Apple, in the beginning of the year, created its own maps application, Apple Maps that proved to be a fiasco. It was riddled with mistakes—missing areas, low-quality pictures, poor choice of colors, incorrect information, etc. It has been a tremendous shame to an innovative company like Apple. After its decision to create a map to provide better navigation to its customers, Apple probably had too little time to develop a full-fledged application from ground up (despite the fact that there was Apple Maps since the first iPhone, they decided to create Maps from the ground up).
What Is Wrong With Apple Maps?
A lot is wrong with Apple Maps. Here are a few gaffes:
Ireland’s BreakingNews.ie reported this: Airfield House is a farmland in Dublin, Ireland, and Apple Maps identifies this as an airport.
BBC has reported: Search for Manchester United Football Club, and you will be getting ‘Sale United Football Club’ which is a football community for children. Certain missing areas include Solihull and Stratford-upon-Avon (the birthplace of William Shakespeare), and Uckfield in Sussex is wrongly placed.
HuffPost has reported non-existing places found on Apple Maps: Aldwych Station (closed for over eighteen years); Woolworths (closed since 1997); F Chamberlain & Sons (closed for over 15 years).
Guardian of the UK reported that when you search for London, you get the town named London in Ontario, Canada. And Paddington station is missing in the Maps search function.
Australian Business Traveller has reported recently: Park Hyatt hotel in Tokyo is missing in search (but the location database can find it); the Tokyo railway station is not showing up in search. Also, the center pin on even the important cities like London and New York is placed at the most obscure of locations.
Haartez has reported that Israel the country has no capital in Apple Maps. There is no Jerusalem!
The New York Times has reported another error in Florida, where a supermarket was replaced by a hospital in Apple’s famed maps.
Besides these, there are many pictures, some funny fakes and some real that appear on image search for ‘apple maps’. Here is a mashup of some of them. Click to enlarge:
Latest Google Maps
Another report from Apple Insider has pointed us in another direction. According to them, Apple knew the troubles of iOS Maps before launch.
However, that’s all history right now. Google is bringing up its own version of Maps to get approval by Apple in the coming days. According to the WSJ, Google is currently field-testing the app before submission to Apple. And they have their fingers crossed for Apple approval, which according to the industry-talk is a big thing.
After the Maps failure, Apple probably has realized that it is going to affect the brand in a big way, and that is the reason behind the letter by Tim Cook. However, even in that letter, Mr. Cook doesn’t speak much about the mistakes of Apple Maps in any detail. In fact he is just recommending other map apps to customers.
At this point, Apple has no go other than approving Google’s product which will be launched soon for iPhone 5. In the meanwhile, iOS customers have no other option than using Google Maps on the browser or installing it as a widget within the browser for quick opening.
Apple has made a huge dent on its brand identity with this humiliating failure of Maps. Still, the company has a huge number of customers to its products. Let’s wait and see how it will progress in the coming days.
[Image credit: Forbes; HuffPost; ausbt.com.au; weknowmemes.com]