iOS 6 Maps Getting Flak From Apple iPhone, iPad Users

Apple's new iOS 6 software update replaces Google Maps with Apple Maps as expected, but so far, unhappy users are panning the change in online forums. Meanwhile, Google Maps touts new features for Android users.

Since Apple's new iOS 6 operating system became available for download Sept. 19, many users have taken to the Internet to loudly vent their frustrations about the loss of Google Maps in in the company's new mobile operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

The new Apple Maps app is being panned as being wildly inaccurate, unimpressive and even just plain bad, based on dozens of posts on Twitter in the last 24 hours.

Among the annoyed Tweets seen on Sept. 20:

  • "iOS 6 Maps doesn't tell intentional lies, obviously, but they might as well be -- what good is a map if you can't trust it?"
  • "I didn't think iOS6 maps were so bad, but... whoa."
  • "iOS6 Day. Stepping outside without Google Maps for the first time in years. I might not make it back home."
  • "iOS 6 maps are a really gorgeous, dreamy, smooth way to get to a place that is about a quarter mile from your destination's actual location."
  • "If any of you people who just downloaded the new iOS 6 maps need directions to your mom's house just hit me up."
  • "Yesterday iOS6 maps tried putting our car onto a golf cart path, and later into a lake. Good times!"
  • "don't be surprised to see apple fanboys forming long lines outside random places tomorrow."
  • "Dear Apple can we please have our Google Maps back? Your maps are completely useless!"

That's certainly not the feedback Apple had in mind when it replaced Google Maps with its own product, but the complaints of the vocal are everywhere.

One iPhone 4S user, Will Hains, was so upset by the less-than-stellar change that he created a parody Twitter handle, "ios6maps," on Sept. 19 to vent his displeasure with the map app changes. Twitter later suspended the account without an explanation, according to Hains. He then created another handle, "fake_ios6maps," which also was suspended. Both accounts appeared to again be operational and visible several hours later after they apparently were caught in a Twitter anti-spam service, he wrote in a followup tweet.

"As a huge, devoted Apple fan, I was frustrated and annoyed by a move that went against their values which I admire," said Hains in an online interview with eWEEK. "So I wanted to poke a little bit of fun at what appears to be a rare stumble for Apple."

Hains said he works and lives in Japan, "where I'm often frustrated with U.S.-centric technologies and services that don't quite work right here. The thing is, normally Apple is really good at that. Ask any Japanese person what it was like to use a cellphone in the U.S. before iPhone. I didn't want to see the utter crippling of Maps on iPhone outside the U.S. to be dismissed as a regional issue."

In some ways, including the inclusion of vector graphics, better speed and improved typography, the Apple Maps technology is better than Google Maps in earlier iOS versions, "but the data is very patchy," said Hains. "Downtown San Francisco looks amazing, elsewhere not good."