||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (March 2013)|
|Initial release||June 29, 2007(powered by Google Maps)|
|Stable release||iOS 7.1 / March 10, 2014 (powered by Apple)|
|Available in||English, French, German|
|Initial release||October 22, 2013|
|Operating system||OS X 10.9 or later|
The Maps application has been featured on the iOS (previously iPhone OS) operating system since the release of the first-generation iPhone on June 29, 2007, and was powered by Google Maps from then until September 19, 2012. A new version was announced by Scott Forstall at WWDC 2012 keynote on June 11, 2012 that would use Apple's own mapping system with data provided by a number of providers instead of Google Maps, mainly through Dutch manufacturer of navigation systems TomTom, and a Chinese mapping company specifically for just the Chinese market version, AutoNavi.
Locations available in 3D are:
Non-populated landmarks and areas in photorealistic 3D:
|Cliffs of Moher||Ireland||Munster|
|Hoover Dam||United States||Arizona/Nevada|
|Mount Rushmore||United States||South Dakota|
Prior to the release of the new Maps app, commentators had focused on the new 3D or Flyover facility and it was widely praised as outclassing Google's long standing but weak equivalent.
Upon the release of the new version on September 19, 2012, many users and commentators were critical of the app for a variety of reasons ranging but not limited to improper labeling of places to unmapped roads. The app was criticized for its lack of certain features contained in Google Maps, including Street View and transit directions. Users complained about the errors it contained. This included showing the wrong location of the Apple Store in Sydney, Australia, marking an entire city as a hospital, misclassifying a nursery as an airport, and identifying the nearest gas station to be as far as 76 miles away from the user's location. 3D views appearing in Maps were also distorted in some cases though still better than in Google's 3D maps at the same locations, with iconic constructions like the Brooklyn Bridge seeming to be collapsed or impossibly built. In response to the criticism, Apple issued a statement, saying the company is "continuously improving" Maps and they "appreciate all of the customer feedback." On September 28, 2012, Apple CEO Tim Cook posted a letter on the Apple website apologizing for Maps and suggesting that iOS 6 users use third party map apps or websites while Apple works to improve Maps.
In October 2012, Scott Forstall, Senior Vice President of iOS software and the executive responsible for Maps (or "directly responsible individual," in Apple jargon), was removed from his position. According to Adam Lashinsky of Fortune, Forstall sealed his fate when he refused to sign the apology for Maps.
In December 2012, Victoria Police in Australia advised travellers against using the application to get directions to the remote town of Mildura. The app placed Mildura in the middle of Murray-Sunset National Park, 70 km (43 mi) from its correct location. Police noted that several motorists required rescuing after following incorrect directions off the highway into the park. They called this a "potentially life threatening issue," since the park has no water supply of its own and temperatures can get as high as 46 °C (115 °F) in the summer. Apple made efforts to correct this before any actual deaths were reported. An update released on December 11, 2012, corrected the location of Mildura for some but not all possible routes. According to The Register, the problem was likely due to a listing in the Gazetteer of Australia for the Rural City of Mildura, the LGA that includes Mildura. The geographic center for that LGA is located in Murray-Sunset Park, which covers almost one-third of its area. Samsung used the reports of stranded users in a marketing event in Sydney for their own products. The Victoria Country Fire Authority blamed Apple for "dangerous deficiencies" after the iOS6 version of the map service caused inaccuracies in the Authority's pre-existing bushfire alert app.
Apple Maps was named one of the Top 10 technology 'fails' of 2012 by CNN in December 2012.
In September 2013, it was reported that Apple's Maps app was directing drivers heading to Fairbanks International Airport in Fairbanks, Alaska to drive onto an airport taxiway located directly across from the runway, which is used by aircraft on a regular basis.
As of November 2013, US iPhone users who used Apple's Maps outnumber Google's maps app by 35 million to 6 million.
An iPhone version of Google Maps returned to the iOS platform on December 13, 2012 as a standalone application released by Google, rather than as the default map feature on the iOS platform. Currently it is not possible to change the default mapping app from Apple Maps except via jailbreaking. The new Google app still lagged in a few features available on Google's own Android platform, but Google Maps on iOS has been tremendously successful. The redesigned Google Maps has been praised for being both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional. On July 16, 2013, a new, redesigned version of Google Maps was released on the iOS platform with optimization for the iPad.
Since the launch of the iOS Maps software and its aforementioned controversies, Apple executives have promised that improvements will come to the Maps application. On an Apple earnings call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer stated that Apple "has made a number of improvements to Maps" and that the company will "work non-stop" in order to fix the remaining issues. Apple CEO Tim Cook also said publicly that Apple is "putting the weight of the company" behind improvements to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Maps application. In an interview with Bloomberg, he said that Apple has a big plan to squash the bugs. On March 19, 2013, Apple released iOS 6.1.3 that included several iOS Maps fixes specific to Japan. The application also received improvements with the launch of iOS 7, which was released on September 18, 2013.
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