Apple Testing Maps Notifications to Inform Users of Fixed Problems

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple seems to be testing a new notification feature in its Maps application, based on a report and screenshots captured by a MacRumors reader.

    The user reported an error to Apple in the Maps app on April 6 and was given an option to receive a notification when the issue was resolved, with Apple sending a push notification on April 8 indicating the problem had been fixed.

    It appears that the feature is still in testing at this point and it is unclear when it might be made available to all users. The initial user who first spotted the feature says that the option has only appeared intermittently, and at least two MacRumors forum users were able to confirm that they had seen it as well. MacRumors has been unable to reproduce it.

    While Apple has allowed users to report errors since Maps first debuted in September of 2012, the company has not previously provided notifications that let users know when a problem has been fixed. Notably, Google currently includes support for a similar feature in its mapping service, notifying users via email about the progress of a reported problem or suggested edit.

    News of the notification feature comes as Apple continues to work hard on improving its mapping app after facing significant criticism over data inaccuracies when the app first launched alongside iOS 6. Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly apologized for Maps after the problematic launch, stating that the company was "extremely sorry" for the frustration it had caused, promising to work "non stop" until Maps was improved.

    Maps notifications would allow users to know that Apple is actively listening to reports and working diligently on fixing errors. Apple's mapping application has been notable for providing potentially dangerous information at times, as it has directed drivers in Alaska onto an airport taxiway used by the Fairbanks International Airport and directed motorists in Victoria, Australia to the middle of the wilderness.

    Screenshots showing the correction notification:

    Push notification and notice that Maps data has been corrected​
    Apple has hired dozens of "ground truth" experts around the world to improve the quality of its mapping service and acquired a number of mapping apps throughout the past year, including HopStop, Locationary, BroadMap, and Embark. It is also likely that Apple features major improvements to the Maps app in iOS 8, such as adding transit directions for the first time and enhancing points of interest.

    Thanks Michael

    Article Link: Apple Testing Maps Notifications to Inform Users of Fixed Problems
  2. macs4nw macrumors 601


    Getting better all the time…..let's see what improvements and additions iOS8 brings to Maps.
  3. Goldfrapp macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2005
    "Steve, it's now safe to drive off the highway bridge."
  4. SBlue1, Apr 9, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014

    SBlue1 macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2008
    I have to admit Apple fixed my home street name. After two dozen reports and 18 months though. :D

    So finally friends can use their iPhones to get directions to my place.
  5. scott523 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2006
    Saint Charles, MO
    This is perfect. It'll be way better than Google Maps' email notification.
  6. CrazyForApple macrumors 6502a


    Dec 31, 2012
    Buffalo, NY
    That is actually really nice so now I know when they fixed it instead of keep on checking it out
  7. sixrom macrumors 6502a

    Nov 13, 2013
    Citation required for proof. Otherwise it's mere guesswork.
  8. dallardice macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2008
    Does this mean they will actually start to make changes? Apple Maps still has a McDonalds at the end of my road. It's actually half a mile away. I told them the first day I had access to Apple Maps as a developer. There are numerous changes I've reported more than once that have still not been made.

    I guess we don't have "ground truth" experts in the UK. One walk down one of London's primary shopping streets would fix most of the errors I've reported.
  9. SeaFox macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2003
    Somewhere Else
    Yeah! With a push notification, it will be actively popping up on your screen, instead of quietly waiting in your inbox for an appropriate time to read.

  10. BvizioN macrumors 601


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    Notifications on my iPhone do not bother me at all. They only appear briefly on the top of the screen and shortly disappear and I don't get interrupted on what I am doing!! You can even dismiss them quickly by swiping them up if you want. I like it that way since if is something I want deal with it right away it doesn't get buried inside the phone without being noticed.
  11. KalanHowse macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2014
    Citation for an opinion? haha
  12. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    They've been making improvements ever since Maps was out and MacRumors reported on some of them in the last year or two.

    They just haven't gotten to your area/reports yet, they're very slow at this, which is the problem.

    Apple need to scale up their mapping quicker than this.
  13. iOSBry macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2013
    I'm seeing the notification options in the "Report a problem" section of Maps too! I just resubmitted five errors for POI's near me. While one was corrected about a month ago, here's hoping the others are fixed in a few days.

