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Developers claim they warned that Apple Maps app wasn't ready

Several developers said they warned Apple against including the company's own "shockingly bad" in-house Maps application in the new iOS 6 operating system, CNET reported this week.

Apple replaced Google's Maps app with its own for iOS 6, the mobile OS that comes installed on the new iPhone 5 and is being pushed out to owners of older iOS devices as well. Users and reviewers have complained about the deficiencies of the new default iOS 6 Maps app, with criticism reaching such a fever pitch that Apple CEO Tim Cook recently took the unusual step of apologising and recommending that people install other Maps applications on their iOS devices, including Google's.

Several developers told CNET that they knew something was very wrong with the iOS 6 Maps app as soon as they got a pre-release version in early June. They "filed bug requests, sent e-mails to specific Apple employees, and vented on message boards only other developers and Apple could see," CNET said.

"I posted at least one doomsayer rant after each (developer) beta, and I wasn't alone. The mood amongst the developers seemed to be that the maps were so shockingly bad that reporting individual problems was futile. What was needed wasn't so much an interface for reporting a single point as incorrect, but for selecting an entire region and saying 'all of this - it's wrong,'" CNET quoted one unnamed developer of iOS apps as saying.

Others among the half dozen sources CNET spoke with said they notified Apple of specific bug complaints concerning "mixed up locations, clouds in satellite imagery, and maps that were less detailed than the ones offered by rival Google." Some were reportedly ignored, while on at least one occasion, Apple responded to a developer by saying that a problem with iOS 6 Maps was "well understood" but offered no information on how it was being addressed, if at all.

When iOS 6 was eventually rolled out with the new Maps app, one developer said the "OS upgrade broke some of the features we built within our application despite being told that only the imagery would be swapped out."

Another opined that Apple should have just waited a bit longer before trying to replace something so fundamental to the smartphone experience as the core Maps application.