In a poor bit of PR for technology giant Apple, the firm has finally had to allow Google to bring back its Map app for the iPhone iOS system, only months after replacing it with Apple’s own software.
The move is the latest in a number of embarrassing incidents relating to the Apple map service, the most recent of which involved police in Australia warning that use of Apple Maps could be potentially ‘life threatening’.
That story came to light when, according to authorities, more than six Australians found themselves stranded in a desert where temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees as a result of following directions from the Apple mapping service in the last month.
The glitch in the app, which has since been at least partially rectified and only occurred on iPhones using the iOS 6 system, was relocating Mildura around 45 miles from its real location, causing many people to get lost or stuck in the trails of Murray-Sunset National Park.
The statement issued by Mildura police force on Monday (10 Dec) had urged motorists to take care when using the mapping system on Apple iPhones using the iOS 6 system, as some motorists had been directed ‘off the beaten track’.
The statement also said: “Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the Park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees, making this a potentially life threatening issue.”
This was not the best endorsement of Apple’s software, but in truth the firm, which is usually quite savvy with its offline and online PR campaigns, had already hit somewhat of a brick wall since it first launched its own Maps App.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, had to begrudgingly apologise in public and recommend Apple users opted for another map service back when the app launched in September, as it was full of glitches.
Notable errors within the UK including Stratford-upon-Avon, literally being wiped off the map, and Uckfield, a town located in East Sussex, being moved to another location entirely.
Cook then took action by removing iOS chief Scott Forstall, allegedly over issues relating to the map app, and then Eddie Cue, who took over from Forstall, reportedly took the decision to give the boot to the man responsible for the map team, Richard Williamson.
In the light of glitches like this, the re-emergence of Google maps on the iOS was almost inevitable.
The Google Map service will bring many features to the iOS system which were only previously available on Android, including voice guided turn by turn directions and 3D representations of building outlines.
However, the service will still not offer indoor maps, the ability to download maps for offline viewing or voice search – all readily available on the Android equivalent.
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