Surviving the Mapocalypse: Apple's map app careens off-course

Apple's Maps is so spectacularly bad it's inspired its own Internet meme. Funny? You bet. But it's also proof that the Jobs era truly is over

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The Real Dan Lyon asks a key question: How did the fanboys who wrote such over-the-top reviews of Jesus Phone 5 manage to miss all this?

If the new maps app is truly this bad, how come none of those glowing first-round reviews made any mention of this fact? Thousands of words were devoted to the thinness, the lightness, the wonderful way it feels when you hold it in your hand, but there was hardly a quibble about maps.

If nothing else, Mapocalypse is proof that the Jobs reality distortion field is still holding, even if Steve is no longer with us. As John Paczkowski points out, that field is so strong it's even distorting the maps.

Remember that this is not some inconsequential thing. Maps are important. Location is everything in the mobile future. Things like augmented reality that show you all the services near you at any time (along with ads for those services) are going to be standard on mobile devices in just a few years. That's the whole reason why Apple finally chucked Google and went with its own app. They didn't want their primary competitor owning this vital piece of the puzzle.

The question I have to ask, though, is this: Do you think this would have happened if Steve J. were still at the helm? Does anyone believe he would have let this app slip out the door in this condition and then say "Don't worry, it will get better, eventually"? There would have been an earthquake in Cupertino if that happened. His rage would have set off seismographs all over the West Coast.

Maybe that's happening now. Maybe Tim Cook is calling an all-hands meeting to discuss how his team managed to screw up so badly. But I doubt it. To me, Mapocalypse is the clearest indication yet that we are truly in the post-Jobs era. And that's not good news for Apple fans.

Where were you when the maps went out? Post your thoughts on Mapocalypse below or email me: cringe@infoworld.com.

This article, "Surviving the Mapocalypse: Apple's map app careens off-course," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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