Woz: Problems With iOS 6 Maps Are Disappointing, But ‘Not That Severe’

Woz: Problems With iOS 6 Maps Are Disappointing, But ‘Not That Severe’

Woz keeps a bunch of third-party navigation apps on his iPhone as backup.

Speaking at a company event in Sydney, Australia, this week, Apple co-founder and everyone’s favorite geek Steve Wozniak spoke out about Apple’s new Maps service, which got its public debut alongside iOS 6 last Wednesday. Like most of us, Woz says he’s disappointed with the new app, and that Google’s Maps service is better. However, he doesn’t feel that the issues users have been experiencing are “that severe.”

Woz told ZDNet Australia:

I tried to navigate somewhere, and I couldn’t get to where I wanted to by voice. So, I was a little disappointed, because I love navigation by voice with my Google [Android] phones, actually, since they always get it and are based on a better database.

Woz added that he was aware of the reports regarding the early problems that users have been experiencing with Maps, but says that’s not sure they’re all that serious:

I have been reading about the problems, and I don’t know if they are that severe.

Woz compared the Maps problems with the iPhone 4’s Antennagate, and noted that while there are a lot of complaints about a “one little thing,” it’s “not that hard to deal with in life.” He also revealed that he has a “bunch of other navigation apps” installed on his iPhone as backup.

Do you agree with Woz? Personally, I’m not all that troubled by the Maps issue, because it’s not often I use Maps. But I can imagine it is a big problem for those who have become reliant on the service. If you’re a regular Maps user, losing Google Maps for a service that is quite clearly incomplete must be pretty frustrating.

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  • MatthewNL

    We noticed the same thing when we tested the application through remote user testing. The incidents are isolated and not every user is affected by it. None of the users even mentioned knowing of any reported problems. Just a small media hype to discredit Apple. See more on the remote user tests here: http://www.actualinsights.com/2012/remote-user-testing-ios6-first-impressions/

    We tested the Maps app, Movie Trailer and Game Schedules via Siri, Sharing via Facebook and had a quick look at the new App Store.

  • Ed_Kel

    Maps works like a charm here in West Michigan. Turn by turn voice works great too. If there were two things I hope Apple will improve upon it is 1) areas of interest, like gas stations; restaurants; etc. and 2), it would be nice to hear Siri warn of a turn ahead. I was testing the app from my work to my house and she told me to turn only about 20 feet before the actual turn was to be made. If I was in an area in which I wasn’t familiar with, I would have missed the turn if I wasn’t paying attention to the phone. A 100 yard warning would be nice.

    I think what surprises me the most about the complaints are that they are from people who rely on transit routes in major cities. As somebody who is rarely in a city where I would have to sync rail routes, I can see this as being pretty annoying. But if you travel within cities everyday, then why are you still relying on a map? It would be like me forgetting how to get to work or not knowing which street to turn down to get to my house. It can’t be THAT much of a disappointment – the hype of an “Apple failure” is definitely turning nothing into something.

  • Tim Meesseman

    I completely agree with Woz. The problem exists, but it’s hardly an issue that is life-changing. I’ve used it a good bit over the past few days, and while a few POIs are out of place, directions were spot on.

  • UGenya

    I have not experienced any problems with the Maps app. I live in the UK and tested the app while using my car navigation and the app simultaneously. It works just fine. Plus some have you seen the pictures some of the users have posted to complain about maps, they are ridiculous. They just have a slow data connection this is why they are not able to load the satellite image, why post these pics in the first place?! However I am a bit disappointed with the iTunes Match update.You cannot download individual songs and there is no way to know if you play a song from the cloud or if has downloaded to your device.

  • minimalist1969

    As an Apple enthusiast for the last decade who has bought 3 iPhones, several iPods, Macbooks, iMacs, Apple TV’s etc over the years (heck I even bough the freakin iPod hiFi) I can say that this is the first time ever Apple has me looking seriously at competitors phones. I’d say that ‘s a good bit more serious than antenna gate.

    People who dismiss it as just another trumped up faux scandal need to dig deeper. Just a cursory test of about 20 random addresses in my phone book turned up about 4 completely incorrect locations (some off by as much as a mile). Traffic information is virtually non-existant when compared with Google’s robust traffic layer so rerouting around delays is not going to happen. Searches for basic businesses (car dealers, retailers, etc) that have been in place for years turned up blank searches. Turn by turn and 3d flyover are welcome additions but what good will they do if people get sent to the wrong place?

