Apple admits iPhone 5 Maps app needs fixing

In an email to an Australian iPhone 5 user, Apple conceded the data for its iOS Maps app – intended to replace Google Maps – need improving

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Apple rarely admits anything is amiss, but in an email to an Australian iPhone 5 user, the company has apparently conceded that the iOS Maps app needs improvement.

The Apple Maps application replaces Google Maps on the iPhone, but it is full of errors, particularly for users outside US.

According to ABC reports, an unnamed Perth resident sent an email to Scott Forstall, vice-president of iPhone Software. The email praised iOS 6, but added: “Now get that Maps back-end up to scratch, the new client App is just stunning. The data doesn't do it justice.”

Forstall replied: “Thank you. The team is working very hard to do just that.”

While this is not official public comment, ABC notes that in the Steve Jobs era, Apple employees were harshly censured for proffering non-officially approved statements about anything to do with Apple.

Although Apple’s Maps app offers new features such as 3D terrain data, it has been criticised for a number of navigation failures that have caused many iPhone 5 users to install a version of Google Maps, the report said.

Inaccuracies in Apple's location data

Chief complaints about Apple’s Maps app include its failure to provide accurate location data or public transport information. It also struggles to offer directions across pedestrianised areas.

Apple's Maps often display restaurants, shops and bars streets away from their true location and misses sites such as railways stations, according to the Telegraph.

London's Paddington Station, for example, is not labelled on the map, while the town of Stratford-Upon-Avon is marked on Apple's maps as Shottery, the paper said.

Apple announced the decision to replace Google Maps as the default iOS mapping app at its WorldWide Developer Conference in San Francisco in June.

The move was enable by a deal between Apple and Dutch satellite navigation company TomTom, which has been in decline due to the effects of satnav apps appearing on smartphones.

Commentators said the move indicated a growing distance between Apple and Google. This was further underlined by the decision not to include the Google YouTube app in iOS 6 by default.

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iPhone users won't change to Android because of some map problems. They might use Google maps later but probably by the time Google has an app for iOS 6 it will be too late!

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They should be able to fix this fast. There are a number of things Apple can do.

1. Load a new gis poi map layer from another map vendor. Get your money back from Tom Tom. Using Tiger data would have been better. LOL
2. Snap existing points to a valid reference layer.
3. Re-geocode their poi dataset to a better street centerline set with better addresses. I notice many points on the wrong side of the street, which means poor address directions on the streets.
4. Have your map slaves in India fix the errors and add the points like Google does.
5. Go back to Google maps, which is what everyone will do if this is not fixed ASAP.

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