iOS 7’s Maps Icon Is No Longer Trying To Kill You [Image]

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From top to bottom: pre-iOS 6 Maps icon, iOS 6 Maps icon, iOS 7 Maps icon.

When Apple unveiled iOS 6’s new Maps icon, it became an emblem for everything that was wrong with Apple Maps, a service that — at launch — was widely criticized as being inferior to Google’s own maps data, which every previous version of iOS had shipped with.

Why the icon? Because it gave directions that would probably end up killing you if you followed them in real life. But that’s all changed in iOS 7.

As you can see above, the iOS 6 maps icon showed a driver taking a left turn onto Interstate 280, which as you can see above, actually would involve driving off of an overpass. What made this mistake in the design of the icon even funnier was that you can actually see Interstate 280 from Apple’s Cupertino campus: anyone at Apple would know the turn wasn’t possible.

Which is why the icon became emblematic of Apple’s massive Maps screw-up as a whole. iOS 6 Maps launched in such bad shape that Tim Cook actually apologized for it, and it was widely criticized for giving users wildly inaccurate directions. Even the icon gave users fatally incorrect driving instructions!

Which is why I was amused to see the new Maps icon in iOS 7 actually features navigationally correct instructions for taking a left turn onto Interstate 280. The icon is finally not trying to kill you. Hooray for progress!

  • trrosen

    That would be a left turn onto E HomeStead from Apple’s new campus.

  • EvanMorton93

    Yes directions out of Spaceship 1.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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