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13 December 20120 Comments by Jon M

Apple Maps deemed “life-threatening”

An Australian police department has warned that the error-ridden Maps software provided with the latest iPhones is potentially “life-threatening”. The warnings come after at least four people have found themselves stranded in completely inhospitable conditions due to errors in the navigation software on Apple’s flagship iPhone. iOS 6 users have ended up stranded miles away from habitation in the Australian outback as the sweltering summer approaches.

apple mapsThe police department from a small town called Mildura posted an official warning to motorists requesting that they don’t use Apple’s Maps software when driving to the town. It turns out that drivers coming from Adelaide in the West had been led to completely the wrong place trying to find the town.

Instead of coming to the metropolis of 30,000 people, they ended up completely lost at a location over 50 miles away where the Maps app erroneously placed the town. The incorrect location was in the middle of Australia’s second-largest National Park in Sunset country and being stuck without adequate liquids, shelter and supplies can be incredibly dangerous in the barren wilderness. Locals said that there is no water to be found and at temperatures can easily reach 46°C.

One man recently had to be rescued was trapped for over 24 hours in the National Park. An additional problem is that there is limited mobile phone reception as the area is so vast and people might have to walk some distance to get in contact with the outside world. As temperatures are rising toward the peak of the Australian summer, increasing concerns prompted the police departments to issue the official warning.

This is not the first time that inaccuracies and errors in the latest version of Apple’s iOS 6 Maps software has caused headlines. We first reported on the numerous mistakes back when it was first released. Apple decided to remove the ability of iPhone owners to use Google’s map software and instead force them to use their own. However, until now it’s been more of a humorous curiosity or annoying inconvenience rather than something truly dangerous. Apple had to move quickly to update the maps to fix this particular error and avoid any more serious incidents in Australia.

Since the ill-fated launch of the error-ridden Apple Maps app, there’s been much embarrassment for the American firm. A number of senior management is were fired including the head software group Scott Forstall. Even worse, Chief executive Tim Cook had to climb down an issue a humiliating public apology for the many errors and mistakes.

So much for a new iPhone killer – it seems that Apple Maps is making it more of a Killer iPhone 🙂

What do you think? Do people rely too much on technology these days to the expense of common sense? Is this merely a case for having a backup paper atlas? And do you think that Apple has taken too long to sort out the errors in the latest version of Maps?

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