Apple put an open letter from Tim Cook to customers on Apple’s web site. (I got it from Mashable.)
To our customers,
At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.
We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.
There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.
While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.
Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.
I’ve now had a week with my iPhone 5.
On the positive side, the ever-so-slightly-longer phone feels fine in my hands and I’m definitely noticing (in a good way) the lighter weight and thinner body. The camera is fantastic – I think it beats the pants off the iPhone 4s camera. (I think Panorama mode on the iPhone works better than on any “regular” camera I’ve ever owned.) Aside from the clarity of images and the improved low light performance, it’s just faster – no more interminable shutter lag. Everything feels faster on the iPhone 5.
On the negative side, it seems as if battery life is not as good as with the 4s. It also seems to me that the antenna is not as good – I have no proof for this, just a feeling. These two things might actually be connected.
I live in an area with famously miserable cell phone reception. At my desk at home, if the phone is on the right side of the desk it drops down to 2G and I have 2 bars. If I move the phone just 2 feet to the left side of the desk, it reads “no service.” I’ve read that when the signal sucks, the phone uses more energy searching for a decent signal to lock onto and that would obviously increase battery usage. Perhaps Apple will address this in a future iOS update.
I’m also getting killed with iMessage. I’ve sat on the MTR trying to send text messages via iMessage to friends and sat there staring at the messages not going out for minutes that seem to stretch into eternity.
Maps? Yeah. I tried MapQuest – it works for Hong Kong but isn’t much better than Apple’s map. So I’m using Google Maps via the web site – it’s not as quick as a native app but it works.
Speaking of apps, I came across something that’s been out for close to a year but I didn’t know about. It’s called Hong Kong Taxi Translator. You can search by street, place, building, shopping mall and more. You get the name in English, Chinese and pinyin and press one more button and it prepares a larger sized “card” that you can show to taxi drivers. You can also add the ones you frequently use to a list of favorites.
I always try to know the Cantonese names of the places I’m going to but too often the drivers have problems with my miserable accent.
Me: Hang Hau
Them: Bin doh?
Me: Hang Hau
Me: Hang Hau
Them: Oh, Hang Hau
Me: Um, yeah
So I’ve been using this for a few days and it seriously works. It’s not 100% complete but I’ve found 90% of the places I’ve searched for are listed here and apparently they update their database from time to time and you can refresh the database even if there’s no new update for the app. US$0.99 and well worth it.