IOS6 maps fail so hard, a Tumblr is born

You know you have an issue when someone brews up a Tumblr to mock you:


  1. It’s not like pictures like the above are not a common sight on google earth.  This is just what happens when you try and fit the image to altitude map.

    1. Combine it with the other examples on that site, though, and things get quite a bit worse.

      Of course, google maps had a lot of catching up to do when it started out, and there are still the occasional glitches.  I suppose that’s why they’re not touted as “revolutionary”.

      I do absolutely love the examples of Salvador Dali’s stint in infrastructure design.

      1. To be fair, you run into exactly the same sort of Dali-esque designs still in Google Earth (Niagra Falls, Canada-US border, Rainbow Bridge):

        Don’t get me wrong, while I was raised on Macs, I’m not a fanboy, and Apple does some things that really annoy me, but people have latched on to this meme to a ridiculous level.

        And equally deserving of criticism are the suppliers of their data, frankly, not just Apple for selecting those suppliers.

    2. It’s certainly not as problematic as the sudden disappearance of street view and public transportation routes for people in cities (like myself), and the sudden loss of map detail for folks in rural areas. I’m a die-hard Apple fanboy, but I upgraded to iOS 6 last night and I’m pretty annoyed about the new Maps.

      1. Google complained for over a year that they kept sending upgrades to Apple to include in their iOS maps, and Apple kept refusing to incorporate them. As a result, iOS’s Maps was falling behind even before iOS 6. That I use mass transit a lot, and that Android’s mass transit UI was stop-by-stop and turn-by-turn was #2 on the list of reasons I dumped the iPhone and went Android a year ago.

  2. The section of the bridge on the right looks perfectly fine to me. Nice, tapered edges, extremely thin unibody design…

    The part on the left, though, is sooo… 2.5-inch plastic dell from 1998. 

  3. Apple doesn’t like to publish things until they are exactingly flawless. Looks like they were in a rush to kick Google to the curb in this instance.

    1. They may not like to do it, but they do it all the time.  Their threshold of suckiness is just a little bit higher than most. 

  4. I always knew Siri would go on a rampage, but I didn’t know she’d warp the fabric of reality while doing so.

  5. I assume people can still install google maps if they want to? Or have we arrived at the point where you don’t have a choice any more if you want the shiny thing?

    1. At present, there is no “Google Maps” app available. You can go to and use the web version; but that’s it.

      Currently, speculation is intense about what Google will do:

      Will they try to rush out and fill the gap as quickly as possible(to keep their marketshare up on iOS)? Or will they sit and smirk for 6 months while Android users enjoy maps that don’t suck and Apple users get to have their noses rubbed in Apple’s corporate snit with Google every day?

      1. Waiting six months seems like a bad idea, since Apple will probably try to fix the map issues.   

        The 3d are just eye candy, mostly, there are more important matters, like incomplete data for businesses. 

        1. That’s the big ‘hold or fold’ variable that people are speculating on: Apparently Apple spared no expense in rounding up assorted partners with experience and data(tomtom et al. along with that openstreetmap data-dump incident), and got this shit sandwich to show for it.

          Google, presumably, knows how much trouble they went to to get Google Maps to where it is, and how fast they think that they can make it better. If they suspect that Apple will iron out the important stuff fast, leaving only a few cute easter eggs(like the giant crushed bug somewhere in germany on google maps), then Google is pretty likely to fold and release an IOS6 standalone map app(if Apple lets them, of course). 

          If they know that they’ve been sweating blood and buying up specialist data providers for the last N years to get where they are, letting Apple swing will start looking quite attractive. 

          I suspect that it will, partially, depend on the customer response. If customers jump on the ‘help them fix it’ train, the pain points could get cleaned up pretty fast. If they adopt a ‘I paid premium money for a premium experience and I got this? Steve is truly dead!’ attitude, Apple will have to really bulk up on fix-it interns.

    2. As soon as Google puts out an iOS map app. Of course, if Google really wants to play hardball (and it’s hard to imagine they don’t), they’ll submit something that they know Apple won’t allow in the AppStore. All I know for sure is that I wouldn’t want to be on either company’s negotiating team.

    3. Whether or not they allow Google to add a new stand-alone map app (and they haven’t been good about allowing Google stuff in the past), this is the mapping app for iOS now. So anything you do on the iPhone that will pull up a map will pull up this thing now. now recommends iOS users to download a shortcut to the site…

  6. This kind of stuff is completely unavoidable for a project of this scale. The problem isn’t that these flaws exist. The problem is Apple’s approach in putting them out there as if they’re an improvement over Google maps. They should have released this as a parallel beta and only replaced Google when fixed. There’s enough early adopters out there like me who’d gladly have given it a shot and found the local flaws.

    1. Word on the street is that Google declined to renew the contract. And seeing the carnage that has resulted from that move, it’s easy to see why. They had Apple by the short hairs, and they yanked. Apple knew this would happen eventually, and you have to assume they were busting ass to be ready when it did. Obviously, they weren’t.

      1. It’s unknown if it was Apple or if it was Google who decided to not to renew the contract. The fact that Google was able to get a new YouTube iOS app out the door in time for the launch of iOS6, but not a Google Maps iOS app makes people wonder if it was Apple, not Google that pulled the plug. Also note Apple has bought 3 different mapping companies (Placebase, Poly9 and C3 Technologies) between 2009 and 2011, which points that it was Apple who behind the decision.

        1. I have no doubt that they had been preparing to cut that cord for a long time. But I also have a lot of trouble believing that Apple would do so when this was the best they had to replace it. This is not the level of pain they would embrace if they had a better choice.

          Unfortunately, all us mortals can do is guess. I look forward to some day finding out what actually went on behind the scenes. I’m sure both companies were trying as hard as they possibly could to screw each other. But obviously Google won this round.

