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back to article From Dept of REALLY? Sueball lobbed at Apple over crap iOS Maps app

A fangurl has launched a class action suit on behalf of everyone who had thought the iPhone was an unfailingly accurate navigational tool and was accordingly disappointed with the quality of Apple's iOS Maps app. Nancy Romine Minkler has brought the ever-so-slightly ridiculous case against Apple for its failures during the …

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Vague chance of being interesting...

... if it isn't summarily dismissed as being vexatious (or the American equivalent.)

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Apple maps remain comical in their inaccuracies. I'm still searching for the large lake that Apple maps promises is situated near to my home, and remain alarmed that my local hospital has been replaced by a forest.

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"remain alarmed that my local hospital has been replaced by a forest."

That's not wrong, it's just pre-emptive......

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Gave rise to great zinger though...

'Up shit creek with Apple Maps'

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Anonymous Coward

Right, on the basis they're a bit shit, who would like to join me in suing the following ?:

- Apple for their original mobile me file sync, the puck mouse on the candy coloured iMacs (for being, more than anything, an offence against eyeballs) and the Mighty Mouse with the scroll ball that stopped working after 5 minutes on every model ever sold.

- Samsung for launching the Galaxy Gear, really Samsung, what were you thinking.

- Google for daring to call the early Google docs an office suit when it was in fact no more than a rich text editor, slide presenter and simple cell based calculator.

- Microsoft for just about everything that isn't SQL server or C#

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- Microsoft for just about everything that isn't SQL server or C#

C# I'll grant you, but SQL Server? The "enterprise" RDBMS that needed regular rebooting since it leaked memory like a sieve?

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I take it...

the last time you used SQL Server was in 1997...?

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Re: I take it...

the last time you used SQL Server was in 1997...?

No. A couple of years ago (not that it should have been acceptable in 1997, although it was essentially still a re-branded Sybase at that point so it was probably fine). I wrote a process that would export data to a reporting server running SQL Server. This would lose the connection at 2am every night, which was eventually traced to one of the operators power cycling the Windows server. There was even an MS knowledge base article that recommended this as a suggested workaround for the memory leak!

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Boffin

Re: I take it...

Interesting. I've been running several instances of SQL Server (2000, 2005, 2008, 2008R2, and 2012) since 2002 and haven't seen this memory leak issue. Do you have details of the issue and which version was in use?

I do know that SQL Server's default behavior is to retain tables in memory and not release memory once it's been allocated. This is not a leak, however, as the memory is specifically retained for performance purposes and there are ways to configure a memory ceiling to allow for other applications on the same server.

It's possible that your SQL Server operator didn't understand this design and hence a) didn't properly configure the server and/or b) was restarting the server when it was not necessary. But I couldn't say more without specific details. But it could also be that organization was using a configuration I'm not familiar with and ran into an issue I've never seen. I'd be interested in more details if you have them.

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Re: I take it...

I have personally seen the memory leak on 2008 - after a long enough up-time, memory "disappears".

The problem is solved with a reboot.

I can speak for no other version.

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Maps apps display raw data in a human consumable form. The quality of raw data from ALL navigation systems is imperfect, some of the systems are more imperfect than others.

It is without doubt that Apple's source data is not perfect. It is equally without doubt that so is Google's, and Nokia's etc. etc. This is all a question of which is least imperfect, and that apparently depends whether you love/hate Apple, love/hate Google, love/hate Garmin etc. etc.

Yawn ..., in the 6 years I have had a smartphone with maps functionality, I think I have used it 3 times*. Pretty clearly, I am not directionally challenged, and a lot of other people probably should get lives before it is too late.

* I use the satnav in a car often enough though.

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I think what irked so many regarding Apple maps was that Google maps was so unceremoniously dumped in favour of it. Whilst I agree that no mapping software is perfect, Google's offering at least had towns in the correct place (Leamington Spa was moved across two counties once Apple maps took over).

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Exactly - Apple intentionally introduced a serious regression in to the product. If they had always had Apple Maps, no cause for complaint. But since they took away a working feature and replaced it with something lesser, the consumer is not getting what they had thought they had purchased. Software companies need to be held just as accountable as anyone else for not providing the expected goods.