    Maps are all about trust and accuracy. All it takes is for casual users to get burned once or twice and tell their friends and Apple’s maps will quickly get a nasty reputation it will find hard to shake off.

  • Shilly Devane

    Woz, why don’t you go to Cupertino and pitch in? You have all these opinions but you don’t seem to have solutions. If you can’t step up and help, how about just shutting up then?

  • Ed_Kel

    As an Apple enthusiast for the last decade who has bought 3 iPhones, several iPods, Macbooks, iMacs, Apple TV’s etc over the years (heck I even bough the freakin iPod hiFi) I can say that this is the first time ever Apple has me looking seriously at competitors phones. I’d say that ‘s a good bit more serious than antenna gate.

    People who dismiss it as just another trumped up faux scandal need to dig deeper. Just a cursory test of about 20 random addresses in my phone book turned up about 4 completely incorrect locations (some off by as much as a mile). Traffic information is virtually non-existant when compared with Google’s robust traffic layer so rerouting around delays is not going to happen. Searches for basic businesses (car dealers, retailers, etc) that have been in place for years turned up blank searches. Turn by turn and 3d flyover are welcome additions but what good will they do if people get sent to the wrong place?

    Maps are all about trust and accuracy. All it takes is for casual users to get burned once or twice and tell their friends and Apple’s maps will quickly get a nasty reputation it will find hard to shake off.

    Remember, this is V1.0. Have faith my friend. Unfortunately for Apple, they’re joining the maps game a little too late. Google maps wasn’t all that great when it came out, but they didn’t really have much competition either. Give it time. I’m convinced that Apple will blow this one out of the park..

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  • Angeluskarl

    Come on people, the phone is still a great phone and this whole map thing is totally been blown up beyond all seriousness. A map app isn’t the be all and end all of a smart phone, and besides when Maps works its fine. GIVE IT TIME
    An app not performing is not as bad as antenna gate at all, the hardware is sublime and works great stop sensationalising things people!

  • Len Williams

    Give Apple some time to get Maps together and it will be as robust a system and probably better than Google Maps. Here’s something that no one seems to be talking about: If Apple still had Google Maps on the iPhone we STILL wouldn’t have turn by turn directions! This is because Google refused to license this technology to Apple, which is the reason Apple designed its own mapping system. Give it a few months and Apple Maps will be a thing of beauty just like everything else Apple makes.

  • Angeluskarl

    and also Google maps is far from perfect as it is, its just better thank apple’s maps at the moment, but they have had years of input… apple will sort this

  • SupaMac

    The cities seem to work well, the rural areas that I drive through often in Southwest Virginia are honestly terrible. The phone itself is amazing, however. Everything else works swimmingly.

  • Traveller

    What are the two biggest factors that allowed Google to advance and make their Google Maps database so successful? As far as I’ve read, it’s crowd-sourcing and also their Street View cars patrolling (spying?) the world.

    That Apple will now start crowd-sourcing is a given. The more iOS6 users use the Apple Maps, the more crowd-sourcing data they collect. But how about Google’s idea of some hundreds of cars roaming the four corners of the planet to take endless screenshots (Street View) of cities and towns? I only now realize how THAT must be a herculean task for a single company (even for Google, Master Data Collector of the Universe).

    Is this something that Apple could theoretically do as well? Spending several million dollars to to send out hundreds of cars (or even planes) roaming the Earth and spying on people’s streets? I’m 100% sure that Google will not be willing to share or license its Street View images to ANY competitor.

    Anyone ever see or met or talk to any of those Street View cars in your neighborhood? Were they full-time Google employees? Part-time contractors? Volunteer college students?

    I have a nice full time job I like at this point. But man… I know some under-employed friends that would LOVE it if Apple paid them to drive an Apple-branded car, and spend an entire day getting paid to take pictures of your houses and streets. :p

  • ElVox

    As an Apple enthusiast for the last decade who has bought 3 iPhones, several iPods, Macbooks, iMacs, Apple TV’s etc over the years (heck I even bough the freakin iPod hiFi) I can say that this is the first time ever Apple has me looking seriously at competitors phones. I’d say that ‘s a good bit more serious than antenna gate.

    Looking at other phones because of *maps*? Uhm…you do know that there’s other mapping apps on iOS, right? From free (Waze, which is what I have used now for years instead of google maps, which sucks outside the US) to paid apps from Tomtom and Garmin, among others.

