You may have read this morning, that Apple’s maps app could have caused the death of several people in Australia who were lead astray from their destination. Australian Police contacted Apple after they had come to the recuse of some hikers who were led severely off course in their attempts to find the small town of Mildura, located in the state of Victoria, Australia. The victims were lead through some pretty rough terrain, where there was no water or food and temperatures reached 46 degree Celsius (or 114 degrees Fahrenheit). The issue became serious after Police had to rescue the four people, one of whom was lost for over 24 hours in the blistering heat. The problem is that once a person is lost, it can take a long while to find cellular reception to make a call for help, again, throwing people off their known position.
Apple, who has had severe problems with their in-house mapping software since ditching Google’s maps with iOS 6, has been trying feverishly to update their app. As of Monday, Apple has fixed the location of Mildura and so the Police of the Victoria area have updated their website from telling citizens to stay away from Apple’s maps, to showing that Apple has updated the map app with the correct location, but haven’t outwardly expressed to users that they feel the app is now safe.
Even with Apple fixing the problem, this issue has now occurred and has caused more bad press for the Cupertino giant, as websites and news outlets all over the world are covering this story. If Tim Cook was upset at how the maps app was launched and as a result fired Scott Forstall, I can’t imagine how he must be feeling now, knowing that their app could have caused serious injury, or even death, to one of its customers. If anything, I wonder how Scott Forstall feels, knowing that he oversaw this project, boasted about its features and then refused to acknowledge its faults when it failed.