A dead letter to Steve Jobs

Hey Steve,

I realize that you are dead, but I think you should know that your company seems to have lost its direction, quite literally. I just downloaded iOS 6 to my iPhone, and the Maps app is quite disappointing. Don’t get me wrong; many features of iOS 6, like the Facebook integration, are awesome, but this Maps app is not one of them.

I was an early adopter of the iPhone, and I have always loved it. Like many Apple products, it just works when I need it to. It integrates seamlessly with other devices. It makes my life easier. It is not buggy or glitchy. At least, not until today. Glitch is too generous a word to describe what happens when I try to find a bookstore in Mumbai. First, the app locates a bookstore Pune, which is quite inconvenient considering that Pune is over 50 km away. Next, the app finds a Bookstore Road in Glendale, CA. Yes, California, USA. Then, when I enter the name of a popular bookstore in Mumbai (Crossword), which has more than a dozen locations throughout the city, the app once again sends me to Pune. Seriously. Pune. That is like sending someone in Los Angeles to San Diego for a bookstore.

I never had these issues with the previous Google Maps app that was installed on my phone, and I want it back. Sure, Google Maps is not always a perfect navigator in Mumbai, but at least it gets me in the right general area and the Bandra Worli Sea Link bridge does not disappear like a bad magic trick.

If you go to the Mac forums, you will see a fierce debate raging about what many consider a significant downgrade in service, and I tend to agree with them. Many users in California think the app is great because, let’s face it, the back of the phone does say, “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.”  But, the phone should work in India. For those who live outside the US, this change represents a serious degradation of the user experience, and that is at the heart of Apple’s business philosophy: a seamless user experience. I get that apps like this take time to build the knowledge-base from which they pull data, but this version should never have made it out of the QA testing phase, let alone out of development. It just does not work. Does this app represent the future of Apple? Has the company lost its perfectionist rudder so quickly that it is now acceptable to launch a product with such serious issues?

So, until your company gets it act together or Google publishes a Maps app to replace the one I lost, I will have to settle for using the HTML version of Google Maps. Not as slick as the app that I used to have on my phone, but at least it knows where to find a bookstore.

4 thoughts on “A dead letter to Steve Jobs

  1. Pingback: Travelling the road of happy destiny | Magnolia to Mumbai!

  2. Pingback: “But, Madam, we are like McDonald’s”: Lunch at Royal China | Magnolia to Mumbai!

  3. Pingback: Magnolia to Mumbai! | Planes, trains, and automobiles: Googling our way across Sicily

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