      1. Well played. :-)

        Though I do use the link to report problems.  Did the same whenever I used Open Street maps.

  7. Come on, that’s just the border of an area done in 3D Flyover. Manhattan is in 3D, the outer boroughs are not. Looks kinda cool, actually. The map itself is fine.

    People are finding glitches because all of a sudden tens of millions of people are looking at spots all over the world. A vast percentage of the map is accurate, and of course it will get steady improvements.

    The only real deficiency I see in the maps are not in the roads or routing or visualization a, but in the fact that there are not enough businesses and points of interest listed. They need to get more, and im sure they will.

    1. Right. Fly over is pretty, but non-essential.  But  that Maps doesn’t know about McDonald’s or Burger King in my city is a real issue, that shows how far behind they are in some cases.

        1. Actually, those two get my money about once a year. when I’m travelling.  

          But they made a good test, as I wanted to drive to an address near Burger King. 

          Siri recognized Burger King (which surprised me, as it is easily confused by Germans using English), but then went on to direct me to an address some 35 km away.

          Oh, I have to correct myself: If I do an textual search in the app itself, it shows all three restaurants.

          Still bad, as one of the main selling points is telling Siri where to drive. 

          Also, the map server is down. No map. No directions.  Well, iOS launches to tend to kill services for a couple of hours. 

    2. What about the fact that Apple doesn’t show 1 way streets. Doesn’t have any transit directions? Doesn’t include Streetview?

      All of those things are immensely useful and valuable information.

  8. The traffic is not as good, no street view, and searches bring up crazy stuff, usually not in my town, often not in my country. And the phone gets warmer than it did with Google maps. I’m not worried about my hand, I’m worried about the battery. Don’t like it.

  9. Given the massive manpower and years of effort that Google took to develop its Maps app to where it was before declining to renew their contract, I’d say Apple’s done an admirable job of stepping up to make their own version in time for a new OS release. It’s kind of a miracle that it’s as polished as it is, even with these flaws.

  10. Although it can be patchy Openstreetmap is far better than either Google or Apple maps across much of Europe, for example my local area has everything down to every house and house number, shop, public telephone, toilets. People too readily dismiss it as an option. Try as an example 

    1. Plus small pedestrian paths.  Google just displays a green emptiness, while OSM shows paths I didn’t even know about.

    2. It’s true that Open Street maps has a lot of information. In Melbourne for example they have all the transit routes fairly well laid out. (Although the only reason Google Maps doesn’t have that information is that the absurdly shitty public transport agency responsible for public transport information claims Copyright on most the information Google would need to provide transit directions… grr… getting sidetracked). The number of businesses shown in the CBD is alos very extensive. 

      On the other hand the open street map simply is hard to read. It looks cluttered, fonts are difficult to read and the extensive colour palate is distracting.

      I like the idea, but legibility is extremely important for maps and OSM just isn’t in the same ball park.

      1. You are referring to the Openstreetmap website? Those a just renderers, Openstreetmap is about the database, not what you actually see. Did you check the link in my comment above for example? That is Openstreetmap data. Whenever somebody chooses to implement OSM they are free to render that data however they wish, it is not like embedding a Google map, which just fetches their pre-rendered tiles and displays them. 

        OSM is about the database, not the tile renders. The ones on are busy, cluttered and badly designed. Currently the most useful and clean interface I have found is the one I posted above – but there are several others notably

  11. It’s also kind of funny that everyone assumes that this is Apple’s “snit.” My guess is that Google wants to be able to incorporate advertising into their maps, and will come out with their own maps app at some point with advertising (as they did with YouTube). 

    1. Your example is still Apple’s snit, not Googles.

      Bottom line is Apple was reliant upon a competitors application and they needed to get out from under that relationship. If anything, Apple is too late and too short in this round.

    2. Google already is incorporating advertising into their maps. My wife regularly gets “sponsored destinations” when searching for destinations on her OG iPad.

      Which is a shit thing for them to do. You search for a local burger place, it keys off the word burger, and tries to route you to a McDonald’s instead. Extra taps to abort the advertisement so you can get to where you really want to go is seriously annoying.

      1. well, considering I can perform a voice search for any business name or address, or category, for anywhere in the world and then I’m given turn by turn directions on how to get there.. all for FREEEE, I guess having one extra click isn’t too bad. It’s a miracle that we even have this technology in the first place, but somehow you are bothered by one extra freaking touch on a touch screen.

        By the way- no advertisements on my android.

        Enjoy your new imaps.

  12. Combining map data from multiple sources is kinda hard, and can produce goofy artifacts, that we’re seeing. Give ’em a break. OSM is a good project, and something like this should help (Apple) contribute to OSM, making more accurate and better looking maps.

    When I created in March ’02 (before Google Maps), we used TIGER from the US Census (With Mapserver/OGR/GDAL). It was necessary to do a lot of processing on the layers to strip out the non-important data, and try tons of things to get the streets to line-up with the aerial imagery. There was still some odd artifacts, and it did help to have feedback from the users.

    WiFiMaps was me and another dude. Apple and Google have thousands of employees. This stuff is still new, so give ’em a break.

  13. This is actually them experimenting with powering apple in an eco-friendly manner.
    They released this early, and are now getting power from Steve Jobs spinning in his grave.

  14. It is all part of the master plan… Apple will go in, destroy all these roads so they actually look like that, and then sue Google Maps when they adjust for it!

  15. In the UK, ‘hybrid’ mode displays in pixels-as-big-as-a-house resolution, and my own road map overlay disappears altogether! 
    Thank-you Google for your world apps. Shame about the nonexistent YouTube app for iPad though.

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