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Apple Maps Needs More Work

Although the iPhone 5 is only just being released today, the brand new operating system iOS 6 was released a few days before for customers wishing to update their current devices. Reactions have been mixed but are generally positive, however one of the main talking points is the new Apple Maps feature, which is standing out for the wrong reasons. Apple Maps is the answer to Google Maps, which Apple has dropped following disagreements with Google, and if the grand unveiling last week was anything to go by, it should have been bigger and better, but so far it has failed to impress.

The app we were presented with looked like a revolutionary app that featured 3D aerial views of cities that we could fly over and look at in more detail. What we got was an app filled with inconsistencies and out of date maps that proved to be Apple’s first real failure in years. Let’s hope they can clear this one up soon.

Where to begin with complaints? Search for Apple Maps on Twitter and the comments say it all. Some maps are completely out of date, featuring locations that no longer exist and missing out some that do. Other places are inaccurately listed as being far from where they actually are while certain obvious locations such as train stations are missing completely. In some cases entire towns have disappeared or relocated, sometimes to a completely different country. There are even errors that could prove life threatening, such as an “Airfield Park” in Ireland that in reality is just a park. While it is nice of Apple to gift Ireland with an airport, the fact that it does not exist could have led to a disaster if the mistake hadn’t been spotted so soon. According to the map’s icons, it is a genuine location for airplanes to land but if they try this then the pilots and anyone in the park at the time is in for an unpleasant surprise. In short, it is a mess.

A lot of it does work admittedly and it would be unfair to deem it a complete failure if it is a work in progress. But with so many mistakes the app is far from ready for release and Apple should have taken the time to tune it up properly before unleashing it. It’s a pity because it has a lot going for it and hopefully the customers and critics who slated it will give it another chance when it is ready.

It seems on this occasion, Apple’s ambitions have exceeded their capabilities, at least in the amount of time they had before the release. Apple Maps had the potential, and indeed still does, to be something special that would offer everything Google Maps provided, plus a lot more but so far it has not been the case. Apple Maps has some great ideas but it will take a few more updates before it becomes the must-have app it was meant to be. It can still be that, but Apple have a lot of creases to iron out first.

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