Apple recently updated their mobile operating system to iOS 6 across all their mobile devices and the response was largely receptive except for one minor issue…their new Maps application. What used to be the best mobile application for users trying to go from one side of town to the other turned out to be a living nightmare for consumers after applying the latest update.
Getting rid of Google
Apple’s decision to develop their own maps application internally is a result of the long and bitter war the innovative tech company has launched against Google in recent years. With the Android platform dominating the smartphone market, Apple wanted to sever all ties with the aforementioned giant by removing the native Youtube and Google Maps apps. As a result, users updating their smartphones and tablets were in for quite a shock when they downloaded the latest software update.
One word sums up the launch of the native Apple maps app: disaster. Ranging from poor 3D rendering of maps (which includes views of cities that look like they have been ravaged by earthquakes) and inconsistent street data to the inexcusable omission of public transit directions, users voiced their displeasure with the latest update. Utilizing social media to their advantage, even the most ardent fanatics in Apple’s fanbase criticized the tech giant and latest Maps update on popular platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
Apple Admits their mistake
Diverging from Steve Jobs’ typical playbook, new CEO Tim Cook expressed his heartfelt regret online calling the Apple Maps mobile application a giant mistake. Despite having a significant amount of time to properly test the app, the company rushed its development to ensure that it would be ready for the new iPhone 5 launch this past month. In a shocking development, Cook encouraged users to temporarily use competitor mapping mobile applications until Apple goes back to the drawing board.
What can be learned from this case study?
Despite the error-filled Maps application, there are no signs of Apple slowing down, as the tech giant reported sales of five million units of the iPhone 5 on opening weekend. However, not every company has the luxury of having a dedicated and loyal customer base. This case study exhibits what not to do with mobile applications: rushing development. It’s better to hold off launching for a couple of months to come out with a refined and relatively bug-free application than a primitive mobile app that will generate harmful and negative press.