Print 40 comment(s) - last by overlandpark4m.. on Jun 16 at 7:59 PM

Apple app thinks Indian Ocean is somewhere in Greenland, tells people to drive off bridges

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) earlier this week announced its latest upcoming version of its mobile operating system, iOS 6.  The beta build showed off some new features including the new Maps application, which allowed Apple to toss rival Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Google Maps, the previous mapping application in iOS.

CNN described:

But it was Maps which may have marked the most direct anti-Google move. Google has been providing mapping information to Apple since the iPhone launched in 2007.

At the iOS 6 announcement, mobile chief Scott Forstall was all braggadocio commenting, "In iOS 6, we have built an entire new mapping system from the ground up; and it looks beautiful.  This is a worldwide effort. We're covering the world."

Perhaps he was right, but the world Apple is covering seems to be one quite different from our own.  In the beta build the map names the ocean between Australia and Asia as the "Arctic Ocean".  It thinks the continent of Africa is the "North Pacific Ocean" and the island of Greenland is the "Indian Ocean".  Whoops.

Apple Maps
Wait a second... [Image Source: Gizmodo]

Then there are reports that the mapping app has a penchant for suggesting curious shortcuts that take drivers on creative turns directly off bridges.  Hopefully nobody tries to follow that navigator's advice unless they have one of those fancy car-boat-transforming vehicles.

True, this is just a test build, but it's a surprisingly poor showing for a company who has a reputation for polished core applications.  It looks like Apple may come to regret its snub of Google Maps.

Source: Gizmodo

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By ltcommanderdata on 6/13/2012 4:13:41 PM , Rating: -1
In other words, a non-public beta intended to identify bugs is in fact acting like a beta and bugs are being identified. Shocking.

Apple is using multiple sources for their maps including OpenStreetMap, TomTom, their mapping company acquisitions, government sources, etc. I wonder if some of these difficulties are do to problems merging all this data leading to overlapped references, slightly shifted references, etc?

RE: Beta
By Florinator on 6/13/2012 4:40:27 PM , Rating: 4
Oh come on, you're supposed to run at least basic QA before beta, these are not obscure, corner case, exotic uses, but basic, obvious errors. It's like nobody even bothered to look at it before they released it. Just like Romney's "Amercia" app. not a big deal, technically, but a BASIC review would have caught it!

RE: Beta
By kingmotley on 6/13/12, Rating: -1
RE: Beta
By mcnabney on 6/13/2012 5:41:19 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't exactly a new form of technology. It is like they were really tired, thought everything was done and hit compile. The next morning they uploaded the program.

RE: Beta
By Florinator on 6/13/2012 6:07:45 PM , Rating: 5
Oh, I'm sorry if my expectations from a beta product, from Apple nonetheless, are a little higher than seeing the Pacific Ocean in the middle of Africa. Yeah, the data needs a little refining indeed... because it's all new, nobody else has data on where the Pacific Ocean actually lies, so I guess it's OK if Apple didn't get it right the first time around...

I work for a much more modest company and, as a developer, I am expected to unit test my code before submitting, QA engineers do their thing for months, then we run it in-house for a few more months in a production environment (we call that the alpha phase), then we release the beta...

But hey, what do we know, we're just a small $200M company...

RE: Beta
By artemicion on 6/13/12, Rating: -1
RE: Beta
By Camikazi on 6/13/2012 8:21:27 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously now, if they can't be trusted to get the oceans of the world in the right place what makes you think they can be trusted to get tiny streets in a city right?

RE: Beta
By lukarak on 6/14/2012 4:46:20 AM , Rating: 2
This is probably a layer issue. So it doesn't actually translate to problems with other ones.

RE: Beta
By inperfectdarkness on 6/14/2012 2:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
Oh? So you mean it was product-tested like the Xbox-360?

RE: Beta
By martin5000 on 6/14/2012 5:05:55 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think anyone's suggesting this is the first product in human history that wasn't tested properly, so I don't see what your point is?

RE: Beta
By ATrigo on 6/13/2012 4:45:42 PM , Rating: 2
Where they get the data from is not an excuse for not testing and preparing a professional demo for a top level conference. If the company is showing off an app to the public at least it should have the decency to show off something that works. And the bar should be even higher and stricter for a a company that promotes itself as flawless.

Beta or not, this fails in even the basic scenarios.

RE: Beta
By kleinma on 6/13/2012 5:00:26 PM , Rating: 5
I don't know if you are aware but Apple product do not have bugs. Apple products are perfect from the start. Any changes and modifications after the fact are simply to make them more perfect than the amount of perfect they previously were. You will accept Apple as your personal lord and savior, and you will damn well like it!

RE: Beta
By postar on 6/13/2012 5:01:56 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly! As the matter a fact, it's not the Apple mapping that's wrong, but it's the actual planet's geography that's wrong.

Also, I think Apple should sue Earth, cause I can see some pretty significant similarity between the image on Apple maps and the actual geography of the planet. I'm sure Apple patented this shape/look and the planet Earth did not.

RE: Beta
By lukarak on 6/14/2012 4:59:06 AM , Rating: 2
In other words, classic Jason Mick :D

RE: Beta
By xti on 6/14/2012 5:19:17 AM , Rating: 3
i think apple banged his mom...cuz he just really has it out for them...

RE: Beta
By Natch on 6/14/2012 8:06:39 AM , Rating: 2
To be fair, Apple stated they were covering the world. They didn't necessarily specify THIS world, did they??

RE: Beta
By StormyKnight on 6/15/2012 10:55:04 AM , Rating: 3
To be fair, Apple stated they were covering the world. They didn't necessarily specify THIS world, did they??

Covering or coveting?

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