Apple Enlists Retail Store Employees To Help Improve iOS 6 Maps App

Google Maps

While Apple’s iOS 6 Maps app offers new features such as 3D Flyover and the much needed turn-by-turn voice navigation, users have criticized it for the lack of public transit information, inaccuracies in Apple’s mapping data, errors in locating points of interest and sometimes weird 3D mapping imagery.

On Friday, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has apologized for iOS 6 Maps in an open letter to customers.

He also made a remarkable suggestion that while the company was improving Map, they try alternative mapping apps such as MapQuest, Bing, Waze etc. and web-based mapping services from Google and Nokia.

Reports have claim that the team assigned to the Maps app is under lockdown right now working to fix it.

MacRumors has just reported that Apple has also started a pilot program, where it has asked retail store employees to help improve the quality of the Maps app in iOS 6 by reporting errors in the mapping database. Apple has over 40,000 retail employees around the world.

Apple is piloting a program to tap into its vast number of retail store employees to help improve the company’s new Maps app for iOS 6. Details on the initiative remain unclear, but multiple sources have indicated that participating stores will dedicate 40 hours of staff time per week, distributed among a number of employees, to manually examine Apple’s mapping data in their areas and submit corrections and improvements. ifoAppleStore posted a Tweet a short time ago indicating that it too has received information on the effort. 

It is not clear how Apple will handle the program, but MacRumors reports that changes to Maps will be submitted through a dedicated internal portal.

While it seems like a smart move, it remains to be seen how much time it will take Apple to make significant improvements to the Maps app and how it plans to handle the inaccuracies in data in countries where it does not have a retail presence.

[via MacRumors]