After numerous complaints and criticisms about the quality of his company’s new Maps app, Apple CEO Tim Cook issued an apology Friday morning. And in an unusual move, he directed customers to try competing products.
In an open leter posted on Apple’s website, Cook wrote, “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.” The letter later suggested, “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.”
In The New York Times, Brian X. Chen pointed out, “In previous versions of iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system, the Maps app was made by Apple but powered by Google’s maps service. But Google, with its Android software for phones, has come to be more of a competitor to Apple than a partner. In iOS 6, the latest version released last week, Apple replaced the old app with a new version that uses mapping data collected or purchased by Apple itself.”
USAToday’s Roger Yu noted, “The amount of backlash attests to the importance of a dependable map app in a smartphone, a mobile device whose value depends on its ability to get things done while its owners are on the move.”
And PCMag’s Chloe Albanesius reported that Maps’ bad search results are becoming an Internet meme. “Some of the questionable and bizarre returns Apple Maps has been serving up have been posted to the Tumblr blog, The Amazing iOS 6 Maps,” she wrote. “There’s also a parody Twitter account, of course.”