Apple: Here Are Some Map Apps That Actually Work
When Tim Cook said this morning that Apple is doing everything it can to make its not-quite-ready-for-primetime Maps app better, he took the unusual step of directing frustrated users to alternative applications and Web-based services from the company’s rivals. Now the company has gone a step further and begun promoting those alternatives on the iTunes App Store.
This morning, a new “Featured” category appeared in the App Store: “Find maps for your iPhone/iPad.” It showcases mapping apps from MapQuest, Microsoft’s Bing, Waze and TeleNav, among others, and it’s being promoted on the front page of the storefront. Apple has also posted a new page on its Web site explaining how to add Web site icons for Google and Nokia maps to an iOS device.
Another unusual move. Unprecedented, too. But it’s a very savvy one from a PR standpoint. It reinforces the idea that the company cares about the user experience and makes Cook’s apology that much more genuine. It also might go a long way toward stanching defections to alternative platforms with strong mapping solutions. And while it doesn’t make the pain of this particular debacle any easier to bear for Apple, the fact that the company is taking a cut of the sales on the mapping apps it’s recommending certainly doesn’t hurt any.