Apple CEO Tim Cook on Friday posted a public letter in the fashion of his predecessor, addressing the ongoing hullaballoo surrounding the company’s Maps app in iOS 6.
In his letter, Cook writes that Apple “fell short on [its] commitment” to make “world-class products that deliver the best experience to our customers” with the launch of iOS 6’s Maps. Cook says that Apple is “extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers,” and promises that Apple is “doing everything we can to make Maps better.”
Cook seems to subtly address recent reporting suggesting that Apple’s decision to abandon Google as the mapping data provider for the app was spurred by the search giant’s refusal to allow Apple to add necessary improvements to the mapping experience: “We wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.”
Cook reports that iOS 6 users have already searched for “nearly half a billion locations,” and reiterates Apple’s earlier statement that “The more our customers use our Maps, the better it will get.”
In the meantime, Cook suggests users can try several alternatives from the App Store or the Web. He specifically mentions the Bing, MapQuest, and Waze apps, and the mobile mapping sites for Google and Nokia.
Cook concludes: “Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world… We will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.”
This isn’t the first time an Apple CEO has taken to the company’s website to address pressing issues. The late Steve Jobs did so on no less than three occasions, tackling thorny subjects like digital rights management on music, the environment, and the lack of Adobe Flash on the company's mobile devices.