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#1
Old 10-01-2012, 09:07 PM
TensionKiller
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Default Apple apologises for Maps switch 'frustration'

Apple's chief executive has penned an apology following a barrage of criticism caused by its switch to a new maps system.

Tim Cook acknowledged that users had been frustrated by the move and repeated a pledge to improve the software.

In the meantime he suggested users download an alternative product from one of its rivals.

A link to the letter appears on the firm's home page.

Although the company has issued several apologies over recent months, this one is unusual for its prominence and the fact it was written by Mr Cook himself.

Other examples since July include a letter from the firm's former head of hardware engineering saying that ditching a green ratings scheme had been "a mistake"; a statement acknowledging that changes to its retail stores had been made in error; and emails to iCloud users apologising for an interruption to their email service.
'Frustration'

"At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customer," Mr Cook wrote in the latest case.

Rory Cellan-Jones: 'You only need to find a few mistakes and then you've got a big hoo-ha'

"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."
Apple screenshot Apple's apology features prominently on its homepage

He noted that more than 100 million mobile device users had upgraded to the new iOS software, replacing a Google-powered maps app with Apple's own software which relies on licensed navigation data.

"While we're improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app," he added.
Bizarre images

The Amazing iOS 6 Maps blog has documented the many errors with Apple's new system.

Examples include satellite maps that only show cloud cover, towns located in the wrong place, missing bodies of water, absent roads, incorrectly spelt place names and suggested driving directions that would take users on odd routes.

In addition some of the 3D rendered images look bizarre including a flattened Eiffel Tower, cars that appear to have melted into roads and a road that looks like it has plunged into the US's Hoover Dam.

The product led the New York Times' tech columnist David Pogue, who is often complimentary about Apple's efforts, to write: "Maps is an appalling first release. It may be the most embarrassing, least usable piece of software Apple has ever unleashed."

John Gruber, a tech blogger who closely follows Apple, said his sources had confirmed that Apple had until midway through 2013 to run on its licence deal with Google.

He added that it had decided to act now in order to add turn-by-turn directions to its offering without having to concede extra branding rights or permission for further data collection to the search giant.
App Store screenshot Apple has started promoting a maps section in its iOS App Store
'Unusual move'

Although owners of older iOS devices have had the option to avoid the system upgrade - forfeiting other improvements - consumers buying the new iPhone 5 have had no option but to use the current Maps app as the device's default option.

One tech analyst said Apple's own users would now prove key to the product's improvement.

"This apology is definitely an unusual move for Apple and it shows that the current service isn't up to its usual standards," said Thomas Husson from Forrester.

"Strategically Apple had to provide a service on its own, not just because it is competing with Google's Android service and lacked turn-by-turn directions, but also because it had to build up its own proprietary data.

"The timing may not have been what it wanted it to be, but it will now be able to crowdsource improvements from the millions of customers who are using the service over the coming months."

Another company watcher suggested that Mr Cook's decision to highlight alternative mapping products was intended to prevent the issue from damaging sales of its new devices.

"This reads like not only an admission of poor quality but also that the product wasn't ready to go to market - Apple took a chance and it didn't pay off," Chris Green, principal technology analyst at Davies Murphy Group Europe, told the BBC.

"This is the worst possible time of year to potentially dampen iPhone 5 sales as the Christmas shopping months will be the most lucrative period in the product's lifecycle.
Screenshot comparing Google and Apple maps Users have complained that roads shown on Google's maps (left) are missing from Apple's (right)

"Apple has realised it is not worth damaging sales over something as trivial as maps and they won't lose any revenues by diverting people to products that work."
Apology appeal

Despite the number of recent public apologies Apple is proving resistant to issuing one to Samsung.

Lawyers from the companies attended the first day of a hearing at the Court of Appeal in London to discuss applications by both parties to challenge different parts of a recent design rights judgement.

Apple is resisting a demand that it should publish an advert in UK newspapers and on its website acknowledging that the South Korean firm had not infringed the registered design of the iPad.

A judge issued the original ruling after rejecting Apple's lawsuit on the grounds that Samsung's Galaxy Tab computer were "not as cool" as the US firm's.

Google maps on left... Apple fail on right.

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#2
Old 10-01-2012, 09:10 PM
TensionKiller
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Default

Apple faces scrutiny over product warranties

Apple faces scrutiny over product warranties
Shopper looks at Apple's laptops The advice Apple gives to customers about warranties is being probed across Europe.
Continue reading the main story
Related Stories



The way Apple tells customers about product warranties is being scrutinised across Europe.

The European Commission has asked members to find out if Apple is letting customers know about their right to a minimum two-year warranty.

Consumer groups in 11 nations have complained that Apple has emphasised its own after-care service over statutory protections.

Apple said its service gave different protections to customers.

Bloomberg reported that Europe's Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has written to member states to check if Apple's advertising mentioned the two-year minimum warranty.

Ms Reding said in many cases Apple was only mentioning the one-year warranty it offered rather than the statutory protection. "These are unacceptable marketing practices," wrote Ms Reding.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment but referred Bloomberg to information about statutory protections on its website.

