partlycloudy
Tuesday July 7th, 2015 3:51PM

Apple CEO apologizes for error-ridden new map app

By The Associated Press
NEW YORK - Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized Friday for the company's error-ridden new mobile mapping service and pledged to improve the application installed on tens of millions of smartphones. In an unusual mea culpa, he invited frustrated consumers to turn to the competition.

Cook said Apple "fell short" of its own expectations.

"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 nonstop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard," he said in a letter posted online.

Apple released an update to its iPhone and iPad operating system last week that replaced Google Maps with Apple's own map application. But users quickly complained that the new software offered fewer details, lacked public transit directions and misplaced landmarks, among other problems.

People have been flocking to social media to complain and make fun of the app's glitches, which include judging landscape features by their names. The hulking Madison Square Garden arena in New York, for instance, shows up as green park space because of the word "garden."

Until the software is improved, Cook recommended that people use competing map applications to get around - a rare move for the world's most valuable company, which prides itself on producing industry-leading gadgets that easily surpass rivals.

Apple has made missteps in the past - even under founder and CEO Steve Jobs, whose dogged perfectionism was legendary.

"I think they are clearing the air and, more importantly, clarifying why they had to do their own maps," said Tim Bajarin, a Creative Strategies analyst who's followed Apple for more than three decades.

He recalled an infamous problem with the iPhone 4's antenna that interfered with reception when people covered a certain spot with a bare hand. Jobs apologized, though he denied there was an antenna problem that needed fixing. Apple quickly recovered.

But Cook's remarks went further, saying the company was "extremely sorry" and promising to make swift changes.

Contrast that with Jobs' statement from 2010, when he said the antenna issue had been "blown so out of proportion that it's incredible."

Still, Jobs also acknowledged that Apple was "stunned and upset and embarrassed." But he insisted the antenna issue was not widespread and only a small number of users complained to Apple's warranty service.

On Friday, Cook said the new version of the mapping app was designed to give users the features they've been asking for. It includes turn-by-turn directions, voice integration and a 3-D flyover feature.

Google's map application for the iPhone did not give turn-by-turn directions or voice-guided navigation, although its version for Android devices does.

Google, Bajarin said, wouldn't license the turn-by-turn feature to Apple because Google prefers to give devices running its own Android software an advantage over the iPhone and iPad. Maps and navigation are among the most-used features of smartphones.

Cook said Apple's maps will get better as more people use the app and provide feedback.

That's true for all digital maps. Google's system wasn't perfect when it launched, but it got better over the years as users pointed out mistakes and helped the company collect its vast trove of data.

"Ultimately, what (Apple) discovered early on is that Google had access to 100 million iOS users who helped them build the Google Maps database, Bajarin said. "At some point Apple had to put its foot down."

It came time, he explained, for Apple to own the users of its mapping service, not Google.

But for now, Cook actually recommends that users look at other options - including Google maps.

"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," Cook wrote.

Could Apple have avoided the debacle? Bajarin thinks so, maybe by acknowledging that the map app was a work in progress. That's what the company did when it released Siri, its virtual assistant. Customers understood.

Apple released the iPhone 5 last week and on Monday said it sold more than 5 million of them in three days. Although the number is a record for any phone, it was fewer than analysts expected.

On Friday, shares of Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Inc. closed down $14.22 to $667.10 amid a broader market decline.

---

Online:

http://www.apple.com/letter-from-tim-cook-on-maps/
  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Business News
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Doctors: Blood clot located in Clinton's head
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton developed a blood clot in her head but did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said Monday. They say they are confident that she will make a full recovery.
3:55PM ( 2 years ago )
Illinois Sen. Kirk to return a year after stroke
Nearly a year after a stroke left him barely able to move the left side of his body, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is expected to climb the 45 steps to the Senate's front door this week - a walk that's significant not just for Illinois' junior senator, but also for medical researchers and hundreds of thousands of stroke patients.
3:54PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Ga. ethics legislation could end free tickets
General Assembly approval next year of a proposed ethics reform measure could endanger an important fall tradition for Georgia lawmakers - free football tickets.
6:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Abortion restrictions, tax changes loom in Ga.
Tax breaks for manufacturers and higher unemployment taxes for employers take effect with the new year in Georgia, but it remains to be seen whether the state's newest abortion restrictions will be enforced.
6:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Business News
SC Senate gives final OK to Confederate flag removal
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Senate gave final approval Tuesday to a bill removing the Confederate flag from a pole in front of the Statehouse, sending the proposal to the House, where it...
2:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
US job openings stay high, but actual hiring falters in May
WASHINGTON (AP) — Job openings stayed close to a 15-year high in May. It's a sign that companies are expecting continued economic growth, but the level of advertised jobs hasn't driven the same kind o...
12:46PM ( 3 hours ago )
Senate, House look to update Bush-era education law
WASHINGTON (AP) — It's something most Democrats and Republicans in Congress can agree on — an update to the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law is much needed and long overdue.This week, the S...
3:24AM ( 12 hours ago )
Cosby said he got drugs to give women for sex
Bill Cosby testified in 2005 that he got Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with, and he admitted giving the sedative to at least one woman and "other people."
11:42PM ( 16 hours ago )
US stocks slip amid global sell-off after Greek 'no' vote
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks in the U.S. fell broadly following drops in overseas markets as Greeks voted to reject creditor conditions for more loans, but the losses weren't as steep as many had feared.Wit...
6:32PM ( 21 hours ago )