Apple Maps mocked

UPDATE Sept 24: New Zealand has joined the the rollcall of companies with Apple Maps glitches collected on the rapidly expanding The Amazing iOS 6 Maps.

Some, such as the absence of the new Victoria Park tunnel seem simply tied to maps being out of date.

More disturbing is the relocation of the Britomart train station in downtown Auckland into the middle of the harbour.

The city has also gained some bonus waterfront. A search for "Bondi Beach" lands a pin in central Auckland.

The glitch is just one of dozens reported for landmarks around Australasia. 

Apple has yet to respond to NBR ONLINE's query about Apple Maps incorrect information and surreal imagery.

However, the company has told US publication MacWorld that "maps is a cloud-based solution – the more people use it, the better it will get", implying the product relies to a degree on crowdsourced data.

That doesn't wash. While many mapping companies rely on information from users for real-time data such as traffic flow, the basic cartography should be correct from the get-go.

While embarrassing for Apple, the Maps fiasco doesn't seem to have harmed sales of the new iPhone 5. Pre-orders and heavy first-day sales pushed Apple's share price to a new all-time high.

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Apple Maps mocked, and Sam gets lost

Sept 21: Apple Maps, a key element of Apple's iOS 6 software upgrade for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch has left some users lost – and others amused, thanks to some seriously wonky images.

Entrepreneur Sam Morgan tweeted that he got lost in Sydney after loading Apple Maps.

The Trade Me founder is not alone. Many US newsites have posted stories about lost iOS 6 users.

Apple Maps, developed inhouse, replaces Google Maps, which arrived pre-installed with iOS 5.

It offers just as many features as Google Maps, but not for all countries.

While New Zealanders got Street View with Google Maps, they don't with Apple Maps.

Mind you, in countries where Apple Maps 3D view is available, the street-level pictures have at times being surreal – and a raft of mocking tribute sites have sprung up overnight, including The Amazing iOS 6 Maps.

Some maps look incomplete side-by-side with Google Maps. In others, street view images are distorted, leading to the impression a natural disaster has struck.

Some landmarks, including the Washington Monument, are in the wrong place, staduims have shifted, closed Woolworths reappeared and the Norwegian town of Leknes relocated to Norwegian sea. 

In Houston, petrol station logos are dotted on top of buildings in the CBD.

The Amazing iOS 6 Maps blog is expanding almost by the minute as Apple Maps users find glitch after glitch across the US, Europe and Japan.

Apple has sourced mapping data from TomTom, but the GPS company told Reuters it stood by the quality of its information. Problems were Apple's responsibility as the app developer. 

Another glitch saw a number of early downloaders – including a number of early NZ iOS6 downloaders –  complain they lost the ability to connect to wi-fi networks. The problems seemed to relate to a test URL used to test initial wi-fi connections accidentally being deleted from Apple's website.

It is now restored. Apple did not respond to an NBR request for comment.

Beyond the gremlins, iOS 6 has got good notices for features like panorama, which allows one 28-megapixel image to be easily stiched together from multiple photo (see image below) and a new do-not disturb feature that allows email and Facebook alerts and most calls to be turned off, but lets though calls from persistent callers (on the logic it's likely to be an emergency) or selected contacts.

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An example of the new panorama photo option with iOS 6. Click to zoom.

And even with Apple Maps, the news is not all bad. Auckland iOS 6 user Jonathan Tillick lamented the loss of street views and found roads harder to see.

But on the plus side, he likes an always onscreen status bar and the turn-by-turn directions.

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