June 10, 2023

Bits Blog: Tim Cook Apologizes for Apple’s Maps

Timothy D. Cook, Apple's chief executive, at the introduction of the iPhone 5.Eric Risberg/Associated Press Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, at the introduction of the iPhone 5.

After more than a week of complaints and jokes about Apple’s new mapping service, the company’s chief executive apologized to customers on Friday for the frustration it has caused.

In a letter posted on Apple’s Web site, Timothy D. Cook said he was “extremely sorry” for the anguish caused when the company replaced Google’s maps with its own, acknowledging that the company’s new Maps app did not live up to its standards.

He said that 100 million people were already using the maps, and that the more who used it, the better the service would get. In the meantime, while Apple fixes its maps, he suggested that customers try alternatives available for download in the App Store or on the Web — including Google’s.

In previous versions of iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system, the Maps app was made by Apple and powered by Google’s maps service. But Google, with its Android software for phones, has come to be more of a competitor to Apple than a partner. In iOS 6, the latest version released last week, Apple replaced the old app with a new version that uses mapping data collected or purchased by Apple itself.

Early reactions to Apple’s new maps app were mixed: Some customers said they enjoyed the visuals and new features in the software, but many complained about issues like location searches failing or the maps bringing up incorrect results.

“This is just simply an area where companies like Google and Nokia have had a tremendous head start,” said Ross Rubin, a principal analyst with Reticle Research. “Clearly Apple did not prepare from day one to build its own mapping application.”

Eric E. Schmidt, Google’s chairman, told reporters in Tokyo this week that Apple should have stuck with Google’s maps. Google is seeking to finish a new maps app for Apple’s iOS devices by the end of the year, according to people involved with the effort, who declined to be named because of the nature of their work.

Though Apple has come under criticism for product problems in the past, apologies from the company are rare. When some customers discovered the iPhone 4’s reception could be weakened if the phone was held a certain way, Steve Jobs held a press conference and said he would offer free cases to affected customers, avoiding an explicit apology.

Earlier, when Apple customers complained about the price of the first iPhone dropping so quickly after its introduction, Mr. Jobs penned an open letter with an apology and offered a $100 store credit for those who bought the iPhone for the higher price.

Mr. Cook’s full letter 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

Article source: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/tim-cook-maps/?partner=rss&emc=rss

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