Tim Cook says Apple is ‘extremely sorry’ for Maps glitches, suggests alternatives

Tim Cook (Credit: Apple)

Apple CEO Tim Cook this morning issued a public apology for Apple’s homegrown Maps app in iOS 6 and the iPhone 5, saying the company “fell short” on its commitment to deliver the best user experience to its customers.

“We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better,” he writes in the public letter to Apple’s customers on the company’s website.

The Maps app has suffered from geographical errors, glitchy rendering, a lack of transit maps and other problems since its debut last week. Apple replaced Google Maps with its own Maps application in iOS 6, reportedly after butting heads with Google over Apple’s desire to add turn-by-turn directions.

Cook’s apology is an unusual move but not unprecedented for the company. Cook seems to have issued it more quickly in the cycle of these things than the notoriously stubborn Steve Jobs might have.

However, Cook goes a step further in his letter when he suggests that users try alternative mapping services while Apple works out the bugs. He writes, “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.”

Here’s the full text of the 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

 

  • Guest

    We’re glad that not only is Tim contrite about the shameful Apple Maps but that he’s asking that customers use other services. We remain concerned that if the remainder of Apple’s products and services follow the same track, Tim will soon be advising customers about many other competing products, perhaps whilst wearing a blue polo shirt with a yellow price-tag-shaped name tag in a large suburban store.

    • guest

      Well, Susan, he did apologize. And they didn’t do that even for SIRI. But between this need for public contrition and the irreparable damage done to the credibility of Apple’s core group of media hacks (none of whom noted how bad the maps app was in their advance reviews), I’m compelled to assess one strike for Tim. Two more and he’s out. The board will be so advised.

  • Guest

    Thank you for owning up to the bugs in the map app Tim. I wonder if SteveB will apologize for the Windows 8 bugs?

    • guest

      There’s a good little Apple apologist. Always try and shift the focus elsewhere.

  • http://www.duncanhaley.com John Haley

    earning every cent of his $378 million in first year pay :).

  • Ray Burt

    Best alternative: Samsung Galaxy s3. Seriously, hold the phones next to each other and compare…

  • jerry foster

    Apple software stinks. Always has and always will. They dress it up in fancy looking hardware but inside it’s the same old story. Cupertino coders are just not that good.

  • Ray Burt
    • guest

      Even if Apple is where MS was back in 2000, and it’s mighty big if, so what? They have so much existing momentum that It would take a decade before they’ll face an existential threat. Meanwhile who is going to challenge them? Certainly not MS. A new CEO, an entirely new strategy, and several years of execution at levels we haven’t seen from them since the late 90′s are prerequisites to even dreaming about that one. Which would leave Google as the logical industry leader. And frankly an industry led by someone whose main business is selling user eyeballs to advertisers is even less appealing to me than Apple’s shiny if rather claustrophobic iWorld.

  • alex

    So, if I synch my iPhone 4S, will I get stuck with the Apple Maps app and lose Google Maps?

    • guest

      Synch, no. Update to iOS6, yes. And there are better forums for asking this kind of question.

  • Mike_Acker

    AAPL is rapidly becomming the biggest jerk in the computer business