For the first time, an iOS upgrade is leaving a bad taste in consumers’ mouths. While it’s usually the case that upgrades are viewed as improving the iPhone experience, a new survey finds iOS 6 actually hurt Apple’s sterling customer service reputation. Apple’s decision to replace Google Maps with its own service appears to be the root cause, say researchers.

“We have always seen an increase in device satisfaction as consumers upgrade their mobile operating system from one version to another,” On Device DEO Alistair Hill told TechCrunch. While the rating for the upgrade from iOS 4 to iOS 5 received high marks, the move to iOS 6 saw ratings decrease to 7.65 from 7.75. On Device surveyed nearly 16,000 U.S. iPhone owners…

Apple’s mapping efforts have come in for much criticism because they provide fewer details than Google’s service. Apple last week responded to the criticism, saying the mapping would improve as more people use the new feature. However, some aren’t waiting for Apple Maps to get better and are seeking alternatives. Japanese smartphone users are flocking to mapping veteran Navitime, reports the New York Times. Meanwhile, Google chairman Eric Schmidt speaking in Tokyo and doing all he could to not say ‘I told you so,’ said “It would have been better if they [Apple] kept our maps. But what do I know?”

The Cupertino, Calif. company seems to have gotten the message. Recently, the company began increasing its mapping staff, including modelers and 3D image experts to improve widely-maligned images.

Ironically, Apple’s Maps, along with AssistiveTouch and Zoom features are being lauded by visually-impaired users employing the iOS VoiceOver system to read text aloud. However, Apple was given lower marks for its updated iOS App Store layout which offers a new horizontal arrangement for top apps, books and music. According to AppleInsider, the refreshed App Store appearance plays havoc with VoiceOver. App ratings can no longer be read to visually-impaired iPhone owners, a reader complained.

The survey and comments follow Apple’s wide lead in a J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey, showing the iPhone maker outdistancing other smartphone makers, including those powered by Google’s Android.

Apple is likely correct when it said last week that its cloud-based Mapping application will improve as it is used by more and more people. While the company needs to beef up its mapping experience to stem the tide of bad PR from maps that put buildings in the middle of the ocean or omit landmarks, we are less than a week into its wide distribution. As for the problems experienced by visually-impaired users, the company has shown great sensitivity to their needs in the past, quickly offering updates to troublesome software, and I don’t see that trend changing with iOS 6. Ultimately, iOS 6 will gain more converts than critics.

What do you think? Were you disappointed by iOS 6? What’s your favorite iOS 6 upgrade story?

  • Ron McLaughlin

    I like Apple maps and the ability to Ask Siri for directions and Siri takes me there. I have not had any problems. What problems are people having….

    • Johnathan Jennings

      I agree! Turn by turn in my small city is perfect!!

    • Miketyler

      The problem that im having is siri was telling me to turn right and then make a u-turn down the same way I was headed, telling me my addresses are on the right and meanwhile they are on the left a Kilometer down… scrapped ios 6 and went with 5….

    • Perfect example for me is yesterday I was going to a client I’ve been to many times before. Decided to test out Maps and do the turn by turn direction. I went to their contact, tapped the address. It launched correctly in the maps app. I tap the direction button…and it wanted to take me about 10 miles PAST the destination to some completely different address. Granted it’s only happened once, but that’s still pretty bad.

  • I love it! Couldn’t be more happy with the new maps and functionality of iOS 6. I think it is a great improvement over iOS 5. IMO, ppl will always find something they aren’t happy with and try to exploit it and make the product sound terrible. I for one try to look at the whole picture and weigh the pro vs con. And so far I have no cons at all with iOS 6. I love the new maps, it does more than google maps ever did.

    • pegger1

      It’s not about people always trying to find something they aren’t happy about. Like iOS 4 to 5 had positive reviews but 5 to 6 did not.
      It’s a valid complaint if the maps they’re looking up are inaccurate making them useless. It’s good that in your area there isn’t that problem.

    • CollegiateLad

      Maps is great here too…

  • CollegiateLad

    “doing all he could to not say ‘I told you so”. Wow, really IDB?

    • MagicDrumSticks

      Truth hurts fanboy.

    • It’s not the end of the world but yeah, I’m sure something was said.

  • My personal opinion is that the latest iPhone and iOS updates have lacked the usual ‘buzz’ and hype.

    iOS needs a renovation. Notification centre is there, but why not do anything with it! Toggles for WiFi, Cellular Data, Brightness, etc… Make use of an area you have clearly added for widgets and notifications. I don’t mind the home screen as it is simple and easy, but add widgets maybe? I’m not to fussed on widgets on the homescreen, but they are needed in Notification centre, or at-least allow developers access to place apps/widgets in there.

