If you own an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and you updated your device to iOS 6, you’ve likely experienced first-hand the frustration of Apple’s new mapping application that replaces Google Maps. While colorful and beautiful, especially in 3D Flyover mode, Apple's self-branded application is often inaccurate and lacks major features like local search, which makes it extremely limited. Some of the most laughable inaccuracies of iOS 6 Maps have been documented in a Tumblr blog mockingly called, “The Amazing iOS 6 Maps.”
However, if you experience any specific error or problem in iOS 6 Maps, there’s an easy way to send off a report to Apple so they can fix it. Here’s how to report your Maps issues:
Open the Maps application, and when you experience your issue or bug, simply click on the page’s curl on the bottom right corner of the screen. Above the button options for “Drop Pin” and “Print” is a small link that says “Report A Problem.” That’s what you want.
Once you click the link, Apple will give you several options to specify your problem or issue. You can say that search results are incorrect, or streets or other mapping labels are incorrect, or the location is missing entirely. You can also report any issues with the directions function within Apple Maps; if your problem isn’t described by any of the above criteria, you’ll be given a form to describe your comment, which immediately gets sent off to Apple.
“At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers,” Cook wrote in an open letter apology on Apple’s website last Monday. “With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”
Apple is reportedly seeking the help of its millions of iOS customers, as well as its retail store managers and employees, to report any errors, issues or bugs in iOS 6 Maps to help improve the database. The report was originally tweeted by Gary Allen of ifoAppleStore, a blog dedicated to information about Apple’s retail stores. With 391 stores in 14 different countries – including 45 of the 50 United States represented with stores – enlisted Apple employees could create the geographic diversity required to boost iOS 6 Maps in a hurry.
Although the company reportedly had another year in its contract with Google Maps, Apple apparently cut its ties with Google early because of its desire to use turn-by-turn directions and Siri, but Google wanted to add features like Latitude; in the end, the companies could not agree on renewal terms, and after the split, both Apple and Google were left scrambling to build new maps applications for iOS.
Without Google, Apple knew its Maps software would not be fully ready for delivery – that could take years – but it needed user feedback and support to make it better. Apple knew Google Maps wasn’t built in a day, but felt confident enough to debut with 75 to 80 percent of the application ready to go. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for most users.
“We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS,” Cook wrote. “As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.”
Until iOS 6 Maps receives more updates, Apple suggests a number of alternative maps applications for users to choose from via the App Store as Apple engineers fix its problematic app behind the scenes.