Archive for October, 2012
The problems with the Apple Maps app that have emerged since the launch of the iPhone 5 and the roll out of iOS 6 have deepened to the point that chief exec Tim Cook has actually had to make a public apology.
In the days after iOS 6 arrived, many people began to complain of poor performance from the Apple Maps service, comparing it unfavorably to the Google Maps service which it replaced.
As well as geographical inaccuracies and issues with a lack of detail, Apple has subsequently been criticized for including detailed images of secret or sensitive government and military installations across the world which are usually redacted by Google and its rival mapping services.
500 million searches have already been made using the Apple Maps app, although it is now being suggested that just four per cent of iOS 6 users are actually accessing it on a daily basis.
Back when Google Maps was Apple`s choice for native navigation and location based services, it is thought that 25 per cent of iPhone owners used it every single day of the week at least once.
Mr Cook said that Apple was working hard to remedy all of the issues that have been highlighted over the past few weeks. He even pointed out a number of third party apps that could be used as alternatives to Apple Maps for the time being, including MapQuest and Waze.
Mr Cook said that customers could use their iPhones to access Google Maps via the Safari web browser and pointed out that Nokia also has a similarly equipped online mapping service.
It seems that Apple is being put in a difficult position because it not only made its proprietary software the standard for mapping in iOS 6, but also completely removed Google Maps support so that there is no app for users to turn to when their main option fails to deliver the goods.
Whether or not iOS 6 will eventually be fully reunited with a Google Maps app or not remains to be seen, but hopefully the apology from Mr Cook will be taken to heart by Apple customers and help them endure while an update for the Apple Maps app is created.
Back in 2010 you may remember that the launch of the iPhone 4 was marred by the news that the phone had antenna issues when held in a particular fashion, resulting in dropped calls and much fun-poking by Apple`s rivals.
This year other companies, including the Google-owned Motorola, have already released adverts in which they satirize the reports surrounding the Apple Maps app.
Interestingly it seems that the problems with the mapping have not dissuaded people from picking up the iPhone 5, because it was reported that 5 million units were sold in the first three days following its international release.
Since cheap phones can now provide impressive navigation and mapping, Apple really needs to step up and fix its own service or else face annoying its loyal customers.
If you are a fan of Facebook and the owner of an iOS device then you may already have been using the social networking service`s dedicated instant messaging app in order to chap with friends while out and about.
Following the release of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 last month, the Facebook Messenger app has now been updated in order to keep in step with the latest changes to Apple`s flagship device and software platform.
In terms of interface, Facebook Messenger can now offer a side-swipe gesture which lets you look at who else is online and available to chat at any given time.
The app will please people who have upgraded to the iPhone 5 because it now fully supports the 640×1136 widescreen resolution that is afforded by the larger four inch display found on this new model.
The Facebook Messenger app has received a number of other tweaks, including the ability to order your friends list according to who you talk to the most. This means that your favorites can sit at the top of the list, rather than residing further down which might require a lot of scrolling finger work each time you want to get in touch.
To make the app look more closely related to the iOS platform, the text from contacts taking part in a conversation now appears in little stylised speech bubbles, so it resembles the kind of aesthetic which has defined the iPhone`s SMS capabilities for some time.
The Facebook Messenger app is still free to download and use, provided you have Wi-Fi connectivity or a decent data allowance on your iPhone.
When it comes to Wi-Fi, some iOS users may have been encountering issues since upgrading to version 6 of Apple`s mobile operating system.
CNET reports that a number of forum posts have popped up on Apple`s support page, with people complaining that since they downloaded the iOS 6 update to their devices they have had trouble either connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots or maintaining decent speeds once they are hooked up to one.
Other connectivity issues have been highlighted, with iPad owners stating that AirPlay is no longer working as well as it once did, or indeed functioning at all in some cases after iOS 6 has been installed.
Any Apple customer who has encountered problems should not panic, because you are not alone and the company will already be developing fixes to help overcome issues.
It is always worth remembering that each new iteration of iOS is going to have a few bugs early on, no matter how well it has been tested, which is why subsequent updates are generally required.
Even the best smartphones can be struck down by a software issue, but overall it is good to see Apple continuing to support its older devices with iOS 6 updates and also to see third party apps getting updated to work with this new platform.