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You can thank the Apple Maps debacle for the iOS public betas

Apple has revealed why it has begun to offer the public access to iOS betas… the embarrassment of the original Apple Maps app.

In an interview with Fast Company, Apple VP Eddy Cue says the company had underestimated the scale of the Maps project, released to huge derision as a replacement for Google Maps in iOS 6.

As a direct result, Apple started to offer public – alongside developers – access to beta versions of iOS 9 and has continued the trend this year.

Related: Apple iOS 10 public beta: Should you download?

The reason you as a customer are going to be able to test iOS is becauses of Map,” Cue said.

Cue explained the much-maligned app worked well for Apple employees in Cupertino, it didn’t have the global feedback necessary to iron out countless kinks, that included a missing Statue of Liberty and roads that led to airport runways.

“Look, the first thing is that you’re embarrassed.” he added, admitting Apple had “completely underestimated the product, the complexity of it.

“To all of us living in Cupertino, the maps for here were pretty darn good. Right? So [the problem] wasn’t obvious to us. We were never able to take it out to a large number of users to get that feedback. Now we do.”

Apple Maps has improved greatly since those early days and in iOS 10, which is now in public beta, the company is taking it a step further.

The app has been redesigned and third-party apps will now be integrated within Maps, available from dedicated App Store. That means you can book a table at a restaurant or a ride from Uber.

The app will also make proactive suggestions – a la Waze – and enable users to search for food, gas and attractions along a planned route.

Video: iOS 10 Hands-on

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