As expected, Apple announced iOS 6 the same time as their iPhone 5 unveil. One of main changes of iOS 6 from the previous version was that Apple was cutting ties with Google’s Map service, and replacing it with their own. It made sense really – Apple is waging patent warfare with several of Google’s partners, and Android, Google’s own mobile OS, is the biggest threat to Apple’s mobile ambitions. There’s just a big problem: Apple’s iOS 6 maps are buggy, inaccurate and nowhere as good as the one Google supplied. US users have found that the accuracy of the maps functionality in iOS 6 is nowhere as good as Google’s, and doesn’t have the same accuracy when it comes to locating addresses of businesses and landmarks.
It gets worse for people outside the US: there’s almost no street information for overseas locations, and for locations that do have that, the maps in iOS 6 label locations incorrectly: Airfield Garden, a working farm in a residential area in Ireland has been tagged as an actual airport. Ireland’s Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter had this to say:
“I am surprised to discover that Airfield, which is in the centre of my constituency in Dundrum, has, in Apple’s new operating system iOS 6 maps application, been designated with the image of an aircraft. Airfield, a 35 acre estate with working farm, formal gardens and café is of course a famous and immensely popular, important local amenity. ”
He further adds that “Clearly the designation is not only wrong but is dangerously misleading in that it could result in a pilot, unfamiliar with the area, in an emergency situation and without other available information, attempting a landing.”
And that’s only the beginning. It’s gotten so bad that frustrated users has taken to submitting iOS 6 fails to http://theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com, where people are documenting the bugged locations in iOS 6.
Apple for their part, has released a statement about the maps in iOS 6. Apple spokeswoman Trudy Miller has issued the following statement on the issue on AllThingsD.
“Customers around the world are upgrading to iOS 6 with over 200 new features including Apple Maps, our first map service. We are excited to offer this service with innovative new features like Flyover, turn by turn navigation, and Siri integration. We launched this new map service knowing it is a major initiative and that we are just getting started with it. Maps is a cloud-based solution and the more people use it, the better it will get. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.”