Apple rarely is the first to point out when it’s done something wrong. Historically, with issues like no Adobe Flash player on its iOS devices or Antennagate, Steve Jobs and Apple released statements defending the company’s position only after the backlash became apparently serious enough to warrant an explanation.
So it is with the beleaguered Maps app on iOS 6. Even though Google faked an address to make Maps look worse, there is enough backlash on the app that it was time for Apple to release a statement apologizing for it, signed by CEO Tim Cook:
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.
Cook goes on to point out that the more users access Maps, the better it will become, because the app requires user feedback to broaden its scope and refine its results.
He also suggests users download other mapping apps like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or seek help from Google’s mobile maps site.
While it’s certainly an excellent idea that Apple release such a statement, and they should be applauded, an even better move would be an up-front admission of the problem, not a belated apology. If you’re waiting for that one, it’ll be awhile. That’s not how Apple does business.
Perhaps it should start.