The real problem with Apple’s Maps

According to some early figures, as many as 15% (now 60%), of current iPhone users are already running iOS 6, and with it, Apple’s terrible new maps. For the tech community, these new maps are providing some humour; yet I fear for many they could be misleading and in some cases detrimental to whatever urgency they’re currently experiencing. They are potentially an international public safety issue.

When you consider the scale of use – in the tens of millions – you start to see where the concerns of safety stem from. Millions of people taking wrong turns on highways, or driving to hospitals that don’t exist, or police stations that are actually 10 blocks east of where the map placed it. These maps had one job, and Apple are failing us.

This might sound like a naive local news station scaremongering their way to hockeystick ratings, but it’s a legitimate concern that I wish Apple were taking more seriously. If Apple truly care about their customers they will do the right thing, they will expedite the approval of the Google Maps app then get back to work on these horrendous things they call maps.

In 1996 there was a fire in Dusseldorf airport that claimed the lives of many people, this was in part attributed to the poor fire exit signage in the airport. A wayfinding system can have very serious implications on the behaviors of people, especially under stressful circumstances. I believe Apple have grossly underestimated this and instead released these maps for purely strategic reasons. The interests of their users weren’t considered at all, of course they weren’t. Apple should be taking this a lot more seriously than their recent press release would have you believe. In fact, had they been taking this seriously they would have never released these maps at all. The new Apple is losing integrity.

 
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