January 17, 2022

Immediately in Apple historical past: Apple fixes ‘life-threatening’ Maps glitch

December 10: Today in Apple history: Apple fixes Australian Apple Maps glitch December 10, 2012: Apple fixes an Apple Maps error that prompted a number of motorists in Victoria, Australia, to turn into stranded within the distant Murray-Sundown Nationwide Park.

The glitch confirmed the city of Mildura about 45 miles from its precise location. Within the aftermath, Victoria police describe the app as “probably life-threatening.” That’s just about the alternative of “it simply works.”

The trials of Apple Maps

The Murray-Sunset National Park error was simply the newest in a sequence of issues that adopted the discharge of Apple Maps. A extremely anticipated launch in 2012, Apple first confirmed off Apple Maps at that yr’s Worldwide Builders Convention. The corporate shipped the software program with iOS 6.

For the primary time, Apple ditched Google Maps as its default mapping service. Apple Maps additionally supplied some intriguing additions — together with the impressive Flyover feature and the presence of AI assistant Siri.

From the very starting, nonetheless, Apple Maps bumped into issues. Along with warping landscapes and distorting landmarks, it additionally posed extra critical issues. For example, Apple Maps informed drivers to steer the wrong way throughout Fairbanks Airport Taxiway.

Airport advertising director Angie Spear referred to as that specific error proof optimistic that drivers put an excessive amount of religion in navigation programs. “It doesn’t matter what the indicators say, the map on their iPhone informed them to proceed this fashion,” she stated.

Within the aftermath of the Maps debacle, Apple ousted Scott Forstall, senior vice chairman of iOS software program. The rationale? He refused to make a public apology for the Maps issues. And he wasn’t the one casualty in Cupertino. Not lengthy afterward, Richard Williamson — the supervisor accountable for Maps — additionally discovered himself navigated out of Apple.

New CEO Tim Cook dinner admitted that Apple had “screwed up,” promising to place “the whole weight of the corporate behind correcting” the Maps issues. Within the years since, Apple steadily improved its mapping service and added superior options like 3D views of select cities.

A ‘life-threatening’ glitch

In a press release concerning the Mildura mapping mishap, police in Victoria wrote:

“Native Police have been referred to as to help distressed motorists who’ve turn into stranded inside the Murray-Sundown Nationwide Park after following instructions on their Apple iPhone. Checks on the mapping system by police affirm the mapping programs lists Mildura in the midst of the Murray Sundown Nationwide Park, roughly 70km away from the precise location of Mildura. Police are extraordinarily involved as there isn’t any water provide inside the Park and temperatures can attain as excessive as 46 levels, making this a probably life threatening difficulty. A number of the motorists positioned by police have been stranded for as much as 24 hours with out meals or water and have walked lengthy distances by harmful terrain to get telephone reception.”

Curiously, on this event, it’s doable Apple wasn’t entirely responsible for the fault. The Gazetteer of Australia, a grasp listing of greater than 300,000 place names and their coordinates, included two references to Mildura — with one being in the midst of  the Murray-Sundown Nationwide Park, near a spot referred to as Rocket Lake.

In different phrases, Apple Maps was truly taking people to the appropriate coordinates, however the fallacious spot! Nonetheless, Cupertino fastened the glitch.

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