Apple boss Tim Cook on Friday issued a rare apology to millions of Apple customers over the heavily criticized Maps app that is the default navigation tool on the company's new iPhone 5 and iOS 6 operating system.
Apple chose to build its own Maps programme instead of using Google's software, a move seen as an attempt by the iPhone maker to claim back that market from its fierce rival in the smartphone sector. Until the launch of the iPhone 5, Google Maps had been the default iPhone navigation programme.
But the move fell flat when customers and reviewers started complaining about inaccuracies in Apple's mapping programme, including wrong directions, misplaced locations and skewed images.
"At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers," Cook said in a letter published Friday on the company's website. "With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better."
Cook said that more than 100 million devices are already using the new application, which had resulted in nearly 500 million location searches. "The more our customers use our Maps, the better it will get, and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you," Cook said.
The Apple CEO took the rare step of recommending iPhone users utilize competing products in the interim.
"While we're improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app," Cook said.
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