Maps, as you know, is Apple’s new, in-house mapping application for iOS 6 – one that has come under fire recently for being much worse than Google Maps, the service that used to run Apple’s mapping needs for iOS.
If you head over to Apple’s website right now, you’ll see that Apple has added a little box to its front page. It reads: “A letter to our customers regarding Maps.”
Last week, it was reported that Apple had locked down its Maps team to fix the problems, but it looks like even that wasn’t enough for CEO Tim Cook. Cook published an apology letter on Apple’s website about his company’s failing. That letter is pasted in its entirety below:
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.
In a strange move, Cook recommended that disappointed iOS 6 Maps users try out competitors’ offerings while his team fixes Maps, even going so far as to specifically call out those competitors: Bing, MapQuest, Waze, Google, and Nokia all get mentioned in the letter.
Cook promises that Maps will get better in time – but that it will take time and a bit of effort from both Apple itself and customers.
That is, of course, if you can stand using them until they get better – and if you’re like me, then it seems that Apple’s asking a bit too much of its customers.