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Developers warned Apple about iOS Maps in June

updated 07:30 am EDT, Wed October 10, 2012

Developers alerted Apple about Maps woes as far back as June

Apple knew of iOS 6 Maps problems as far back as June this year, says CNET. After the first beta of iOS 6 was seeded to developers, feedback on errors and inaccuracies in the new app were supplied by numerous parties. Developers filed bug reports, emails were sent to specific employees, and frustration was also expressed on developer-only message boards viewed by Apple.

"I posted at least one doomsayer rant after each (developer) beta, and I wasn't alone," one developer commented to CNET. "The mood amongst the developers seemed to be that the maps were so shockingly bad that reporting individual problems was futile. What was needed wasn't so much an interface for reporting a single point as incorrect, but for selecting an entire region and saying 'all of this -- it's wrong.'"

The developers most concerned and most vocal about the Maps app and data set errors were those that relied on the Apple Maps API for their own navigational titles. Developers are said to have been informed by Apple that only the mapping imagery would change with the shift from iOS 5 to iOS 6; the reality however was that the whole data set was replaced, creating more work for developers who soon discovered that the new data set also broke features in their apps.

The user outcry over the new Maps app was so concerted that Apple CEO Tim Cook recently issued a formal apology over the matter. "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," Cook wrote.




By Electronista Staff
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  1. Zanziboy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-27-08

    Whether they were warned by developers has no material impact on this issue. The paid-for bloggers are trying to spin the story to disrupt developer enthusiasm by claiming that Apple doesn't listen to developers. However, Apple didn't need warnings from anyone. They produced the maps database (particularly the "fly-over" imagery) and were fully aware of its shortcomings.

    What was not expected by Apple was a rather unrealistic media that believed that every satellite image and every flyover 3D rendering would be perfect at launch. Forstall mentioned that much of this data was coming from crowdsourced data. Therefore, many of the addresses need vetting by the public as they use the device. (For example, is that restaurant in Yelp still in business?) These databases are only improved with crowd input. Apple was rushing to get the database delivered in such a manner as not to hold up the phone launch. Apple anticipated there would be some launch issues with the database and the fly-over imagery, but such problems are not surprising given the large amount of data and processing required to create the database in the timescales required. Fortunately, since the maps database is based on crowd-sourced information, the process of collecting and updating the information should prove rather efficient.

  1. MacScientist

    Junior Member

    Joined: 02-14-00

    I am not here to defend the problems with Apple's new Maps app. We have a right to expect perfection. We have a right to complain when we don't receive it. We also have a duty to be fair. The complaints that I read about Apple's Maps seems to imply that Apple's Maps is critically flawed and that the Google version is near perfection.

    There are two places that I call home. One is an apartment in a small college town in a Gulf South state and the place where I grew-up in a farming community in the same state. Google misplaces both addresses.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    "I posted at least one doomsayer rant after each (developer) beta, and I wasn't alone..."

    Lemme tell ya, the BEST way to get people to listen to your concerns is to go on a "doomsayer rant." Works great; highly recommended. Fits right into the "constructive criticism" category nicely.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Google is not perfect either. I ran into a few errors on their map also and had submitted my findings to Google. TomTom is the database behind Apple's Map and I also have a TomTom portable GPS. Using TomTom portable GPS in downtown Manhattan is a nightmare. It keeps messing up my current driving location (thinking that I am driving on the next parallel street when I am not). The most accurate map I ever used in downtown Manhattan is Honda CRV's in-dash navigation by Alpine (using NAVTEQ as their map database). It detects my position in downtown Manhattan accurately and never lost track of where I am. My wife has a TomTom in-dash navigation in her Mazda CX-5. It's performance is just as bad as my portable version. Don't know why Apple chose TomTom database.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Originally Posted by ZanziboyView Post

    Whether they were warned by developers has no material impact on this issue. The paid-for bloggers are trying to spin the story to disrupt developer enthusiasm by claiming that Apple doesn't listen to developers.



    And the not-paid-for-defenders will try to pin the blame on the lame-stream bloggers and trouble makers who are just out to get apple. Yep, no actual problem. All the people with iOS 6 love maps. It's just a few people with an axe to grind who are making this more of a problem! Yep, that's it. Nothing to see here.

    Well nothing except the usual "Poor apple is being set upon by the evil of the world trying to destroy them!" posts.

    However, Apple didn't need warnings from anyone. They produced the maps database (particularly the "fly-over" imagery) and were fully aware of its shortcomings.

    OK, and did they make this information available to the PUBLIC? Um, no.

    Although, I know, that's the public's fault. They should have known that this is a v1.0 product and so was going to have problems and not expect perfection. What's the deal with these idiot people? You'd think they thought Apple was a superior company offering superior goods and services or something. Ha!

    What was not expected by Apple was a rather unrealistic media that believed that every satellite image and every flyover 3D rendering would be perfect at launch.

    Of course, every iPhone user should have known:
    1) Apple was using Google maps for all it's data on previous versions of iOS 6.0.
    2) Apple was moving to a new mapping system they bought.
    3) So it isn't an update to Maps as a whole new Maps system. So they shouldn't expect it to be anything as good as what they had.

    But apparently there were a few who had no clue that Apple was renting Google's data and now are trying to roll their own. Idiots! Anyone who wasn't aware of this situation should just have their iPhones removed from them and their money replaced. They apparently aren't inteliigent or caring enough to keep up with what Apple is doing!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Originally Posted by ZanziboyView Post

    Forstall mentioned that much of this data was coming from crowdsourced data. Therefore, many of the addresses need vetting by the public as they use the device. (For example, is that restaurant in Yelp still in business?) These databases are only improved with crowd input.



    Well, there you go. So basically what you're saying is that it isn't Apple's fault that the Map data they're using is faulty, it's EVERYONE ELSE'S FAULT for not making sure it is correct.

    Now we know how Apple has become so profitable. They don't have to spend their money. They just get their loyal users to go out and verify their information for them! For free!

    Heck, if you think about it, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that it was Apple, all along, behind the bloggers and all complaining about this issue. For what has it done? It has spurred more of the Apple faithful to go around their neighborhood and update/verify the data. Boom, now apple gets even more correct information even quicker than before! And they don't have to pay a dime. Heck, the people doing it are happy to do it, makes them feel part of the Apple family.

    Heck, I wouldn't be surprised to find Apple getting their users to do all their street-view pictures for them too. Google must feel foolish now, paying all those people to drive around and take pictures and all. Ha!


    Apple was rushing to get the database delivered in such a manner as not to hold up the phone launch.

    Yep, standard apple procedure. Ship something first, fix it later!

    Apple anticipated there would be some launch issues with the database and the fly-over imagery, but such problems are not surprising given the large amount of data and processing required to create the database in the timescales required. Fortunately, since the maps database is based on crowd-sourced information, the process of collecting and updating the information should prove rather efficient.

    I'm really surprised how much you know what apple anticipated and expected. You must be a real insider.

    Too bad that the idiots who run the company don't understand how these things work as much as you. For, you see, anyone who lived through antenna-gate (which is more than what the naysayers will admit, but not as bad as some made it seem), you would know that the public will find something bad to link to and start complaining. For we know that so many out there (especially the paid-for blogosphere) are so anti-apple and ready to take them down. So they would have prepared the people up-front about the maps app.

    You see what they did with Siri? They said up-front it was a beta (though they only said that in the press event and if you went to the web-site, never mentioned it on any other materials). So people had less expectations. They should have done the same with the maps app...

    But, nope. You know, you really should have warned them!

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