Woz: Apple Maps disappointing, but flaws 'not that severe'

Woz: Apple Maps disappointing, but flaws 'not that severe'

Summary: Apple co-founder downplayed problems with the new Apple Maps application, which replaced Google Maps on iPhones that have iOS 6.

TOPICS: Apple, iOS, iPhone, Mobility

Reviews of Apple's Maps have been mixed at best, but problems with the application may not be as bad as they've been made out to be, according to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Chief scientist at IT storage company Fusion-io, Wozniak was speaking at a company event in Sydney.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (Credit: ZDNet/Spandas Lui)

In its release of iOS 6, just prior to the release of the new iPhone 5, Apple opted to use its own Maps application to replace Google Maps. There have since been many reports about a torrent of errors within it, which includes displaying inaccurate location information.

Apple is said to be assembling a crack team of developers to fix the problems with its Maps app.

Wozniak received his iPhone 5 last week, after lining up at an Apple Store in Brisbane, Australia.

Wozniak said he was loving the iPhone 5, but admitted he was slightly disappointed with Apple Maps.

"I tried to navigate somewhere, and I couldn't get to where I wanted to by voice," he told ZDNet Australia. "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."

The Apple co-founder is aware of the highly publicised errors with Apple's Maps, but suspected the severity of the flaws has been exaggerated.

"I have been reading about the problems, and I don't know if they are that severe," he said.

He used the iPhone 4 antenna issue as an example. The phone was proven to lose reception when the antenna band is touched, leading to dropped calls. In normal use, Wozniak never really noticed the problem.

"Sometimes, there are a lot of complaints about one little thing people spot, but it's not that hard to deal with in life," he said. "I don't know yet about Maps — I'm a little worried about the navigation, but I've still got it covered with a bunch of other navigation apps."

Wozniak ended his full-time employment at Apple in the late 80s, and has not been involved with the design of the company's products since then.

Topics: Apple, iOS, iPhone, Mobility

Spandas Lui

About Spandas Lui

Spandas forayed into tech journalism in 2009 as a fresh university graduate spurring her passion for all things tech. Based in Australia, Spandas covers enterprise and business IT.

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  • Crack team of devs?

    "Apple is said to be assembling a crack team of developers to fix the problems with its Maps app."

    What they need is a crack team of cartographers to go over the maps with a fine tooth comb.

    There are some development issues, but from what I gather, it's more the like data needs fixing.
    • Team of devs on crack

      Is what they had last time.

      I tried it, it couldn't find the address that could be found in Google maps.

      The inaccuracies I've seen on the Tumblr site are pretty bad, too.

      This app is a disgrace.

      Oh, and the new search results for Apps is terrible, too. Now you can only see one result at a time (e.g. if you have 302 results, you have to swipe 301 times)! What idiot came up with that?

      Apple has to get some usability people, not just graphic designers.
    • I don't understand Apple at all for doing this.

      Why now? Why not wait until the next version of iOS to bring out the map app if it wasn't ready? I understand they want to separate from Google, but do it in a smart way. Wait until your crap software is ready for primetime.

      What a bonehead move. It was completely unnecessary.
    • as does Google, who has many mistakes too, but on the Development side...

      as does Google, who has many mistakes too, but on the Development side...

      yes, we get people are just as clueless about this as Flash... yes we get it that you love to poor hate on anything new.... if you want to use google maps on an iPhone, then use Google maps on an iPhone, nothing has changed... literally, except iPhone users GAINED TURN BY TURN, and a very good one at that for a first iteration, and one thing is for sure, like flash, wait a little bit, and you will find that some old pieces of software really needed to be replaced....

      Oh, and the new search results for Apps is terrible, too

      i love these fake owner comments.... seriously, did you think you would help your cred, by showing how little you actually understand about what is going on.....
  • Poor Woz!

    So now he's advertising android again? What, did they not offer him a job back at apple?! Apparently, Jobs rang him up before his death and offered him a job! but nobody at apple knows about it or has followed it up. Oh, dear.

    The imaps suck. And not a single other feature goes better than anything available anywhere else. But hey, that cult sure feels good to belong to, right?!
    Aaron Darc
    • Geez

      Kid, you don't have to justify your purchase with anyone but yourself:)
    • You are mistaken

      Steve Wozniak has never left Apple. He is still listed as Apple employee.

