The iPhone5 was thought to be the pinnacle of technology, which is why Apple Maps was such a surprise. Instead of trusty Google Maps, Apple decided that they would make their own — with disastrous results. People got lost a lot of places were mislabeled. It was so bad, Tim Cook had to issue an apology on the Apple website:
“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.” (Apple.com)
But now, he claims that there is a new and improved version of Apple Maps. From the same apology, here is what Tim Cook had to say about revamping the company’s maps.
“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.
Apple’s CEO” (Apple.com)
He delivered on the promise and there is now a new version of Apple Maps that has been released albeit still being worked on. There are still glitches but at least they have the foundation correctly in place, as reported by PCMag’s Jamie Lendino:
“Apple’s new Maps app is at the center of what has turned out to be quite a kerfuffle in the mobile world. Now that Google Maps is back and better than ever, with its superior feature set, we can evaluate Apple Maps on its own more easily. If you’re wondering whether Apple Maps is safe to use regularly for driving, the answer is a qualified yes—but Google Maps (our current Editors’ Choice), Waze, and Scout by Telenav are all better GPS free nav apps at the moment, and Apple Maps continues to have serious POI-related inaccuracies. Still, it’s worth a look, if only for its beautiful graphics and interface. And while Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly apologized for Apple Maps, you can bet the company is working hard on improving it.”
It is much better at navigation now, and the voice prompts are useful for safe driving. It also boasts of excellent text-to-speech conversion, avoiding any strange pronunciations during use. Despite some of its better points, there is still a lot that can be improved. It does not have any signs for speed limits or any speed indicators. Lane assistance for highways is missing as well. In time, maybe Tim Cook will be writing a letter of thanks for patronage of Apple Maps and not another apology.