    I understand that users in the US are feeling sad because Google Maps is gone from their iphones, but…there’s much better solutions (at least better than GMaps outside the US) on the app store.

  • tofuboyd

    Frankly, I’m one of those who uses Google Maps on a daily basis. And, Apple Maps hasn’t served me right. There are rooms for “Improvements” and I do hope Apple listens to us and get it right (eventually). Google Maps is free and there’s nothing like it, on the contrary nobody in the “IT industry” get things right the first time and I mean nobody. There’s gotta someone at Apple that bears our pain. Tim Cook, we don’t mind the wait but somehow show us the light at the end of the tunnel.

  • snarfblat

    I put iOS6 on my iPad, but not on my phone yet. On the iPad, it’s easy to deal with because I can run Google Maps in the browser, but on the phone, it’s just too small to use well. The satellite maps aren’t that big of a deal, but the vector maps could use more detail. I live in a smaller town and it seems that less attention to detail is paid to these smaller towns than to the larger ones, so until it catches up, I may be sticking with iOS 5. Not that I use maps that often, but when I do, it sure is handy.

  • minimalist1969

    “Remember, this is V1.0. Have faith my friend. Unfortunately for Apple, they’re joining the maps game a little too late. Google maps wasn’t all that great when it came out, but they didn’t really have much competition either. Give it time. I’m convinced that Apple will blow this one out of the park..”

    I wish I could share your optimism. But I am not willing to be Apple’s data mining alpha tester for 4 years while they play catch-up (and Google and Nokia moving even further along). Siri I am willing to roll with the punches because it’s a cutting edge technology. Nobody has a better solution. But with iOS 6 Apple wiped out one of the most compelling reasons to use a modern smartphone and replaced it with a third rate program that sets users back years.

    I’m a little tired of hearing apologists and tech pundits excuse this mis-step as something Apple HAD to do. This is not like Apple removing optical discs or removable batteries or ethernet ports. Those are example of Apple removing tech that is on the downswing and pushing us towards tech that is in its ascendancy. This is Apple dragging us back into the past and for what? Political reasons?

  • Kevin Hancox

    How many people remember Google causing an international incident between Nicaragua and Costa Rica in 2010 due to there maps being wrong, or losing Sunshine in Florida 3 times in 2010, short memories and no mapping app is perfect…

    More to the point, you could always goto maps.google.com and save as widget…. Access to maps exactly the same way and easy enough for even the most incompetent journalist to understand before he slates Apple again…!

    Balanced stories are more interesting to read, media hyped frenzy over something so ridiculous makes you look stupid…!

  • BCE

    What I want to know is, how did people make it, before Google maps and transit directions?

  • Tallest_Skil

    What I want to know is, how did people make it, before Google maps and transit directions?

    No one drove to any stores before Street View was invented. No one drove anywhere at all before 2003.

    That is what the Google Maps crowd would have you believe.

  • Skyediver

    “If you’re a regular Maps user, losing Google Maps for a service that is quite clearly incomplete must be pretty frustrating.”
    I don’t believe you fully “lose” Google Maps; from what I understand you can access google maps thru safari…

  • John Howell

    The most frustrating thing is the crippled search in the Apple Maps. Every time I’ve used it since I updated to iOS6 I’ve had to google for the address, then copy/paste it into maps. It’s awful!

  • John Howell

    And Apple, put Podcasts back I. The iPod app please. The pod cast app is supposed to sync through icloud, but what does it sync? It doesn’t seem to be my podcasts, that for FRIKEN sure.

  • ascottyb

    terminal IOS 6ness contracted with apple bite

    The problem is not Ios 6 but with the new apple corporate culture.

    Ios 6 is a total disaster that exposed apples willingness to handcuff users to an irreversible and often terminal download that has destroyed many iphones and ipads with Battery drain{ 3 hour battery life} , bluetooth problems, locations services problems, wifi problems, cellular data overages raising iphone users bills as much as 100 %, and hazard to navigation apple maps. A few minutes spent on Apple Support groups reveals multitudes of astonished loyal apple users being disabused and lied to at every level of Apple Support.

    Every new system has problems but Apple failure to be transparent about these problems and failure allow users to return to a functional operating system is a new low in corporate corruption.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech, but most enjoys covering Apple, anything mobile, and gaming. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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