Friday, September 21, 2012

New iPhone 5 users could find themselves lost

Earlier this year Apple announced it was ditching Google Maps in favour of its own cloud based mapping system built with help from Tom Tom. But users of the recently launched iOS 6 which has the new app pre-installed might find themselves completely lost.

Riddled with errors

The mapping software has angered users who said it was riddled with inaccuracies, misplaced towns and cities and omitted key landmarks [BBC].

The new Maps app displays many shops and restaurants streets metres away from their true location, important sites including some train stations are missing, and the search function appears unable to understand simple requests.

Obscured by clouds

In Britain, data on local businesses, sourced from the review website Yelp, appears years out of date, and satellite images are not as sharp as Google's.

Some places, such as Colchester and many locations in Scotland, were completely obscured by cloud cover. Meanwhile the search function is unable to find Paddington Station and entire towns such as Solihull are not labelled.

Woolworths returns!

Some stores which have long disappeared from Britain's high streets have made a miraculous return. The now defunct music retailer Our Price, the budget clothing store C&A and the retailer Woolworths appear all over the mapping application which might perplex rather than confuse some users.

But more seriously there are misplaced Underground Stations which have found themselves moved to parks and in some cases closed stations have been resurrected. The errors have been mocked by some Underground staff who placed notices at stations suggesting commuters with iOS6 obtain a map from the booking office [Twitter].

Missing towns

Some towns appear to be completely missing, such as Stratford-upon-Avon and Solihull. Others, like Uckfield in East Sussex, are in the wrong location. A search for Manchester United Football Club directs users to Sale United Football Club, a community team for ages five and above. Users have also reported missing local places, such as schools, or strange locations. Another screenshot showed a furniture museum that was apparently located in a river!

Ghost airports

Mistakes in the new app were not confined to Britain. Users were reporting that London had been relocated to Ontario, the Sears Tower in Chicago had shrunk, and Helsinki railway station had been turned into a park. Dublin has acquired a new airport prompting the Republic's justice minister, Alan Shatter, in whose constituency the imaginary airport has been located, to contact Apple expressing concern that pilots might attempt to land at a 35-acre greenfield site with working farm, formal gardens and cafe, which has been designated as an airport by the Apple database [BBC / Telegraph / GuardianReutersMirror / Daily Mail].

tvnewswatch, London, UK

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