|In a rare open letter, Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued a formal apology for problems with the iOS 6 version of Maps. "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," Cook writes.
"We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS," he goes on. "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."
Users of iOS 6 Maps have complained about inaccuracies, missing features, and instances of badly-rendered graphics. Apple is believed to have abandoned Google content largely over the absence of turn-by-turn directions, even though it had over a year left on its contract, and Google had comprehensive coverage and a wide range of features. Google is said to be working on a standalone Google Maps app for iOS, but hinted that it may still be some months before it reaches the App Store.