New iPhone operating system gets mixed reviews from students

A screenshot of Apple Maps app, new to iOS 6.

The hype around iPhone 5 and its new system update has died down, but the new Apple Maps program remains controversial. Is the new Apple Maps just the punchline of an Apple joke, or is the new system really that much of a downgrade?

Google Maps has been installed on every iPhone since 2007. To many users, iPhones have become a personal GPS. However, with the release of the iOS 6 system update, Apple removed Google Maps from the phone. This change has been met with criticism from many iPhone users.

The last problem Apple faced with a phone launch was in 2010, when the iPhone 4 had signal issues due to the metal sides of the phone touching users’ faces during phone calls. They offered a solution by sending every customer a free case that would solve the signal problems.

However, Apple has yet to offer any new solutions to the map problem except for using other map applications from the App Store.

Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed these problems in an apology letter published on the company’s website.

“With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short,” Cook said.

From a business perspective, although there was no real need to remove Google Maps, it was a decision that was overdue. Apple’s change really was not that unexpected.

Apple has always been focused on having complete control over its products. It is surprising that Apple kept the third party program installed on every iPhone for so long, especially since Google’s Android is a direct competitor.

The iPhone and Google maps were so synonymous that no one really stopped to think how Google was supporting their competition. I am surprised Google was not the one to pull Google Maps from the iPhone first.

Other students had mixed opinions regarding the new iPhone and software update.

“It’s actually easier to scroll through the directions. I used it this weekend and I had no problems finding my destination,” Kelly Pettus said.

Conversely, sophomore elementary education major Bentleigh Barnett said she got lost using the new map program.

“It doesn’t recognize certain addresses and last weekend it sent me to a wrong location,” Barnett said.

Rob White, a senior computer science major, said he has not run into any problems, but the new iPhone seems underdeveloped.

“It was released too early. I haven’t had any problems with Apple Maps, but I believe that it’s the maps outside of America that aren’t very good. I also think people are just looking for reasons to jump on Apple,” White said.

Jasmine Crespo, a senior finance major, also had issues.

“At first I really liked it but then I started having problems trying to find destinations. It’s definitely a downgrade, but it’s not to the point where I’m going to stop using it,” Crespo said.

In his apology letter, Cook sought to assure Apple customers of coming better days.

“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,” Cook said in the letter.

Although Cook insists that Apple is working hard to fix Apple Maps, it is unclear how long it will take for these solutions to materialize.