September 24, 2012

Perhaps They Should Have Tested More - Apple iOS 6 Maps

Show me the way to go home
I'm tired and I want to go to bed
I had a little drink about one release ago
And it's gone right to my head

Apple's new iOS 6 software update replaces Google Maps with Apple Maps as expected, but so far, unhappy users are panning the change in websites and online forums. copyrightjoestrazzere

Apple is receiving massive backlash from users around the globe, who report that Apple’s replacement maps, “Apple Maps,” are riddled with strange glitches, inaccurate direction and location data, and fall short of Google Maps.
  • Called "an unsightly blemish on what is otherwise a beautiful OS"
  • Train stations have gone missing
  • The Sears Tower in Chicago has been moved to a smaller tower
  • In Ireland, Dublin has been given a new airport where a farm called Airfield currently stands.
  • Searches for London mostly tend to redirect users to the small city of London in Ontario, Canada.
  • Stratford Upon Avon disappeared
Perhaps Apple should have tested more.

An update:

In Apple's CEO writes:
At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

I think I know one thing they can do to make Maps better - test more!

A further update:

The former head of Apple's Maps team, a 10-year veteran, was fired.
Some might argue that he should have been tarred and feathered, but Apple has, reportedly, restrained itself and merely fired iOS 6 Maps chief Richard Williamson.

Perhaps his replacement will want to test more.

This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at


  1. or perhaps App could have been less arrogant and continued with Google Maps

  2. Tarun - I'm not sure it is arrogance, as much as the desire to get an arch competitor's product off of the device. That's business, I guess.

  3. Just out of curiosity (and as a long time software tester), how do you go about testing mapping software? Until Google maps came along in its current form, I've gotten directions to get off the wrong exit; to a national park that was in the wrong state; and re-routing me for miles even though the road in front of me was open.

    It doesn't seem like an application that would be that straightforward to test.

    1. I've not (yet) had the pleasure of testing mapping software. Seems like it would be a fun challenge. Maybe someday I'll have the opportunity.

  4. "Perhaps Apple should have tested more"

    Or perhaps Apple should have listened more to its own testers as well as those who used the maps in the beta phase.

    I think it was a conscious decision to get the new maps into iOS6 even with known bugs.

    1. Yup. Business pressures often dictate that less-than-stable software be released anyway.