Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Maps Issue For iPhone Overbown But Apple Needs To Appreciate The Uproar

Source:  wired.

Any time one of your features on your service or device doesn’t work as advertised, you as the company or employee should worry.  You have told folks that it works but it doesn’t in reality.  Here, a Wired post argues that RIM’s Blackberry missteps should worry Apple.  Definitely.  It is going to keep Tim Cook up at night?

Let’s take a look at this.  Wired argue that today’s iPhone crowd is nothing like the Mac loyalists who stuck with Apple in the 90s even as it faltered through years of walking in the woods that only Steve Jobs himself (who did his own wondering through the forest) came and put Apple back on track.

That is a valid argument.  Still, the iEcosystem has garnered enough goodwill that users could look beyond the Maps debacle and focus on the larger picture.  The sleek lightweight design along with many new just-works features in iOS 6.  And Siri has improved with new features and the ability to understand and speak other languages.

For those who will abandon Applethe platform just because Maps does not feature StreetView from Google or that there are a lot of errors and blemishes on the app, there is nothing Apple can do.  As promised, Apple can only try to improve the app over time.  After all, Maps is only one of many dozens of new features in iPhone 5 and iOS 6.

And because of that, most iOS users are willing to stick it out with Apple until that happens.

But yes, Apple needs to understand that it can only do this ever so often.  This cannot be a Google-like perpetual beta behavior.  Apple fans have come to appreciate the second-to-none products and services coming out of Cupertino and be subject to being its beta testers.

Having said that, like Siri, Maps is an unique product where it could take years to get better.  And like Siri, it would get better as more and more users use the app and send feedbacks to Apple.

To avoid being all over the place on this issue, Apple has a lot more ropes from users than RIM can hope to have.  You can bet that if RIM doesn’t deliver on the next generation Blackberry devices, it’s over for the Waterloo company.

However, a beta-like Maps app is not going to tarnish Apple’s shine too much.  You can bet that Apple is far from done with innovating its Maps app.  The 3D view is pretty awesome and I can’t wait to see just what else Apple has up its sleeve once this current bump in the road is behind it.

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