    I am disappointed in the iPhone 5’s release sheerly over the fact that the leaks were correct. I like the phone by far, really nice bit of kit, but the fact that i saw it months ago completely ruined the event for me. It helped as the new iPod touches and nano’s weren’t leaked, not as to what i saw.

    I really wished iOS 6 had something new to play with as in iOS5. Siri i really wish was on the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2.

    I hope either apple add something into iOS 6.* or iOS 7 such as developer access to apps in the notification area. Plus fix their leak for the next iPhone!

    • Al

      People forget about the incident when the iPhone 4 was in the hands of a gizmodo representative and Steve Jobs had to call to get it retrieved. I mean, they actually showed the video of the phone and everything. Yet, people was still interested.

      I think the absence of Steve Jobs is what the issue boils down to, he’s presence alone drives interested and satisfaction. Every move Apple makes will be examined and criticized all due to the standard customers hold them to. I understand, that iOS is not on par with Android when it comes to features. And, lets be honest… It’s Apple ecosystem that keeps customers and developers. Apple knows that… They only tweak the system and stock apps. It’s the developers with their creation of apps that entices customers. And the quality of apps on Android is not on par with iOS, and that’s a fact! But I’ve had my chances with Android Jelly Bean and I do prefer it over the iOS 6 and I’m a Apple user.

      But what keeps me with Apple is there ecosystem of apps, music, movies etc.. And to make a transition to another ecosystem is tough when heavily invested with one.

      • Agree. I used for a year the HTC Desire HD, loved it, but it just wasn’t for me. The app store was lacking and just really liked the environment my iPod touch was in, it just felt better, for me.

        I certainly would use HTC again, love their products. They certainly stick to their motto of quietly brilliant very well. As they just sit, out of law suits just quietly making amazing devices. My mum uses a HTC Sensation and i love HTC Sense. Its certainly a backup plan if Apple loose their way…

        For now i am sticking with Apple, i like the way they currently work even through the fact that, in my opinion, iOS6 was a bit of a flop, but a jailbreak will give me back that with intelliscreenX. Upgrade to an iPhone 5 when i have the cash 🙂

  • i just notice, and i don’t know if the 4S had it, but my 4 had an auto silent ringer, when someone called me,i could turn the phone over (face down) and it would go silent. Doesn’t work now, unless im missing something/setting.

    • that is a jailbreak tweak called Turn to Hangup

  • imagine how many plp are using an iphone. it’s a blessing for apple that the number of iphone owners drasticaly increased in the past 5 years. on the other hand it is a curse to have such a lot of iphone users because it is impossible to satisfy every single customer’s wish.

  • one thing to describe the iphone 5… FAST…. unbelievable speed, now using my cell phone to surf the net, send photos/videos, isn’t a drag… oh that spinning gear was a nightmare… round and round it use to go when it would stop know body would know… uploading to YouTube or website photo host.. is fast.

  • Tommy L Neel

    Bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch – people have GOT to bitch about something. Hey – guess what?! I’ve got Navigon and TomTom and BOTH of them have led me astray. Hell, I have paper maps in my car that are recent and they don’t have it right at every single turn. Apple Maps will improve, just as ALL OTHER MAP software has.

    I think people just have to gripe and complain about everything. And as far as the lack of ‘buzz’, no offense iDownloadBlog because I love you, but YOU ARE FREAKING KILLING THE BUZZ & HYPE!!!!

    ALL of the tech blog just have to be the first to break the big story about the new iPhone or iOS. Well, enough of you do this before product launch and any guy off the street could give the damn Keynote. What the hell do you expect as far as ‘New Features’ when you as the bloggers have already dissected every possible thing about it.

    I’m about done with the lot of you. No phone will every be perfect. No software will ever be perfect. Just roll with it because Apple has a history of working out the kinks and you know when they do, it’s usually kick ass.

    • Miketyler

      Say that to the millions that rely on the google maps for busing and whatever else and see what they have to say, As for your “you” use Navigon and TomTom are the same features included that are in google? Me myself have never used google maps but you know what I understand.

      • ThisBrian

        There are free map apps that work also it’s not like Apple left everyone in the dust, they are trying to distance themselves from Google and it’s going to be a tough transition. I’m not saying I like it but it’s not like they left people with no options, there is google maps in the browser, free Map apps that work pretty good and pay apps.

    • MagicDrumSticks

      Shut up kid nobody is listening to

  • Well for me iOS 6 is pretty much perfect and the only small thing I would like to see on my phone now is……………….cydia

  • bae125

    I’ve given the maps a chance prior to forming an opinion. Well, they suck. Amateur is the word that comes to mind, definitely most unlike Apple in general. It is plainly apparent that they rushed the product to market to get away from Google and left the customer’s interests in the dust.