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Meh

...other people probably should get lives before it is too late...

Really?? So those of us who like to use our iPhones as a satnav don't have a life? Okaaay... Friendly comment, that.

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@ returnmyjedi

Google would not supply Apple with an app with the features Apple wanted to offer. Turn by Turn IIRC.

Apple had no option other than to make their own app if they wanted to offer this functionality.

But hey, don't let facts get in the way of your rant ...

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Re: ...other people probably should get lives before it is too late...

No, I meant the people who I knew would down vote me massively for offering a factual, balanced view of the reality of map navigation systems in general. i.e. people too stupid to have an intelligent thought. I mean, it's not like I praised Apple (or Sony or Google or Garmin or your favourite villan), I just pointed out what is bleedingly obvious.

Google maps used to have a MacDonalds in the middle of Piazza San Marco FFS.

As for using a phone as a satnav, you have a lot of company. The car I am most likely to use has one built-in so the idea never occurs to me. That said, despite updating the satnav maps, it often leads me astray and often roads are missing ... just saying.

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I'm fairly sure...

.... that most maps/ sat nav apps have a small "may not be totally accurate" type of disclaimer as part of their T&Cs.

I tend to use my phone as a twat-nav when I'm driving in unfamiliar cities, so I can see why she may be pretty pissed off, but I still doubt there's much of a case to answer. If there *is* a case to answer, I'm totally suing everyone that's ever given me wrong directions.....

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Re: I'm fairly sure...

The is a legal difference between acceptable inaccuracies and Crapple maps telling me I'm in Cardiff just up the road from Torchwood when I'm sitting in Chelmsford!

Given that Australian police have told people flat out that using Apple maps is about as sensible & safe as using a baby taipan as a yoyo.. I think there is legal precedent.

The "might be slightly inaccurate" thing is more to do with GPS inaccuracies of ±20 meters - its not for as previous posters have mentioned - hospitals becoming a set for game of thrones or entire villages moving 600 miles overnight. That kind of navigational anomaly can cost people their lives (whether manually or technologically) and has (not switching on IFF while trundling up the Thames is also a baaad idea).

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Re: I'm fairly sure...

Just out of curiosity, how can the opinion of police officers in Australia set legal precedent in the US where the case is being heard? Even if it were to be heard in Australia, how does a police depts opinion affect statutes in such a way to set legal precedent?

I can't really comment on the legal difference between "acceptable" and "chelmsford" though.

My comment about the usual "may not be accurate" disclaimer was more along the lines of: Given the black/ white nature of things, if there has already been a warning that the data may not be accurate/ cannot be relied on 100% then it'll be much more difficult to claim that even when knowing that it wasn't accurate you acted as though you believed it to be so.

I hadn't realized it needed spelling out, my bad.

I totally agree that a massive flaw in a safety critical system is life threatening. However, I suppose the idea that using sat-nav on a mobile as a safety critical device stretches things a bit.

I also agree that the issue with the maps was disasterously bad and that Apple should have allowed returns and refunds when requested, but thats really the only part of the case I agree with.

To use your analogy fo the car with 8 gears, if they said "you can either return it or keep using it until the gearbox update, your choice" and you chose to keep it, then you have nowt to complain about. Although, Apple *should* have allowed returns.

You seem *really* angry.

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Re: I'm fairly sure...

I agree - traipsing round Chelmsford a satnav is not a critical system. It becomes alot more critical in places like desert areas of the US and Australia - simple mistakes or mechanical breakdowns there kill.

I also agree - not a US legal precedent but the fact its a Police Force that is advising avoiding the product carries weight with a judiciary wherever they hail from (bar possibly Iraq). A precedent in the legal sense is not set until a judgement is made - but a precedent in the non legal sense is anything that has happened previously that supports a point of view.. which the AU police advice fully fulfils.

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Re: I'm fairly sure...

