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Tim Cook Apologizes Over Maps In Open Letter, Says Apple ‘Fell Short’

Tim Cook Apologizes Over Maps In Open Letter, Says Apple ‘Fell Short’

After iOS 6 was released on the 19th of September, easily the most complained about feature was Maps, with thousands reporting errors and inaccuracies. In response to this, Tim Cook has just published an open letter a la Steve Jobs on Apple’s website, stating that Apple is ‘extremely sorry’ and that it ‘fell short’.

The full letter:

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

The open letter is common practice at Apple when things go wrong or something controversial takes place, like iOS not having Flash support, and it’s great to see Tim Cook at it again offering a sincere apology. How many other companies would do that? Not many.

I’d be very interested to see how the hard core Apple fanboys react to this though, as in the people who justify everything Apple does, even if it’s terrible.

He also makes some interesting alternative recommendations, including Microsoft’s Bing, but more importantly he goes as far as recommending the service the new Maps replaced, Google Maps. Now that takes some guts, and I honestly think this letter is the best thing Apple has done in a while. Honesty goes a long way, and Apple really embodies that.

  1. IPW, Inc. says:

    Great Post. Oh, and the new maps do suck 🙂

  2. Sam says:

    I don’t understand why people expected perfection from something as huge as a maps database in its first release to begin with. How long do you think it took Google to get Google Maps where it is now? Yeah the downgrade isn’t as good as Google Maps was but as Apple keeps saying the more people use it the better it will get, it’s self teaching. Give it a chance.

    1. shaun says:

      I agree 100%

    2. MRonin says:

      Totally agree.

  3. Dark phone says:

    Are they paying us to give feedback on mistake so they can make the map app better, unpaid labour eh

  4. Gustavo Lin says:

    Totally agree. Plus, when you have a problem with an Apple product, there is a place we can go and ask, fix or replace. For other devices, you can’t.
    Apple maps are news and needs time to get better. We support them!

  5. Mixchel says:

    I’m still trying to fix my Macbook Pro from their latest 10.7.4 update that broke my Spotlight and Time Machine backups. You want me to quit complaining? Do more research before you release crap. You didn’t know 10.7.4 was going to break the obvious things like Spotlight and Time Machine backups? Really? You should have tested it on more than a handful of computers. I use my computer to make my living and so far this year I’ve spent about 100 hours fixing this MBP (Apple’s already replaced it once under Apple Care). That’s 100 hours I wasn’t able to work.

    Maybe if Apple spent the time, money, and manpower fixing their computers and software as they do suing others, this crap would work better.

    You want me to do R&D for you, give me the device for free. If you want me to pay full price then I really don’t expect to do your research for you.

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