either. In fact, I was able to use the turn-by-turn navigation feature on Wednesday on a trip to see my wife's grandparents. It worked perfectly.

 

But I'm not going to sit here and act like just because I've been relatively trouble free, that others don't have problems. That's just foolish and would make me an apologist... Apple doesn't need apologists, they need people to help them get better at what they do. And if that means admitting to issues/problems and working to resolve them, then fine. So be it.

 

I think that Tim Cook made the right call here. It assures customers that Apple is working to resolve the problems that are clearly there. 

 

I just don't understand why people here get so defensive -- to a fault -- when it comes to "protecting" Apple. Apple is a "big boy", it can protect itself.

post #35 of 370
What makes any of you think Apple would approve a Google Maps app? Duplication of functionality has caused rejection in the past. Why would Apple even want Google Maps anymore? My personal opinion is that Google Maps is history on iOS and the drama queens here can wail and moan, hold their breath till they turn blue, stomp up and down, cry like babies, declare iOS useless now all they want. Not gonna happen.
post #36 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphyjazz View Post

Missing the whole point. Google has already built a kick ass maps application for android. The consumer can see this at the Verizon store and stack it up next to iMaps or whatever it's called. Huge risk for AAPL.

Google's experience will tell them the best way to make mobile revenue is on iOS. Even if you believed some ridiculous future case like half of iOS users moved to Android (because of maps). That still would not make up for Google's lost revenue. In fact, it might make it worse. You should remember that it was Google that stated they make 4 times more revenue from iOS than Android.
post #37 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techstalker View Post

Tim Cook acted like a ceo should, Apple made a mistake, they admitted it, they are trying to fix the problem, it will get better, it will take time. Lets all move on, google maps will be a app in the app store soon. Competition=Cunsumer wins. 

 

So whats the next drama in the tech world?

Weve had:

google policy change is killing babies

Twitter is killing free speech 

Microsfot is dead

Apple maps is worst than satan

 

Any guesses?

 

I agree that Cook acted like a CEO should.  He addressed the problem, before it turned into a much bigger and negative situation.  That is PR rule#1.  Acknowledge it, then show your plan to fix it.  That wipes out all of the fear mongering and woulda/coulda/shoulda publicity behind the problem.

 

Reality is the maps work fine for most people.  Navigation works incredibly well with TomTom street information provided.  There are plenty of 3rd party apps to use if you cant find something.  Google maps is still available in a mobile version by visiting maps.google.com in a browser. Media/TechBlog/Review sites need some controversial material to attract visitors.  Its Apple so people will make a big deal out of any changes they do.  

 

But just like the new lightning connector, a year from now the amount of over reaction to their changes will be a forgotten issue. 

post #38 of 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techstalker View Post

Apple fanboys are so pathetic. So you tell the CEO of a company to not apologize for something that a number of people especially outside the U.S are having trouble with. sad. I love Apple but not like you love them. 

 

People who use the phrase "Apple fanboys" in posts here are the really pathetic ones. It's a sure sign that your own psychological problems have driven you to AI to try to compensate for your own shortcomings.

post #39 of 370
I have no need for maps I know where things are.
post #40 of 370
Hmm....not sure what I think about this. Cook apologizing and telling users to use a competitors product is a bit embarrassing.

Once you start apologizing where does it stop? Already there's clowns out there asking when Apple is going to apologize for "scuff gate" and ear pods that don't fit their ears. This is one of the curses of being at the top (in terms of market cap and profits). Everyone and their mother wants to bring you down. And every mistake or imperfection gets blown up like crazy.

I read dozens of iPhone 5 reviews, some prior to launch and most after launch, and there was one, maybe two at most, that mentioned anything about a scuffed phone. Yet we have scuff gate and people wanting Cook to apologize for it. I'm seeing complaints that the phone is too thin and light and thus feels cheap. Yet earlier this year when the new iPad came out people bitched because it was ever so slightly thicker and heavier. Now they're bitching that the iPhone is too light. No matter what Apple does these days someone will complain about it.
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