iOS 6 Maps app not finished, says Apple

iOS 6 has been released for iPhones, iPads and iPod touches. However, it has been heavily criticised for its new Maps app. Apple has responded to these criticisms, saying that Apple Maps is “just getting started”. Is this one chicken that’s flown the coop a little too early?

With iOS 6, Apple has ditched the Google Maps app as its default GPS mapping tool. Apple has replaced it with its own version, but at present it doesn’t work too well. Places are mis-named, lots of information is missing or inaccurate and journey planning is quite unreliable. It’s something we noted in our iOS 6 review.

Apple has come out to make a roundabout admission that iOS 6 Maps isn’t quite the finished product yet. Spokesperson Trudy Miller said, “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.” In translation – Apple appears to be admitting that Maps is a little bit naff at the moment.

However, it’s disappointing from a company that usually prides itself on offering a rock-solid experience fresh out of the gate. Google is reportedly working on a standalone maps app that’ll get you back the reliable mapping solution of iOS 5, but it’s not available yet.

This isn’t the first time that an iPhone launch has been set back by a notorious issue. When the iPhone 4 launched, it brought with it the “antennagate” scandal – the placement of the antenna matched with the design of the phone meant that signal would drop dramatically if the iPhone 4 was held the wrong way.

Could iOS 6 Maps become the “antennagate” of the iPhone 5? The new phone launches with the iOS 6 software, giving you no easy way to revert to Google Maps as your default maps partner.

There is a workaround, however. You can set the Google Maps webpage as a link on your home screen. Head to the Google Maps web page, hit the arrow button in the nav bar and tap the save to home screen option. It’s not an app as such, but is a way to get closer to the old ways of iOS 5.

Other mitigating features in iOS 6 include improved Siri functionality, integration of Facebook and Twitter, and a Panorama photo mode. Are you disappointed with the performance of the new Apple Maps app? Let us know which garden path the thing has led you up in the comments below.  

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