Dutch satellite navigation specialists TomTom may already provide mapping technologies to Apple for its new iOS 6 Maps service, but the company has said it is more than willing to help Apple fix errors in its software to calm user backlash.
While TomTom’s vice-president consumer business Caroline Fisher told Reuters “we stand by the quality of our maps,” the company would help Apple fix issues that included the incorrect classification of landmarks, bad positioning, poor 3D rendering and other mapping related errors.
TomTom licenses its map data to Apple (but it is not the only one), but it is up to the iOS device maker to apply its data to their own apps. RIM is another licensee of the company’s data, but its own dedicated maps app and data will not be made public until the company releases its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones.
With iPhone and iPad users taking to forums, websites and social media platforms to voice their displeasure at the Maps app, Apple released a statement noting that the new Maps app was a “major initiative,” adding “The more people use it, the better it will get.”
Its full statement:
Customers around the world are upgrading to iOS 6 with over 200 new features including Apple Maps, our first map service. We are excited to offer this service with innovative new features like Flyover, turn by turn navigation, and Siri integration. We launched this new map service knowing it is a major initiative and that we are just getting started with it. Maps is a cloud-based solution and the more people use it, the better it will get. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.
According to All Things D’s John Paczkowski Apple’s Maps team is currently “under lockdown right now working to fix it.”
Apple is hoping that with increased usage, it will be able to crowdsource more mapping data and improve their quality over time. However, with many used to the quality of Google Maps in iOS 5, Apple finds itself racing to improve mapping features to compete with its rival.
TomTom’s offer begs the question of whether its intervention would enable a better experience on iOS devices. TomTom found itself playing catch-up when Google and Navteq released their own mapping services, as smartphone use started booming.
However, it has signed a number of lucrative partnerships with mobile companies over the past few years.
TomTom wouldn’t confirm whether Apple had contacted them to take them up on its offer.
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