Developers who played with Maps before its official debut told Apple that its software was awful. "I posted at least one doomsayer rant after each (developer) beta, and I wasn't alone," a developer with three iOS apps in the App Store told CNET's Josh Lowensohn. "The mood amongst the developers seemed to be that the maps were so shockingly bad that reporting individual problems was futile. What was needed wasn't so much an interface for reporting a single point as incorrect, but for selecting an entire region and saying 'all of this—it's wrong." This unnamed developer wasn't alone, all six of the developers that CNET spoke with said the issues with Apple's maps were well documented within its developer community. Apparently, they received very little feedback. Or, even worse, Apple claimed these issues were "well understood," which they obviously weren't, or else Apple would have fixed them or at least seen the rage coming.
Even outside of the developer community, Apple should have seen the signs of worry. The Gizmodo side-by comparison of a June beta version with Google Maps noted the all-around lack of detail in iOS 6 Maps, for example. Business Insider, too, predicted that the lack of data would be an issue. When Software Blog Softonic tested the third beta edition, Christopher Park noted that the navigation didn't work quite right. "Maps did have problems with rerouting, suggesting new turns after I had passed them," he wrote, later calling it "simple" and not in a good way.
Many have claimed that the Maps complaints are overblown, yet three weeks after the release the software is still having major issues. The latest oopsie: The Taiwanese government has noticed its top-secret military base is on Maps for all to see.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.