Apple: sorry about the maps – try Google

Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook apologized Friday to the consumer giant’s customers who were frustrated with glaring errors in its new Maps service, and directed them to rival services instead, such as Google Inc‘s Maps.

Apple launched its own mapping service earlier this month when it rolled out iOS 6, the highly anticipated update to its mobile software platform, and started selling the iPhone 5.

But users have complained that Apple’s new map service – based on Dutch navigation equipment and digital map maker TomTom NV‘s data – contained geographical errors, gaps in information, and that it lacked features that made Google Maps so popular, including public transit directions, comprehensive traffic data or street view pictures.

“We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better,” Cook said in a letter to customers released on its website, adding that the company “fell short” of its commitment to deliver “the best experience possible to our customers.”

He then suggested that customers download rival mapping services available in Apple’s App store, while the company improves the product.

“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,” he said in the letter.

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Apple: sorry about the maps – try Google