Apple’s decision to build its own maps app was an interesting one: yes, now the company doesn’t need to rely as much on Google, but it has also had to offer its users an app that was created without the detailed data Google has been collecting for years. So far, it’s been a bit of a problem.
Within a day of the official release, the complaints started: some cities, bridges and landmarks carried outdated names, stations and city centres were turned into parks, and some areas lost rivers and lakes. While Google Street View users were given turtles, Apple users have had to make do with melting buildings. An employee at London’s Hackney Wick station even penned a helpful note to travellers, suggesting they pick up a nice old-fashioned map instead.
1. The Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands
It’s bad enough Apple’s Maps app duplicated the Asian islands, but the fact that the land is currently in the centre of a dispute between China and Japan makes it even worse. Both countries are laying claim to the islands (called the Diaoyus in China and Senkakus in Japan), and the Maps mistake has weibo users calling for boycotts of the company. But as Tech in Asia has pointed out, duplicating the islands may be Apple’s way of solving the dispute: each country can now claim a set of islands for itself.
2. It’s a sunny day in Cape Town
If you’re planning a trip to the southern suburbs in Cape Town, South Africa, you may have to spot the roads in between the white fluff: the area is partially obscured by clouds. Other weather problems that have been spotted include strange stripes of snow in Switzerland and a patchwork of clear blue seas, clouds and, um, the colour grey, in the US.
3. Dublin, that’s not the airport.
Apple Maps seems to have bestowed Dublin, Ireland with another airport. Despite the name, Airfield Park is actually an estate with a farm, gardens, shop and café, contrary to what Apple’s icons may suggest. The Irish government has reportedly asked Apple to switch to an icon bearing a cow, a goat, a sheep, a flower or any other type of plant, which would be more appropriate.
4. Heatwave in Las Vegas
5. Killer plants in New York
What is that big green block marching into the road? It looks like a bush that’s come alive and headed into the bus lane. Just another day in a post-apocalyptic city with the ghosts of cars on the streets and dark derelict buildings.
6. The Bondi Beach extension
Australia’s famous Bondi Beach received an Apple Maps makeover — it helpfully extended the beach into the bay and made the actual beach look like a park.
7. Auckland station
If you’re a gullible tourist trying to find Auckland station in New Zealand, you may be under the impression that you’d need to swim across the harbour to get there. There is another station near the harbour, but it definitely isn’t in the middle of the sea.
8. The lost Apple stores
It seems that Apple’s Maps app even has difficulty locating physical Apple stores — even if you can actually see the shop labled on the map, its search function can’t find results in some cities. In others, the app sticks a pin in the wrong place — like across the street from the actual store.
9. Spell check is important
If you’re looking for (or live in) Doncaster in England, you may spot a tiny problem with Apple’s representation of the town. Hint: it’s not called “Duncaster”, whatever the app says.
10. The amazing moving cities
A number of towns have been displaced from their real world locations in the app. From Cairns in Australia to Tårnby in Denmark, users have been surprised to find their town off course. In the case of Tårnby, the town was moved to an island in the strait separating Denmark and Sweden, which is actually a nature reserve.