"Given that Australian police have told people flat out that using Apple maps is about as sensible & safe as using a baby taipan as a yoyo.. I think there is legal precedent."

http://www.macworld.com.au/news/australian-police-issue-google-maps-warning-82428/

(whoops, Google guilty too, sorry to burst your bubble)

I wasn't aware Australian police warnings had binding legal power in the USA. I must have missed the memo.

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Re: I'm fairly sure...

Wow, two down votes for providing a reference for something the Apple haters/Google lovers like to believe does not exist.

Way to go guys, you are in fact morons.

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So in the UK

I can contact trading standards and say precisely the same and I am protected by law...

...and in the US she tries to do the same thing and you brand her some sort of idiot wasting peoples time?

She has every right to be pissed off - Apple products are expensive for what they are when they bloody work - let alone when they don't. Then there's the 'is there a alternative?' situation with Apple with their you will do it my way mentality. Alot of people use mapping functions on smartphones - and in the US ending up in a bad area because of wrong directions as a woman alone is an easy way to get shot.

The way this article is written is offensive not only in the way it brands someone looking for fair treatment as some sort of dribbling retard but in the implied subtext that its a woman doing this so its automatically a waste of everyone's time. God knows I'm no feminist but we can do without the Gizmodo-esque "she's a girl she must be gormless" genre here thank you.

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Re: So in the UK

I was with you right up to your last paragraph, when you went off on a mind-bending feminist fantasy-spree.

Have you read the register much? It doesn't tend to be very kind to a lot of people. Many of them are men, too. Get over it.

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Re: So in the UK

Yes I definitely can see the anti women subtext within the article as well as racism and homophobia.

Nothing to do with the fact that I am looking for any sort of angle or being over-sensitive, it is all there in black and white.

And you must warn the world! All women in the US if you are alone you will get shot!*

(*not my actual view but hypebole allowed, clearly)

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Re: So in the UK

I suggest you actually read what I wrote. Being mistakenly *directed to a bad area* is an easy way of getting shot. Here we have gun control - the only people likely to get shot are Brazilian electricians guilty of 'looking like a terrorist, with intent'. Given the fact that I have visited the US on several occasions and almost all the families I visited have an attitude to guns that reminds me of a certain scene in Mad Max - Thunderdome - the only reason one three year old didn't have her own personal B.A.R was she couldn't carry one..

Mind you - being black, a car accident victim, and knocking on a door to get help in the US is an easy way to get a bullet through your face..

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Re: Have I read...

Since I've been reading this site for upwards of 15 years - yes I am fully aware.. I've not seen an article yet on here so virulent against a person who has a legitimate legal complaint - and is actually helping others who have the same legitimate 'fitness for purpose' complaint - which are dealt with on a daily basis in the UK under consumer protection.

In response to your second paragraph your attempt at whining in the style of an Austin gearbox (loudly with little effect or point, for those who haven't driven an A30) might be a little more pertinent if you weren't, assuming Andy isn't short for Andrea, one of the genetically endicked..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Have I read...

Just re-read the article. There's nothing said explicitly, or implicitly, that suggests the plaintiff is wrong because she's a woman, or that her sex is any way relevant whatsoever. You're imagining things.

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Re: So in the UK

@Jay Bizzle

"Black and white"??????

RACIST!!!!11!1

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Re: So in the UK

Don't forget the fact his name is JayBizzle. adding izzle to things is black slang, ergo he's either black, or racist. Since you can't be both.

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@AC 10:41

You most certainly CAN be both. Some of the worst racism I've ever encountered has been from Asians and directed at Africans and vice versa. There are also plenty of cases of racist attacks (verbal and physical) against white people coming from both whites and blacks.

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Windows

Re: Have I read...

Have an upvote for "using Apple maps is about as sensible & safe as using a baby taipan as a yoyo.".

