Things that bore me to tears include jumping on bandwagons and beating up technology companies for not living up to my expectations… the whole: we live in 2012 damnit!
You could cast me as the wide-eye optimist when it comes to new technology and while I could never be described as an early adopter, I generally am quite forgiving of new product while they get bugs ironed out of. Hell, I’m even quite Zen about the fact that OSX still doesn’t support SFTP in the finder so I am using some dinky third party software so that I can have GUI access to my web servers.
Now that I’ve painted myself as some happy-go-lucky naive technology user, let me tell you how that came crashing down… and yes, the target of my dissatisfaction is Apple Maps on iOS 6. Now I must admit I was aware of the abundance of negative feedback already out there, but as with all things you read on the internet I took it all with a giant grain of salt. I updated both of my iPhones to the new operating system, checked out the maps and while it looked different from the Google offering, I couldn’t give a damn what my maps look like, as long as I can get from point A to B.
So, yesterday I get off a plane in the Gold Coast for work, pick up a van full of AV gear and prepare to drive to my hotel. Cue maps on the phone. Firstly, it had a bit of trouble getting the right place, and when I finally found it, I got a ‘Directions Not Available’ message. Really?
I had to fire up Chrome and go to the Google Maps webpage which solved the problem although wasn’t ideal.
Uh Oh, Maps app on the iPhone fails…
Google Maps Website on Chrome on the iPhone
Now lets be clear: If the Maps app was some kind of newfandagle feature on iOS 6 then I’d be all like “that’s cool, I’m just impressed they are trying this”. Really, I don’t mind people failing, no matter how spectacularly, while attempting something ambitious and revolutionary. We could go into a whole list of leaders that I respect not because they had successful policies but rather they attempted ambitious (and sometimes retarded) reform.
Too bad that Apple wasn’t doing anything remotely revolutionary. They simply took a product offered on previous platforms that was extremely stable and robust in features and replaced it with an in-house solution which just sucked.
If Apple were trying to prove to us all that they still have the ability to surprise – then they certainly succeeded… I was surprised just how woefully inferior this product is. Not only my experience with not being able to find my hotel on a business trip but when I looked further into it I noticed that I can no longer get public transport information on the Maps app. No, that is now a third party download – which I’m not even sure if there is a solution for Sydney.
I’m not a jaded person. I’m hoping that these maps get better over time. I just wish the role of beta tester for Apple wasn’t hoisted on all us iPhone users against our will.