In late 2011, Apple was fined 750,000 (900,000 euros; $1.21m) by Italian competition authorities who argued in court that it had not done enough to let people know about their rights under EU consumer laws.

Those laws say firms must replace a product if it does not work when it is first taken out of its box and switched on. By contrast, Apple's paid-for service contract provides for a replacement if the gadget breaks once it starts to be used.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19788361
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#3
Old 10-01-2012, 09:11 PM
TensionKiller
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Default


Launched and closed within a month LOL.


Apple launches social network for music called Ping

Apple has launched a social network as part of the latest version of its iTunes software.

Ping, as it is known, allows users to build networks of friends and professional musicians, in a similar way to services such as Twitter.

The service also builds playlists based on what friends are listening to.

Analysts said it represents a challenge to existing music-based social networks such as MySpace.

"It's a social network all about music," said Mr Jobs, launching the application at an event in San Francisco.

"We think this will be really popular very fast because 160 million people can switch it on today," he said.

The service will be accessible through iTunes 10 software on Macs and PCs as well as through the iTunes application on iPhones and the iPod Touch.
Network killer?

Analysts at research firm CCS Insight said it represented an "ambitious move" that would present a challenge to "ailing MySpace and other social networks".

Michael Gartenberg, partner with research firm Altimeter group, agreed.

"MySpace is the one that has to look at what this means to them and will probably face the greatest competition from Ping in the short term," he told BBC News.
Continue reading the main story
***8220;Start Quote

It sounds like a subset of Facebook, but Facebook is life and this is music***8221;

Steve Wozniak Apple co-founder

"They are going to have to figure out a way to differentiate themselves because Apple is already where I am buying my music and this is a natural extension. You wonder why the music industry collectively hasn't thought of this before."

MySpace has traditionally attracted musicians, who use the site to share their own music and discover other artists. However, its growth has stagnated at around 60 million users and many people have migrated to other networks such as Facebook.

"Ping destroys whatever was left of MySpace's market share," said Xeni Jardin, co editor of the technology blog Boing Boing. "It remains to be seen what kind of competition it poses for Facebook."

But Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told BBC News that Ping was not about taking audiences away from other networks.

"It sounds like a subset of Facebook, but Facebook is life and this is music."

Mr Jobs billed it as a new way to discover music.
Continue reading the main story
Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils Ping, a social network for music

The ups and downs of social networks

The service allows users to create their own profile on iTunes, which details friends lists, what music they are listening to and which concerts they will attend.

It will also show a top 10 list of songs and albums their friends and the artists they follow are downloading from iTunes.

The network may challenge the social ambitions of other services such as Spotify and Last.fm.

Spotify, for example, allows users to share playlists and their favourite artists via Facebook. Users can also import their songs from iTunes, which they can then share via Spotify.

Last.fm allows users to tracks other users' listening habits on iTunes.

But iTunes, with 160 million users, dwarfs both services. Last.fm has about 40 million users while Spotify has just 7 million.

Mr Jobs said that since launch, nearly 12 billion music tracks had been downloaded from the Apple site.
Continue reading the main story
***8220;Start Quote

The battle for the living room has been heating up for a while; now that Apple has reloaded its weapons, the fight just got more interesting***8221;

Maggie Shiels BBC technology reporter

Read Maggie's thoughts in full

However, early reviews of Ping have not been all favourable some claiming that it offers the same music recommendations for all users. Others have complained that it does not allow people to import contacts from other social networks and services.
Reverse strategy

Mr Jobs also used the event to introduce an updated version of its Apple TV, which can be plugged into a television set and used to stream movies and TV shows from iTunes.

The original product has been around since 2007, but has never been a success for Apple. Mr Jobs has in the past described it as a "hobby".

"We've sold a lot of them, but it's never been a huge hit," he said.

The new version will only allow people to rent content rather than buy it. All shows and movies will be high-definition.

Initially, it will only offer TV shows from two studios: Fox and ABC.

"We think the rest of the studios will see the light and get on board pretty fast with us," said Mr Jobs.
Steve Jobs at keynote Mr Jobs also introduced new versions of the iPod Nano and Shuffle

It would offer the "largest online library of movies to rent in the world", he added.

The box will also allow US users to stream films from rental services such as Netflix and access online services such as Flickr and YouTube.

It will also stream video from other devices, such as the iPad via its Airplay technology, formerly known as AirTunes .

Ian Fogg, an analyst at Forrester, said the device turned the traditional digital home model on its head.

"Apple's strategy is around the person and personal devices - the iPhone, the iPod and iPad," he told BBC News.

"The classic technology strategy is to have a box with lots of media on it in the home that streams content to those devices. Instead Apple is enabling people to stream their content from their personal device to a household device.

"By doing that they have managed to make the Apple TV quieter, smaller and cheaper."

Although the box will be available in seven countries at launch, TV show rentals and Netflix connectivity will only be available in the US.

The event in San Francisco also showed off a new range of iPods and previewed software updates for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

The software included an application called Games Center that allows people to play multiplayer video games on their devices.
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