According to Mac Rumors, Apple has come up with a plan to fix their maps: let the App Store employees do it. But behind this seemingly nonsensical plan may be a sly cover up for a little copyright infringement.
In case you haven’t heard, the new iOS 6 chucked Google Maps (presumably the fall out of their long-standing feud with Google) in favor of a new Apple maps app.
Unfortunately, the iPhone 5’s new maps app is terrible. It shows melting bridges, busy urban centers as empty parks and highways that extend into the ocean.
It’s so bad it’s bizarre. And for quite some time the internet, pretty much collectively, has been taking the Mickey out of Apple. And everywhere you look photos like these crop up:
The Maps are so bad for PR that Tim Cook (Apple’s new CEO) wrote an official apology, promised to do things better and suggested that in the mean time, iPhone users just use Google maps.
And, according to Mac Rumors at least, Apple’s found a way to fix their maps problem. But the solution seems to be just as bizarre as the maps themselves: they’re employing App Store employees to tackle the problem.
“Looks OK to Me”
MacRumors doesn’t have all the details yet. But the data that they do have suggests that they’re just sending Apple employees out into the street to check and see if the maps are accurate.
Each store will commit 40 man hours a week to the project. And several employees, led by a head employee dubbed a “subject matter expert”, will just walk out on the street and presumably check every inch of the globe for accuracy.
Which sounds a little arrogant on Apple’s part; like their maps just might be right and maybe it’s the world that’s wrong.
“Sir, I’ve walked over to check and I have visual confirmation. The Williamsburg Bridge is definitely not melting. Repeat. The Williamsburg Bridge is not melting.”
Could It Be a Cover Up?
After Apple employees have manually checked ever road, bridge, tunnel and park on the planet, they’ll turn the information over to a “dedicated internal portal on Apple’s systems” where real technicians with actual computers will tackle the problem.
And who are those technicians? Google Maps employees. Apple has been hiring them like mad to fix their laughably bad system. And using Apple Store employees sounds like an ideal PR move to say that Apple fixed the problem and not the Google Maps people they prized from their competitor. At the very least, it should amount to a defense in a karmic copyright infringement suit.
MacRumors doesn’t agree with my particular conspiracy theory. And they had this to say:
“Apple’s network of nearly 400 retail stores represents nearly 40,000 employees scattered across more than a dozen countries, making it an ideal resource for assisting with mapping improvements.”
But surely there’s a more efficient and less nonsensical way to check and see if downtown Portland has been magically turned into a giant park. I’m not a scientist or anything, but there’s got to be a better solution than sending this guy out in Manhattan going “First Avenue? Check. Second Avenue? Check.”
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that it will be a while before Apple gets iOS6 maps in order. In the meantime, pick up one of our cheap unlocked Androids at GSMNation.com that all come pre-installed with Google Maps. We’ll even deliver them right to your door because we don’t want you to get lost on the way.