"Since I've been reading this site for upwards of 15 years - yes I am fully aware.. I've not seen an article yet on here so virulent against a person who has a legitimate legal complaint"

Would you bet your house on that ? Over those 15 years I've seen quite a few that seemed to be little more than malicious garbage dressed up as click bait that I think may qualify... :)

The Reg used to have a fair amount of technical content book-ended with some red-top gonzo journalism (I think I may have been one of the few people looking forward to reading Otto Z Stern). These days the balance has reversed, the Reg is mostly red-top gonzo journalism with the odd technical gem. I enjoy reading the SPB's exploits, Tim Worstall's stuff is interesting (don't always agree with him tho :P), and I also enjoy the pieces about the old kit and the folks who built it, but in terms of actual contemporary technical content there doesn't seem to be much left if you take away the opinion pieces and the churnalism. The commentards have changed to fit the content too, which means less technically competent posts and lots more abusive bullshit.

It's a shame, there are clearly some smart people working for the Reg, I just feel they could be making a better product overall - but at the end of the day it's their ship and plenty of folks like how they're running it (plus I can jump ship if I like too) so it's no biggie.

I'm not even sure if this post will make it, the last time I tried pointing this stuff out the post was unceremoniously moderated to oblivion. :)

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Facepalm

@Tromos

Lucky for me that there's an icon for this.

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Re: So in the UK

maybe i am reading it wrong here , but surely she has no case because she bought a PHONE, not a SATNAV?

Whatever what you look at it, the device is called a phone.

The Maps app is like a bundled freebie, there is no charge for the maps app, or using it, and you have to agree to T&C's for using it.

Kinda like getting a car engine magazine subscription as a bundled gift if you bought a car, then claiming the car is not fit for purpose when the magazine prints something inaccurate.

i know thats a wild analogy, but you get the idea. Maps is not central to the device operation and its a free service, so where is the material loss?

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Re: So in the UK

Under UK law at least any freebies advertised and bundled with a purchase are part of the contract and subject to exactly the same levels of consumer protection - if my complementary car mats aren't fit for purpose legally I can get the same redress as the rest of the car.

Also the device isn't called a phone, it is called a smart phone and heavily advertised as being used for multiple purposes including mapping. In particular it is reasonable to expect the quality to be broadly equivalent to previous versions of the same product something which Apple failed to do when they replaced Google Maps

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Re: So in the UK

But it's also capable of running downloadable software. Such as Google maps. Which is, one would hazard a guess approximately as good as the original software before the iOS update. Many things featured on Apple adverts for their iDevices don't come as part of the original package, they have to be downloaded extra (sometimes at cost).

I don't see that this lawsuit can have any merit, but then I'm not a lawyer. I hope it gets rejected in fairly short order to save everyone time (and expense). Yes, people are angry about Maps. Yes, it has had (still does have?) some laughable errors. Yes, alternatives are available - many are free, some are not.

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Re: Have I read...

Yeah, I miss Mad Mike!

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Paris Hilton

Sarcasm Can Be Hard To Spot (aka that wooshing sound)

"Don't forget the fact his name is JayBizzle. adding izzle to things is black slang, ergo he's either black, or racist. Since you can't be both."

"You most certainly CAN be both. Some of the worst racism I've ever encountered has been from Asians and directed at Africans and vice versa."

I think the point being made is that the only people who are ever held up as being rascist are all white. It is politically correct to hurl accusations of racism against "whitey" for all manner of hurt feelings, be they real or imagined.

You don't see the same thing happening to "non-white" folks.

The same can be said for men vs women. In Australia, we recently witnessed the unedifying spectacle of our Prime Minister, the highest office holder in the country, trying to claim victim points with her infamous mysogony screed to Parliament. Somehow I doubt Maggie Thatcher would have debased herself and her position in that manner just to score a few political points. What overseas people who applauded her tirade at the time don't know is that the reason for her ranting was an attempt to deflect attention away from the fact that at the same time as she was ranting away about imagined mysogony she was busy defending a political ally who had just made a comparison between female genitalia and and a jar of mussels.

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Paris Hilton

Not fit for purpose

Not sure how I feel about this one.

On the one hand, I fully support those who rightly believe products should in fact be fit for purpose. On the other hand, I have to wonder at the naivety of anyone who seriously believes anything made by Apple is actually fit for any purpose, other than being shiny bling for poseurs and lining Apple's bulging pockets, of course.