  14. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Mar 28, 2007
    With all the problems related to Maps, they waste time on this. I would imagine 99% of people would prefer they concentrated on sorting out the cartographic mess instead of a glossy little notification. A simple e-mail saying the changed you reported have been made is more than enough.

    Guess priorities are changing
  15. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    Seriously? You think Apple only have one developer in the entire company?

    They have dozens of different teams working on various parts of iOS at any given time. There's a very good chance they have more than one team working on the Maps since it requires various data sources to blend it in well.

    This probably only took a day to code by one of the team members not on the cartographic team, or even if it was by the cartographic team, it wouldn't affect their productivity that much.
  16. abhimat.gautam macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    This is based on the premise that the problems reported on Maps actually get fixed. :D

    I have yet to see any of the problems I have reported on Maps get fixed by Apple. Better late than never though.
  17. dumastudetto macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2013
    It may have got off to something of a bumpy start, but I now firmly believe that Apple Maps is the market leader in this space and exclusive to our thriving Mac and iOS ecosystems.

    It's just another competitive advantage of investing in the Apple ecosystem - getting access to these amazing tools and cutting edge technologies.

    I'm proud of Apple for sticking at this, working hard, and delivering a product that is a joy to use every day of the week.
  18. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    Where do you live?

    My local mapping data has vastly improved but the accuracy of POI information is still dismal. Blatant errors I've been reporting since Maps was released are still unfixed so it's still work in progress as far as I'm concerned.

    Feedback on reported problems would be welcome though if it's going to be introduced accross the board.
  19. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
    I've tried adding a large shopping centre to my area that isn't listed in Maps and eventually gave up waiting. Still no pin signifying McDonough Jenction Shopping Centre, Kilkenny, Ireland (largest mall in south east of Ireland) after a year and a half since Apple Maps shipped.

    The current four options in iOS 7.1 after hitting "Report a Problem" are:
    Information is incorrect
    Place does not exist
    Problem with satellite image
    My problem isn't listed

    My suggested improved options:
    Information is inaccurate
    Place has closed or moved
    Problem with satellite image
    Add new location

    Get on it, Apple!

    Attached Files:

  20. mazz0 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2011
    Leeds, UK
    Let's hope the notification servers are still running in ten years time then.


    I wouldn't change "Place does not exist" to "Place has closed or moved" - does not exist covers all those things that have never been where Apple thinks they are.
  21. Mac Fly (film), Apr 9, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014

    Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
    Wrong. What they mean by place does not exist becomes painfully clear if you choose that option and hit next. You get two options for location has moved and pin is at incorrect location. My options are far more clear, obvious and useful.

    If I see a location is missing in Maps I want to drop and pin, report a problem and hit add new location and be done. I'm trying to help Apple out and they are making it difficult for us now. This is embarrassing for them and is very annoying for me because I'm trying to help.
  22. TechGod macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2014
    New Zealand
    Good idea. This is showing that Apple does want to improve maps, directions here in New Zeaalnd Auckland have gotten far better for my area.
  23. Danindub macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2008
    I'm in Ireland, I've sent number of correction to Apple over the last couple of years, particularly about area where I live none of them got corrected or even acknowledged.

    I did the same with Google maps - they fixed all of them within 24 hours, and sent me info about this. Very impressed, Apple could learn thing or two from them.
  24. petsounds macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    This kind of information is perfect for push notifications. If you send me an e-mail, it had better have important or comprehensive information, because it's a bigger pain to read and delete an e-mail (especially with Gmail accounts on iOS 7) than it is to glance at and dismiss a push notification.
  25. Mac Fly (film), Apr 9, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014

    Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
    You don't need Google to understand this. We're been ignored deliberately or unintentionally. If they need to hire 100 more people to deal with problem reports they need to do it. Acquiring 5 companies to add fancy new features as part of iOS 8 is all well and good, but they also need to spend money on manpower to fix the existing, missing data. And a better selection of report problem choices like I've suggested wouldn't go a stray either.

    Here's the four choices I'd recommend:

    Information is inaccurate
    Place has closed or moved
    Problem with satellite image
    Add new location


    Totally right. I don't want any email.

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