Apple CEO Tim Cook: We blew it with iOS Maps, so try Bing Maps instead

They're likely celebrating at Microsoft today, because when Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized for the iOS Maps fiasco, his first recommendation for an alternative is Bing Maps.

In his apology, Cook didn't go into details about just how badly iOS Maps works -- or more to the point, doesn't work. As Computerworld notes:

Almost immediately after the launch of iOS 6 on Sept. 19, users who updated their existing iPhones began griping that Apple's new Maps app was substandard at best, a debacle at worst. They cited the lack of public transit maps, wild inaccuracies, off-kilter points-of-interest, Salvador Dali-like images, vacant countrysides, missing streets and addresses, and more.

Cook's apology doesn't go into any of those details. Instead, his open letter begins:

"At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better."

The rest of the letter is the usual marketing-speak, with one exception: He makes specific recommendations about mapping apps that iOS users could turn to instead of Maps. And the first one he mentions is Bing, with its mapping application. (He mentions others apps as well, including MapQuest and Waze, as well as recommending people use the Web-based version of Google Maps and Nokia maps.)

When people think of mapping, they think of Google Maps, and very rarely Bing Maps. But Bing Maps is a winner. Like Google Maps, it doesn't just offer maps, but also driving, walking, and mass transit directions, as well as traffic information. There's location-based business information.

But there's more than that as well, including some very nifty add-ons such as one that shows the prices of gas at nearby gas stations, a taxi fare calculator, and a parking finder.

So Apple's loss may well be Microsoft's gain. Bing Maps deserves more attention, and Apple's map fiasco just gave it some.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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