Archive for October 2012

Tim Cook Apologizes for iOS 6 Maps experience

In a surprise move, Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a statement apologising for the poor experience on the new iOS 6 Map.

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.

Wow, this is something new from Apple. Two years ago when the new iPhone 4 has some antenna flaws, the company didn’t really apologise for the flaws. They just merely point out that it is a common issue among all phones and give out free casing. And I personally think that the antenna issue is much worst than the map issue we are encountering now.

I’m actually surprised that Tim Cook issued an apology for the iOS 6 Maps experience. The statement even list a few alternatives that iOS users can choose if they are unhappy with the new iOS 6 Maps. I guess this is the new style that we can expect from Tim Cook. And I love this new style.

It is always difficult to say sorry. I really respect a company and their CEO for stepping forward to apologise when their product fall short on expectations.

But honestly, the iOS 6 Map isn’t really that bad. Sure, Google Maps are a lot better. In fact if you let me choose, I’ll definitely pick Google Maps. I miss street view and I miss the ability to check traffic info in Singapore. But this is a necessary (and painful) move for Apple. They need to differentiate themselves from Androids and other smart phones. They can’t rely too much on Google.

The only mistake that Apple made was that they didn’t start using their own Maps earlier.

There are some complaints saying that Apple should improve the maps first before rolling out. I disagree. There is a limit to what Apple can do to fix the Maps. Once the Maps is out in the public, users can submit errors reports so that the Apple engineers can fix it. It is crowd sourcing. And bear in mind that there are more than 100 million iOS devices out there.

The iOS Maps will only get better as time goes by. But will it eventually be as good or even better than Google Maps? We’ll wait and see.