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Anonymous Coward

Map makers often introduce inaccuracies in their maps so that they can detect when other people are copying their maps rather than doing their own work. (This was explained several years ago on Nicholas Crane's TC series on maps and mapmakers when the last episode was on the London AtoZ and he was use it to meet some of the AtoZ cartographers at a specified location ... which when he got there was a short road that didn't exist and AtoZ people explained that this was one of their "deliberate mistakes" to enable them to catch copiers). Given that Apple seem to have taken the process of suing people of copying their ideas/designs to a whole new level then its understandable that they have similarily escalated the level of "deliberate error" in their maps to aid this task!

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Er....sorry mate...but there is a difference between a few subtle deliberate mistakes to protect copyright, and super-imposing a fictional fantasy planet with towns, lakes, airports in completely the wrong place!

I'm beginning to wonder if IOS 6 is somehow responsible for Hull becoming the next city of culture - were the Judges really in Hull or did they just have an iPhone?

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Her point maybe that apple removed the right to use oteh rmap apps and forced users to use their PoS

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PJI
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No. Apple did not remove such rights and Google provided a map app fairly quickly. Apple even suggested apps to use while they fixed their own. Nokia also provides an app.

I read that the gripe leading to this was that Google refused to implement the voice directions on IOS that it provided on Android.

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Hmmmm.

If you're buying it as a sat nav or hand held GPS thing (people aren't) then fair enough, it's not fit for purpose.

But i'm pretty sure they'll successfully argue (if it even gets that far) that any Map app of any type is a "value added" feature to a PHONE and does not impact, in any way, on it's performances a PHONE.

She was buying a smartphone, not a sat nav. I'm pretty sure none of apples advertising, promises, promotional materials or anything touted the device as some sort of navigation solution.

No fanboy-ism present here, all my mobile devices are android.

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>No. Apple did not remove such rights and Google provided a map app fairly quickly.

Yes - kind of ironic that Google fixed Apples's phone for them. :-)

Shame it can't be set as the default map app.

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Under UK law at least - if a product has a features or subset of features that are advertised to do something & don't - that's not fit for purpose.

It doesn't matter if its not the highline feature or purpose of the device. If that function doesn't work when the device is bought & it is an important feature that'd be used in a choice between devices - there is a legitimate case to answer.

If I spent £15k on a car with a 8 speed transmission and only 5 speeds will select in such a way to make the car undrivable then its unfit for purpose. If the manufacturer refuses to fix it, then its trading standards time. Ditto for suicidal bonnets (Clio) & death by E46 (BMW).

Similarly if I spend money on a phone with a GPS/navigation function - which swears blind I'm halfway round the Isle of Man TT course when I'm ass deep in MINIs somewhere in kent then it ain't much use for navigation - and is unfit for purpose.

People rely on these devices and for one to be so monumentally inaccurate is dangerous. Even when they're accurate you get people driving through deep rivers cos of lack of brain. 300 miles is not a trivial error - that, for most vehicles is almost a full tank of fuel - and in many places getting stuck in the middle of nowhere can be lethal.

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It's not as if you couldn't use alternative mapping applications on your shiny-shiny - Apple even pointed people to them, while working on improving their own app. I can't believe I'm defending Apple, can't stand them, and goodness knows they indulge in this themselves, but this kind of frivolous litigious class-action bullshit just serves to enrich lawyers with no benefit to the users whatsoever.

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wayyyy off topic, but what car has an 8 speed transmission for 15k?

no need to chop me… i'm just poking fun

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Swiss Army Knife

In a Swiss Army Knife, the individual tools suck. There are much better tools for opening bottles, whittling wood, taking nails out of horses' hoves. Why is it surprising that maps apps are not as good as dedicated satnavs? Why are the built-in cameras not as good as real cameras at the same price as the phone? Having said that, I have iPhone/iPad apps that are considerably better than their real world counterparts. ClearTune guitar tuner, SkySafari (as an astronomical telescope guider) and I much prefer playing Scrabble on an iPad than with a real board.

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Well...

People will always find a way do do stuff like this, as long as they don't use Apple Maps to do it that is.

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