News by Andrew Kameka on Friday September 28, 2012.
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After a week of growing complaints from customers regarding its Maps application that was revamped in iOS 6, Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued an apology for not delivering the "best experience possible" to customers. Cook apologized for the failures of Maps, which users have said fails to pinpoint locations, provides directions to incorrect addresses, and displays distorted images. The CEO also pledged to fix the problem and suggested that users download alternative mapping applications like Bing, MapQuest, or Waze until the default Maps meets their standard.
Many have wondered why Apple elected to use its own mapping application after Google Chairman Eric Schmidt revealed that it was Apple which decided to stop using Google Maps on the iPhone. Cook did not directly answer those questions, but he did reveal that the move was done out of a desire to implement new features and "create a new version of Maps from the ground up." Cook promises that Maps will improve as more people use it, and he hopes that the 100 million iOS device owners currently using Maps will continue to use the app and send data that helps improve results. Previous rumors suggest the company may also go on a hiring spree to rapidly improve Map results.
Here is Cook's entire letter to Apple customers:
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.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.