      Woz isn't artists, he isn't sale person, he isn't usability expert, he isn't nothing more than a nerd (/geek) who loves technology and gets lot of fun to play around with new toys and ideas what they could do in live.
  • I have no problem so far.

    I used it for past three days to drive around New Orleans. It worked great. I love it. It's better then old map on my 4S. I don't miss street view I only used ONCE, I found it rather useless to me. I have been using TomTom because it doesn't require Internet connection.

    It could be worse in other countries but USA should be ok. All those pictures posted on web are satellite images. Just look regularly map not the end of world.

    There are more function then just map on iPhone. Also now all GPS or mapping apps can shine in AppStore. We want more competition. Can't let three companies control everything: Apple, Google or Microsoft.
    • RE: We want more competition.

      So how's Siri working for you? Shouldn't they have left that in the AppStore instead of integrating it? That's what Apple does (and Android at times). They find a very popular app and attempt to integrate it natively into their OS. Sometimes it works, such as Siri, and sometimes it doesn't, such as iMaps.
  • Maps in iOS6 vs earlier version, and standalone apps

    Works fine for me in Central California. Apple maps (Google version) missed my most direct routes, and this one finds them. Garmin misses the boat as a stand-alone device, and so does my Navigon USA/Can app on my iPhone. Oddly enough while the world is complaining about distorted pictures I've now got the best navigating that I've ever had on my phone, using the new Apple Maps.... I'm sure it will improve with time. Fight on Apple.
  • Not That Bad? O_o

    For people that depend on maps, it is that bad. I love how people that haven't had issues keep trying to minimize the severity of the issues. Your lack of issues doesn't negate the fact that some are experiencing issues. Apple screwed up and that's fact. Any debate about it stupid.
    • Hint

      Hint: iOS 5 maps didn't do turn by turn. There has been navigon, tomtom etc for years on iOS.
      • Turn-By-Turn

        iOS5 Maps didn't do turn-by-turn because the devs at Apple didn't want to include it. It is available under the Google Maps API, but instead of implementing an existing feature, they decided to build their own competing app, which is great. But, like others have stated, they released an incomplete program. Had they waited until iOS 7 to develop and test it fully, there would be fewer launch-day problems.
  • A Lot of Firsts

    You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs, and Apple is breaking new ground with the iPhone 5 and iOS 6. It is easy to tack on bullet lists of features on a cardboard box, but introducing new technologies and major software can be bumpy. Apple isn't selling knock offs here in pretty boxes with ugly products, it's pretty products with new tech where it matters. People want what matters for where the rubber meets the road.
    • a lot of first

      I guess Apple is the first company to make a map system for a cellphone .
      So i can see there would be issues , I guess Tom Tom and tele-nav never dont it before ,
      I guess since Google doing it for a days now and MapQuest just came out , glad that 2012 it 10 years away and we have 10 years before the end of the world !
      Peter Tomaino
      • You guess wrong, btw

        Nokia and even Windows Mobile have 3rd party mobile map apps long before Apple.

        Smartphones *do* existed before Apple you know....
        • Sarcasm

          I believe that Peter's post was sarcasm...stating that there are plenty of sources that Apple could have gone with to prevent this fiasco, but in true Apple form, they have to control it from the ground up.
    • I like the new map

      I agree. Apple new map is very pretty and easy to use. Specially the integration with Siri, I was playing with it while driving between New Orleans and Biloxi, MS. It works just fine for me.
    • How does that defend their poor job with maps?

      Or are you like a lot of people who are trying to divert attention by saying "it's better than Google did in 2005"?
      Michael Alan Goff
    • "Apple is breaking new ground"

      Please, do tell us what new ground Apple is breaking and how any part of the iPhone 5 introduces "new technologies".

      "introducing....major software can be bumpy"
      Of course new software can be bumpy when first released. Maps is not just bumpy, for many people it doesn't work.

      "Apple isn't selling knock offs here in pretty boxes with ugly products, it's pretty products with new tech where it matters."
      Again with the new tech. What is this new tech that no one else has heard of? Is it 4G, an 8 megapixel camera, or a slightly faster processor. Is it the new NFC chip on the iPhone? Oh wait.
      Since the topic of the article is Apple Maps, I find it highly ironic how you say "Apple isn't selling knockoffs".