Apple’s iOS6 Maps Highlight QA Issue

Posted By Debbie on September 24, 2012

Categories: Business, UX/UI

Tags: Apple, ios6, maps, QA

Cartographer Mike Dobson said it best when he recently wrote, “You cannot read about the errors in Apple Maps without realizing that these maps were being visually examined and used for the first time by Apple’s customers and not by Apple’s QC teams.”

By now, you may have heard all the fuss about the maps in the new version of iOS. Apple wanted to get rid of Google Maps, and push out their own. Yet, people found important areas of cities missing, in the wrong place, and parts of countries missing. This Tumblr has been posting plenty of the laughable mapping problems.

A great question is: how did the maps become so incorrect? How are islands named the wrong thing? How is the country of the Philippines mostly gone?

The better question really is: how did Apple release this?

This looks more like a failing alpha version than something to be released to millions of people worldwide. Which is how we circle back to Dobson’s quote. Where was QA on this? Did nobody open up a single map of where they were to test? Did nobody in QA take a road trip and have it direct them? It would appear so.

How does something like this happen? I’m not really sure. The only answer I have is that Apple isn’t who you think it is. With minimally-designed, highly polished Shiny Objects in stores everywhere, we’ve all come to expect perfection. We associate Microsoft with OOPS and “not tested enough,” and people think Apple is perfect. If nothing else, perhaps people can bring Apple back down to where it should be.

It’s what Apple wants! If Apple wanted you to continue thinking they are perfect and their software always “just works,” they would have taken the time to QA this product. They would have held releasing it until it were ready for prime time.

I remember when Seth Godin compared the Microsoft Zune to Apple’s iPod saying basically if the Zune isn’t so amazing that people will throw away their iPods, why bother making or marketing it? I say the same now. If Apple’s maps aren’t a Google Maps killer, why bother making or marketing them?

Disclaimer: I’m not an Apple fangirl. There are things I like about them. I used to be on Macs. I am not against them. 🙂 I am just not a big fan.