Police warn Apple Maps flaw could be deadly
By Nick Thompson
(CNN) — Inaccurate, inconvenient, ill-conceived … now add “potentially life-threatening” to the list of words being used to describe flaws in Apple’s much maligned maps app.
Police in Mildura, Australia are warning drivers to be careful about using Apple Maps to find the city, which the app has placed more than 40 miles (70 kilometers) away in the Outback.
Calling it a “potentially life-threatening issue,” police say the mapping system lists Mildura, a city of 30,000 people, as being in the middle of Murray-Sunset National Park.
Several motorists have had to be rescued by police from the park, which police say has no water supply and where temperatures can reach a blistering 46 degrees Celsius (114 Fahrenheit).
“Some of the motorists located by police have been stranded for up to 24 hours without food or water and have walked long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception,” Mildura police said in a statement.
“Police have contacted Apple in relation to the issue and hope the matter is rectified promptly to ensure the safety of motorists travelling to Mildura. Anyone travelling to Mildura or other locations within Victoria should rely on other forms of mapping until this matter is rectified.”
Apple spokesman Adam Howorth would not comment on the Australian police allegations, but told CNN that Apple is “working hard to fix Maps.”
Rival systems to Apple’s, including Google Maps, listed Mildura in the correct location, northeast of Murray-Sunset National Park.
Apple Maps, which replaced the Google Maps app on Apple mobile devices when the tech giant released its iOS 6 platform in September, has been widely panned by critics and users alike.
Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized for Maps shortly after its release. In a September letter posted on Apple’s website, Cook wrote: “We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”
Senior executive Scott Forstall — who oversaw the tech giant’s mobile software unit before leaving the company in October — was reported by the Wall Street Journal to have been forced out of Apple after refusing to apologize for Maps.
Apple told CNN it doesn’t comment on “rumors or speculation.”
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