Books written by Ray Sullivan

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Apple Told To Get Lost

Australians are not noted for diplomacy.  Sure, they're as sophisticated as any nation, but they're not backward in coming forward.  And it looks like the Australian police aren't too pleased with Apple's mapping App.

The App has come in for a lot of criticism since its launch in September and to be honest I'd understood that Apple had rolled it back and returned, albeit reluctantly, to Google Maps while they searched for a fix.

Well according to reports streaming in from Australia it seems that the Australian police have noticed a hole in the Apple Maps App and are looking into it.  It seems that the App reports places that are located in the middle of a desert as being 40 miles away in a populated area.  Up to six motorists have had to be rescued by the police in an area that hits over 100 degrees and is noticeably devoid of water.  One motorist had been lost in the wilderness for over twenty four hours.

The police state that the Apple mapping system is inherently dangerous.

This is another slam in the face for Apple since the release of iOS6 that has seen senior managers at the company clearing their desks as a result.  As I say, I'd understood that Apple had updated iOS6 to remove the offending app, but of course that depends on users being in WiFi or 3G contact to receive the update.  It also depends on the device settings as to whether the software updates automatically.  And let's not forget that Australia is a big country with lots of remote spaces - it is conceivable that some residents may only have access to update their devices every so often.

But one thing Australia isn't is backwards - it has a vibrant technological user base and Apple is a big part of that.  For example, Australia is second only to the US as far as Apple iBook sales go.  The UK is third.  So it seems inconceivable that many Apple users in Australia are completely oblivious to the furore surrounding the iOS6 upgrade.

Of course, the whole planet is also affected to some degree by the upgrade and are happily using their iPhones, iPads and iPods on a daily basis - well, reasonably happy.  However most of us don't drive into remote desert regions totally reliant on the mapping capabilities of a mobile phone.  If I was venturing anywhere with the potential to get hopelessly and life-threateningly lost then I'd take a dedicated satellite navigation device like a Tom Tom with me.  Or a map, now there's a thing.  In fact, I tend to venture afield with a Sat Nav and a map, but I'm a bit old school like that.

So the Australian police would like Apple to get lost.  Could I suggest that Apple take a copy of Google Maps with them.


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