Posted September 21, 2012 8:22 am by with 0 comments

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This is weird. Usually we don’t have to write about or read about a major Apple screw-up. It’s just not how things happen in the world of Apple. Maybe it’s a post-Steve Jobs era sign or maybe it’s just the case of discovering that Apple, the company, is inhabited by humans rather than perfect product producing cyborgs.

Whatever the reason though the Apple Maps dust-up has been a major black eye for the usually near flawless company. Bad directions, terrible images and generally bad information have made Apple Maps a bit of a laughingstock in just a few short days.

Apple’s response? As reported by All Things D Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller offered this

Customers around the world are upgrading to iOS 6 with over 200 new features including Apple Maps, our first map service. We are excited to offer this service with innovative new features like Flyover and Siri integration, and free turn by turn navigation. We launched this new map service knowing that it is a major initiative and we are just getting started with it. We are continuously improving it, and as Maps is a cloud-based solution, the more people use it, the better it will get. We’re also working with developers to integrate some of the amazing transit apps in the App Store into iOS Maps. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.

But wait. Isn’t this how Google has done things in the past? Doesn’t this sound like a beta product without the beta tag? Oh and the idea that you are to shell out for the new phone or upgrade to the new iOS 6 so you can be a maps lab rat in a terribly flawed product that is critical to the mobile experience? Is that very Apple-esque? All fan boi notions aside this is one time where Apple has gotten a little rotten, don’t ya think?

Of course, since we live in the Internet age one great way to get attention during times of strife for a company is to capitalize on their troubles. The Amazing iOS 6 Tumblr is doing just that.

But what is really happening here is the simple fact that Apple’s Maps product is a poor substitute for Google Maps and with no Google Maps app available in the App Store (although one is rumored to be in the pipeline but whether it will ever see the light of day is another story for another day) this is bad for iPhone users. Do you want to have this experience that John Paczkowski of ALL Things D did?

Anecdotally, I used Maps for directions to the San Jose courthouse during the Apple-Samsung trial and ended up at a dead end in Campbell.

Doubtful. What is your take on this mistake and Apple’s response of ‘use it and it will get better’? Is that what you would expect from Apple? Is the start of a different Apple that still makes tremendous hardware but in its desire to get more money from its users, it rushes crappy services to market? Plenty of questions to be asked and plenty of speculation to be had for sure.

In the meantime, good luck getting where you need to go iPhone users. Sounds to me like you may see more of the local landscape than is necessary if you are being guided by Apple Maps.