Newsletter Issue #957: Some Random Views About Apple Maps

April 2nd, 2018

It’s hard to believe that Apple’s response to Google Maps, Apple Maps, has been around since 2012. It was originally demonstrated at the WWDC that June, with release at the end of September. In addition to the usual turn-by-turn navigation, Apple touted 3D artwork and flyovers. Missing were transit directions, so Apple directed you to third-party solutions.

Unfortunately, the debut was a major disaster. Rather than take the responsible route and label it beta as it did with Siri at first, Apple delivered the impression it was a finished product. Far from it. The 3D display was flawed with melted landmarks, where the feature was supported. Directions were hit or miss. I recall a case or two where motorists were unceremoniously deposited onto one-way streets — in the wrong direction.

Apple CEO Tim Cook made no excuses. He apologized and suggested that you use someone else’s navigation app, even Google Maps, until Apple had the chance to fix things up. The executive in charge of the project, Scott Forstall, didn’t sign the mea culpa and was soon gone from Apple. I just wonder how that meeting went.

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