Apple faces backlash over new iPhone mapping technology

21/09/2012

Apple’s new mapping technology, which replaces Google Maps, has come under fire from users and businesses alike for a myriad of inaccuracies and misplaced landmarks. Amongst a wide range of complaints surfacing on Facebook and Twitter include missing towns (Stratford-upon-Avon and Solihull), wrong locations (Uckfield in East Sussex) and satellite images of various locations, particularly in Scotland, being obscured by cloud. Some smaller roads and lanes do not even have road names and numbers in the UK. There is also no built-in information about public transportation.

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The new mapping system could also harm businesses relying on local trade. Unlike Google Maps which features sophisticated spelling corrections, on the new system brand searches require 100% accurate spellings to appear on the map, which could drive down footfall from iPhone users.

The new mapping technology has been launched as part of Apple’s iOS upgrade to coincide with the new iPhone 5 and upcoming (and still rumoured) iPad Mini.

From now on all iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch devices capable of running iOS 6 will ship with Apple’s native mapping service.

Google Maps has been stripped out completely. Meaning users are now forced to use Apple's new maps once they upgrade or buy the latest iPhone - which goes on sale on Friday.

To use Google maps, Apple users will now have to bookmark maps.google.com in their browser, until Google launch a new iOS6 compatible version on the App Store.

On the bright side, the new Apple-powered Maps app includes some features that were not in the old version, like spoken turn-by-turn directions and Flyover, a feature that shows 3-D models of buildings in major cities.

In June Apple announced it would stop using Google Maps in favour of its own system, created using data from navigation specialist TomTom.

Apple is yet to comment on the complaints about the software, which comes already installed on the new iPhone.

TomTom said it provided only data and was not responsible for how it worked.

There is not currently a Google Maps app available in Apple's App Store, although Google's system is still accessible via the phone's web browser.

Google said it will be delivering a stand alone Google Maps app for iOS in the near future.

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