Apple doesn’t like disappointing customers, but, every now and then the company shows that it is made up of humans after all. The latest “scandal” if it can be called that, surrounded the new iOS 6 Maps app which has been criticized by many. Consumers are decidedly upset that the app gives wrong locations and poor quality satellite images.
One week after the launch, Tim Cook has finally responded in a letter addressed to all his customers. It is open and honest, and promises that Apple is hard at work trying to make it better. The long term vision is clearly good, but, in the short term he admits we’ve been left with a sub-par application.
In a quite surprising move, he does suggest that we try alternatives or even create a home screen icon to an online maps service like Google Maps. Our very own David Beren compiled an excellent list of alternatives this week. There are some good ones in there.
In the past Apple has dealt with mistakes quite badly. In 2010 the badly designed antenna was criticized and Apple blamed consumers for “holding it wrong”. It’s refreshing to see the CEO be honest, and explain in a way that doesn’t put the consumer at any fault in any way. Nicely played, Tim.
Full Letter 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.