Users of the iPhone 5 have been quick to note the device’s many and critical flaws. These complaints, mostly against Apple’s new mapping program, led Apple CEO Tim Cook to offer an official apology on Sept. 28.
After scrapping the popular Google Maps feature, Apple has released with the iPhone 5 its own mapping program which has been criticized heavily for its lack of landmarks, disorienting layout and a lack of public transportation and international options.
On gizmo.com, Adrian Covert compared the previous Google Maps program to the current Apple Maps program. “Google Maps app is faster at fetching locations, and has a more efficient UI design for calling upon directions,” he said. In addition, “when calling upon public transit, Apple Maps has to use third-party apps, which will take you out of the app completely (adding time and inconvenience), while Google Maps quickly plots the most efficient route.” In the case of international locations, “Apple Maps does not handle them well at all,” he said.
The criticisms against the new Apple Maps have been so overwhelming that Apple's CEO released an apology on the company website in late September. “We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better,” he said.
Still, for many users, the problems with Apple Maps can be sidestepped by using other applications such as Google, MapQuest, and Bing. Other complaints with the latest iPhone installment vary from a temperamental and easily-scratched screen to its very light weight.
The emerging complaints do not seem to have affected iPhone sales or review in any major way. Apple sold a record-setting 5 million devices during its debut weekend and will be sold in 100 different countries by the year’s end.
Despite the maps fiasco, the iPhone 5 has garnered high ratings with the influential rating group Consumer Reports. Its larger 4-inch screen and 4G capabilities have also garnered praise. Although, as Cook said, Apple “fell short on [its] commitment” to “make world-class products”, the iPhone 5 doesn’t seem to be suffering too heavy a price.
At the very least, the Apple Maps failure has spawned various YouTube videos about the application’s unrealistic depiction of the American and international landscape. Check out this one for a good laugh and print out directions next time you need to get some place important.