    I travel for a living and use the maps app constantly. When the search function is unable to return the results that other maps apps can then there is a fundamental problem. If you never use the maps for more than occasional restaurants they’ll be fine, but for those who depend upon this app daily it is an epic failure and huge step backward in an “upgrade”.

    The best example of the “amateurish” function is the traffic layer. Turn it on, look at the cute (and completely inadequate) dotted red lines. Wow Apple,1999 called, how impressive. Now open Google maps in the browser and see how it’s done in 2012.

    I’ve loved this phone for all it’s function, but for a company that makes these kind of profit margins, commands this much media hype and is as capable as they claim to be then going backwards should not be an option nor should it be excused.

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    My favorite iOS 6 upgrade story will be when the dev community releases a jailbreak for it..other than that im staying on 5.1.1

  • Seems to b the same as iOS 5 to me. Except now there is a 3D map (that works good for me) and u can upload stuff to social medias almost anywhere. And the App Store. And Siri actually works!! lol. I like it.

  • Map is sucks

  • Adrian Graves

    I upgraded to iOS 6 on my 3GS and, apart from maps, have only seen improvements so far. It’s faster and I find I get better battery life too.

  • Yeah iOS 6 brings some small upgrades here and there but it mostly seems to just be like a service pack for iOS 5. This might as well have been iOS 5.2. It’s still better than iOS 5 except for those maps unfortunately. But there was nothing that really said “You absolutely need to get this!” to me this year. Also not just on our mobile devices but on the Apple TV as well. iOS 6 or 5.1 as it is on the Apple TV brought nothing new. I was expecting an App Store but unfortunately it was just some bug fixes and small added features again 🙁

  • Nick Morris

    I don’t understand why everyone is complaining so much. Yes it has a lot of things wrong with it but so does Google Maps and they’ve been doing it for 7 years. Has no one else ever had a problem with Google maps previously? I have had it take me a mile down the road from the correct address, take me down one way streets in Puerto Rico, and failed to find things that were there. While Google maps was good, it was not and IS NOT perfect. If the iMaps are that bad, get a droid. I will choose to personally wait for Apple to bring a better overall experience like they always have.

    • People are complaining because they did not have a choice… didn’t have a say in the matter. It was like Apple saying fuck you people, we don’t care if you like Google maps, we are going to force you to switch to our shitty maps as a way of saying thank you for buying an iPhone 5 or upgrading to iOS6.

      The maps fiasco and the simple fact there is no jailbreak available for iOS6 on the iPhone 4S is why I haven’t upgraded. There are other minor reasons, but no jailbreak and the maps are the deal breaker for me.

      • ThisBrian

        You do have a choice it’s in the web browser.

      • LTE4G

        If they wanted a choice, they would not pick Apple…

  • So a .10 of a percentage is a bad review? My god that’s barely recognizable as anything to write an article about how bad the new firmware is.

  • IOS 5.1.1 + JB + Installous + TomTom = Pure Bliss

    • Hyr3m

      Thief 😛

  • Don’t like the new Maps app
    Don’t like the new App Store UI either

    Haven’t really noticed any changes or improvements from the previous version which is kind of disappointing. Also, somehow the new design changes seem to make the whole experience cheaper quality. Anyone agree?

    I don’t get it, why cut Google out of maps? Is Apple insane or insanely genius? I sadly think they’re insane. Once Google brings out their own maps app everyone will go to that, guarantee it! You can’t seriously believe that Apple can beat Google on maps and search? I mean come on! There is no way they can do that even though I do believe that they have some incredible man power. No way! I mean have you seen the comparisons between Siri and the new Google Search? Geezz they need to make the “Siri” feature in iOS open to 3rd parties, I’d much rather speak to the new Google Search than Siri.

    I will seriously think about switching if Apple does not allow a 3rd party voice control app. I need that awesome new Google Search voice control app on my iPhone!!

  • Cool phone, especially if you’re trading up from iphone 3GS but really sad that the maps content is so dreadful. The navigation directions are completely inaccurate for Calgary, AB. Don’t use them they’ll get you lost!

    • Motion X GPS Drive. Free app with $9.99 a YEAR for voice assisted turn by turn. So cheap, and works just like my Garmin Nuvi

      • people are just cheap and dont want to pay I guess. The last time i launched google maps for some navigation was 2 years ago.

  • Just use TOM TOM or Navigon and forget about google or apple apps. It has been like this for me for years. I dont know why people are so deeply upset about this map issue.

    • I agree I thought google maps sucked because it did not have turn by turn. Now people get turn by turn and they complain about it.

  • Almarx

    I Have been surveying about ios 6 and i guess i shouldnt upgrade. So many bugs >.< I love my iphone 4 with ios 5.1.1 installed and jailbroken.. Much better then ios 6. 😀

  • I have zero issues with ios 6 now that I got my jailbreak

  • Money can’t buy happiness, I think apple showed us why…..