Apple reportedly using its retail employees to improve iOS 6 Maps data
October 3, 2012
Apple got itself in a pickle with iOS 6 Maps. After ending its mapping relationship with Google, the company put together its own backend to Maps, only to have it universally panned. Misplaced landmarks, missing towns, and melted bridges are some of the more egregious examples of the app's shortcomings.
After CEO Tim Cook apologized to customers, it appears that Apple is trying a novel approach to the problem. MacRumors reports that the company is trying to improve the mapping data by tapping into its army of nearly 40,000 Apple Store employees.
Details are scant on Apple's methods, but participating stores will reportedly commit 40 hours of weekly staff time to the project. They will "manually examine" their respective areas' mapping data, and submit corrections to an internal Apple database.
Smart, but will it be enough?
Could using Apple Store employees be a stroke of genius? Unlike past issues Apple has faced (like antennagate or MobileMe), Maps' problems can't be fixed from an office in Cupertino. The data will improve gradually as more iPhone owners use iOS 6 Maps, but Apple would love to expedite that process. With nearly 400 retail stores spread across the globe, this approach could cover a lot of ground.
Apple still has its hands full with Mapgate, and it isn't clear whether creative solutions like this will change that. In the meantime, those having problems with iOS 6 Maps can try App Store alternatives like Waze or Mapquest, or simply use Google's HTML5 web app.
What do you think? Will an army of Geniuses significantly help Apple's Maps fiasco? Or is the problem too big for short-term results? Let us know in those comments!