Cook Apologizes for New Maps App Shortcomings

It seems that the flak over Apple Maps, being termed “Mapplegate,” has been fierce enough to warrant a public apology letter from Tim Cook on Apple’s website that admits to falling short on their commitment and offers other services as temporary solutions.

Apologies are rare from Apple – the last time we saw one was after the news hit regarding the antenna issues with the iPhone 4 back in 2010.  But even then it wasn’t really an apology, as Steve Jobs argued that every phone maker had suffered similar problems, and that there hadn’t been that many reports of issues.  This time around, Cook sounds much more contrite.

“At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better,” he wrote.

He offered up competitors as alternatives, mentioning the map apps from Bing, MapQuest and Waze, and providing the suggestion already offered by Google to create a home screen shortcut to web map services from Google or Nokia. He concluded by stating that Apple would continue working non-stop until Maps lives up to Apple’s high standards.

As for you, do you feel the new Maps app is a major downgrade? In our opinion, the app indeed has some shortcomings, but nothing that could even remotely render the app unusable. And it packs a ton of great new features, such as turn-by-turn directions. Many apps offer much less, especially at the “1.0 release” stage.

Full letter below:

To our customers,

At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.

There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.

Tim Cook

Apple’s CEO

email

About Jenni: Jenni is a healthy-living food blogger who rarely lets her iPad leave her side. Find her on Twitter @spoonfulatatime.