Tim Cook Apologizes for Apple Maps, Recommends Alternatives for Now

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In a post on Apple’s site called “A letter from Tim Cook on Maps,” Cook begins by saying, “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.”

Cook then apologizes, saying, “We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.” He continues with two paragraphs explaining how Maps has been built from the ground up and says, “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.”

Then in a very un-Apple-like move, Cook recommends alternatives to use:

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.

Remember that sentence, because it’ll likely be the basis of countless articles comparing Tim Cook to Steve Jobs – most concluding that Jobs would have never said anything like that (or even have let Maps get released before it was ready), and perhaps some championing Cook’s transparency and apparent humility.

Whatever the case, this is Apple admitting that the Maps app is a problem. The full text of the note is as follows:

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.

Tim Cook
Apple’s CEO

A letter from Tim Cook on Maps [Apple.com]

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9 comments
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Nazonohito
Nazonohito

The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem =-P

PogieJoe
PogieJoe

Wow. I'm very impressed. Kudos to you, Mr. Cook.

charlieromeobravo
charlieromeobravo

"Remember that sentence, because it’ll likely be the basis of countless articles comparing Tim Cook to Steve Jobs – most concluding that Jobs would have never said anything like that (or even have let Maps get released before it was ready), and perhaps some championing Cook’s transparency and apparent humility."

The IOS6 launch really has been a study in the post Jobsian Apple hasn't it?  The mew Maps and Passbook are good examples of things that, I think, wouldn't have happened like this under Jobs.  Maps has been talked about a lot but Passbook is a good example too.  Apple just stuck it on IOS6 without any real instructions about how it works.  A few preinstalled passes to demonstrate how it works would have been nice.  Apple just demoed it, put up a page for it on their website and then turned it loose.  Fandango was an example they used a lot in demoing it btu in practice it barely works.   When you order a ticket via the Fandango App, the expectation is that it will prompt you to put a ticket in Passbook.  They never said that only certain theaters were capable of accepting Passbook movie tickets so if your theater doesn't support it, nothing special happens.  You're left scratching your head wondering what's wrong.  

jnffarrell1
jnffarrell1

Or he could tell the truth. Google has the best MapApp for now and the forseeable future.

cloud25
cloud25

"...most concluding that Jobs would have never said anything like that..."

This isn't true. When the iPhone 4 came out, it had signal problems w/ dropped calls. Jobs came out and admitted the iPhone had problems and they're working hard to fix it, albeit he did change the context to that all phones aren't perfect, not just the iPhone itself. 

Jobs chose Google Maps over Apple's own internal design because he thought it was better, and it was. Cook decided to go the other route because he didn't want to give up so much concessions to Google's demands just for turn-by-turn directions now that their contract is expiring. I can see Jobs doing the same. (Although Jobs probably would have found a way to convince Google to do it anyways). 

davidgoldmandg
davidgoldmandg

Karma payback for Apple's litigious nature, and for being un-free.

Instead of creating new things, there's an idea vacuum now - going the way of the old bitter pre-Marisa Yahoo - cutting off other's heads to look tall.

Payback:

Share price drop, slumping Iphone 5 sales, consumer dissatisfaction with IOS6, and Maps fiasco .

Apple is like China - providing a walled garden, but restricting speech and freedom of its users, and restricting apps because of their political or activist content. Add to this monopolistic app store, 30% bakshish on everything sold, arbitrary policy changes without notice, nepotistic favorites for vendors, and more.

Android is like America - freedom first, not restricting apps because of their content.

Freedom forever.

Jim Kimmons
Jim Kimmons

Absolute problem.  Was using iPhone to take photos in remote areas using GPS and post to travel site.  First photo on map showed me in a town 30 miles away.

I now have an android phone, works great with Google Maps, also got rid of my iPad.  Arrogant decisions like this map thing are going to kill Apple down the road.