Apple's error-riddled maps app slammed

18:59, Sep 26 2012

An entire city is in the ocean, a farm has been labelled as an airport, highways end in the middle of nowhere and a hospital now covers the entire centre of British city Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's home.

Welcome to the new world of Apple Maps that greeted iPhone and iPad users when they downloaded the highly anticipated update to the consumer giant's mobile software platform, iOS 6.

Apple's home-grown Maps feature was introduced with much fanfare in June by Apple's software chief Scott Forstall and is a direct challenge to the same service offered by friend-turned-rival Google Inc.

But the app is already facing criticism from users globally for several geographical errors, missing information and because it lacks features that made Google Maps so popular, including public transit directions, comprehensive traffic data or street view pictures.

Apple Maps has replaced Google Maps, which is no longer available on iOS 6.

Many users who downloaded Apple's iOS 6 software, released last week, took to Twitter and online forums to express their frustration at the glitches.


Apple did not return messages seeking comment.

The criticism comes on the eve of the launch of Apple's iPhone 5, which hits New Zealand stores tomorrow. The iPhone 5 comes pre-loaded with the new iOS 6 software and Maps.

Users have created a Tumblr blog sarcastically dubbed "The Amazing iOS 6 Maps" where many have posted screen shots of the errors. Pictures showed the Norwegian town of Leknes in the Norwegian sea, the entire city centre of Stratford-upon-Avon is labelled as a hospital.

New York city residents are unhappy that Apple maps doesn't offer public transit directions, one of the most-used features on Google Maps in cities.

While in theory it will be possible for Apple to update Maps with a software fix, the problems appear to be "pretty profound and pretty fundamental", said Marcus Thielking, co-founder of Skobbler, manufacturer of the popular GPS Navigation 2 app, built using the crowdsourced OpenStreetMap platform.