Apple Maps: An iOS 6 Letdown (Update 2)

Updated from 3:20 p.m. EST to provide comments regarding Apple Maps from Apple in the thirteenth paragraph.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple's ( AAPL) new mobile operating system became available for download yesterday, and though overall reviews of the new OS are largely positive, there's one feature that's getting taken to the woodshed: Apple Maps.

Apple touted the new mapping feature at its developer conference in June, as it becomes less reliant on Google ( GOOG) for such features. Initial reaction Apple Maps was positive, thanks to its beautiful imaging and 3-D rendering of buildings, cities and roads.

Yet after downloading the new OS, there's been a significant backlash from the blogosphere, as well as social media. TechCrunch noted that the new mapping application is giving cities the wrong names. BGR noted that a place in Kansas was given as the answer to a restaurant search query, even though the restaurant was just 100 feet away from where the person was standing.

A search on Twitter for #iOS6 reveals other complaints about the new app.

Apple is using search data from Yelp ( YELP), TomTom and others for its new Maps application, and it's abundantly clear that their troves of data and information are nowhere near as extensive as Google's.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company has made a few gaffes recently, most notably its decision to lay off Apple Store staff, only to reverse this decision. Apple products, however, haven't had too many problems.

Perhaps the shortcomings in Apple Maps are a sign that Steve Jobs is not around. Apple typically doesn't make mistakes with hardware or software, so this is something to keep an eye on.

Stephen Beck, the founder and managing partner of cg42, believes Apple may have indeed have a crisis on its hands with Apple maps. "When you combine the shortcomings of this release with Apple's recent focus on legal battles with key competitors, it causes one to believe that they have indeed lost their way,' Beck said in an email.

Even with the criticism of the new Apple Maps, though, iOS 6 is being well received, by and large. The New York Times columnist David Pogue told consumers to download the new operating system, despite the problems with the mapping app.

One Facebook user noted that they "loved" the new operating system. "I like that when I'm busy I can ignore a call and still send out a text. "I also love that I can set my alarm to my favorite jams as well as the overall look and feel."

TheStreet's James Rogers was generally impressed with iOS 6 during the iPhone 5 event last week.

Apple has been able to brush off the slight criticisms of its products over the years, but as the company continues to get bigger, the complaints against its products and services are getting louder, and the silence from Cupertino on this is deafening.

Update: Apple has made comments with regard to the mapping feature that's part of iOS 6, admitting that it's a first attempt.

"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," Apple spokeswoman Trudy Miller told AllThingsD. "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."

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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