Are you one of the lucky millions holding an iPhone 5 today, on the day after iDay?

No? Well, don’t feel too bad. Really, it’s ok.

Yes, it’s true. The hardware on the newer model is undeniably far superior, (A6 chip swoon) but thanks to Apple’s love of consistency across devices, we all get to experience the promised land that is iOS 6. Chances are, if you have an earlier generation iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod Touch, you’ve already invested the 45 minutes to an hour it takes to download and install iOS 6 over WiFi. After you did that, you probably wasted little time before launching and trying out one of the most talked about new features of the OS: Apple Maps.

…And, if you’re anything like most of the iWorld right now, you probably hate its silicon guts, like it just spilled a drink on your Sergio Rossi loafers.

Take a deep breath. No iSmashing.

First of all, let’s call things what they are. Apple Maps is broken as fuck. But what does that mean, exactly? How badly did Apple truly fornicate the proverbial canine?

For years, whenever anyone asked me why I preferred an iPhone to the many Android options available, my answer was always the same. That yes, it was true the Android OS had some features, like turn-by-turn directions, for instance, that the Apple OS simply didn’t have. “You know what?” I would say with a smirk, “Apple may not incorporate every feature right away, but when they finally do, they tend to blow everyone else out of the water.”

It’s true. See Copy and Paste for a glaring example, and iMessage for a far more elegant one.


Apple Maps really wanted to send me to McDonald’s.


In the case of Apple Maps, however, this is not what has happened. Apple Maps does not surpass the previous OS’s Google Maps offering in any real way. Yes, if offers a very pretty Flyover 3D feature, and turn-by-turn directions, but it also relies on 3rd Party apps for public transportation directions, and to hear some people say it, the mapping data itself is unreliable enough to warrant claims that Apple is secretly trying to kill us all.

On this end, the whole thing is pretty astounding, and kind of chuckle-worthy, in its own way.

As a city-dwelleer who has learned to trust the old Maps app with getting her places with minimal reality checks (i.e.: Making sure that Starbucks actually exists, and isn’t actually a crack den), I am affected by this in ways that could impact my caffeine consumption, thus making this an immediate problem.

Much like the Great Antennamaggedon of 2o1o, a design-flaw like this is a reminder to us iPeople that Apple products are designed by regular old humans after all. Apple products may be useful, unique and amazingly consistent, but they are also the labor of mortals, and what’s more, mortals that happen to work for a corporation that is now in direct competition with Google. You know, the same people who made Google Maps.

The true fornicating with the canis lupus familiaris then, isn’t in a design flaw that isn’t physical, and can eventually be corrected via software updates. It is in jeopardizing the very thing that make iPhones, iPads and iMacs so special. It is in placing the focus more squarely in competitive strategies, and moving it away from releasing the best product possible. This is quite plainly, not the way Apple is supposed to behave, and it does worry me a bit.

Then again, maybe Google truly is Skynet, and Steve Jobs was sent from the future to found the one company capable of stopping a horrible future from happening.

Or, as Tom Scott argues, this whole thing might be just one quantum-level misunderstanding.