December 10, 2012
Motorists in Australia recently became stranded after using iOS 6 Maps. This news goes beyond melting roads and comic foil. It represents real people being put into a dangerous situation because Apple released an inferior product. Therefore, I’ll say it: Cupertino needs to pull the Maps app before someone gets hurt. As Aldrin Calimlin reported earlier, police in Mildura, a regional city in northwestern Victoria, have alerted motorists not to use Apple’s mapping system. They have also reached out to Apple regarding the issue. All this came as a result of six motorists being stuck in Murray Sunset National Park instead of arriving safely at Mildura. In September, Scott Forstall told an Australian user that “turn-by-turn” would not arrive in that country until “our data is exceptional and qualified.” Now it is clear that even without “turn-by-turn,” iOS 6 Maps isn’t yet ready for prime time. Forstall was fired in September due, in part, to the Maps fiasco. I have no doubt that Apple has been working hard to make Maps the “best experience possible,” especially since Tim Cook’s public apology in September. However, while that process continues, not one user should be put in harm’s way. And no, it isn’t as simple as local authorities asking motorists to refrain from using the product. Instead, it requires bold action from Apple. For safety’s sake, Apple should push out an iOS 6 update right now that reinstalls Google Maps as the operating system’s default maps program. Because Apple’s original maps contract with Google is still in place for another year, this could be done quickly. How about it, Apple?