Google Maps has been booted from the iPhone 5, pictured here at an Apple shop in Belgium.

Apple apologizes for botched iPhone 5 maps app

Apple Maps has caused consumers "frustration," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement today. He pledged that the company would work to improve the maps app on the iPhone 5 and iOS 6. 

Apple has issued a lengthy apology for the botched maps app on the new iPhone 5 and iOS 6 and encouraged users to try out alternative software – including a Web-based version of Google Maps. In a statement entitled "A Letter To Our Customers Concerning Maps," Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company was "extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers."

Apple would continue to work on improving the Apple Maps app, he added. 

"There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day," Cook wrote in the letter. "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." 

Some background: For many years, Google provided the default maps app on the iPhone. But Google, which develops the Android mobile operating system, is increasingly an Apple rival; with iOS 6, Apple decided to boot Google Maps. Unfortunately, as New York Times critic David Pogue has noted, Apple probably realized at some point that "digitally representing every road, building and point of interest is a task of almost unimaginable difficulty."

At times, Apple Maps is perfectly fine. At other times, Apple Maps is a mess. (Or, if you prefer, a "flop," a "debacle," and just plain "ugly.") It can't find some locations, and its 3-D mapping function turns other landmarks into pixelated mush. Compare that to Google Maps, which even at its most sluggish, was accurate and easy to use. In the statement today, Cook seemed to fully acknowledge the failings of the software. 

More surprisingly, he also suggested that users look elsewhere in their hour of frustration. "[Y]ou 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. (Waze is pretty good, as it turns out.)

WWSJHD? (What would Steve Jobs have done?) In 2010, of course, Apple was pelted with complaints from users who couldn't get a good signal on their iPhone 4. Jobs eventually called a press conference. 

"This has been blown so out of proportion that it’s incredible," Jobs said. "We think some of that problem is inherent in most every smartphone, but having said that, we care about every user and we are not going to stop until every user is happy."

It was something short of an apology.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Apple apologizes for botched iPhone 5 maps app
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today