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Just when you thought the dust has settled over Apple’s digital personal assistant, Siri, and the company’s Google Maps replacement software in iOS, latest reports once again pan the two services over gross inaccuracies.

Worse, these stories paint Apple Maps and Siri in a not-so-favorable light – and very publicly, too.

The first report comes from Alaska and warns about people looking for directions to the Fairbanks International Airport, only to be instructed to drive onto an airport taxiway, which is located directly across the runway where airplanes take off and land….

According to AlaskaDispatch:

Twice in the past three weeks drivers from outside Fairbanks who relied on the iPhones built-in map app to get to the airport have driven onto Taxiway Bravo and proceeded to drive across the main runway. No one has been injured and Apple promises a fix by Wednesday.

The airport’s chief of operations, Melissa Osborn, warned Apple Maps instructed people to drive straight onto the airport taxiway. “These folks drove past several signs,” she said. “They even drove past a gate. None of that cued them that they did something inappropriate”.

Just out of curiosity, how come these folks did not notice they were being directed to the taxiway? I mean, it’s obviously not something one’d easily fail to grasp.

After airport personnel, police and the TSA converged on the driver of a rental car during the Sept. 6 daylight runway crossing, the airport staff complained through the attorney general’s office to Apple.

The airport has since closed the aircraft access route to Taxiway Bravo from the Float Pond Road. Even though Apple did promise a prompt fix by Wednesday, it was nowhere to be seen at press time, as per reports form the Apple legal department to the attorney general’s office and Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

I’m not sure why exactly it’s taking Apple that long to respond.

At the very least, Apple should have temporarily disabled those specific directions until the Maps team is able to correct such a downright dangerous error. If anything, Apple’s numerous job posts for Ground Truth specialists indicates the company’s willingness to put more experts on the Maps team to deal with these inaccuracies.

iPhone 5 (white, three-up, Maps)

Keep in mind that Apple partners with dozes of local data providers so correcting a specific error involves paperwork and is not a simple matter of flipping a few switches.

Meanwhile, Siri continues to experience issues of its own.

Conan O’Brien had actress Jane Lynch on his show yesterday night, who didn’t mince words describing her first world problem with Siri. Specifically, she said Siri told her “I have no listing for Let Pam Cookie Ian” when asked for directions to Le Pain Quotidien.

Lynch and O’Brien then did some live Siri tests that didn’t go down well.

We’ve all been there and it’s no secret Siri isn’t perfect.

But when your personal digital assistant gets ridiculed on mainstream late-night shows whose audiences count tens of millions of people, bad press is unavoidable.

In Siri’s defense, O’Brien didn’t do her justice by allowing Lynch to converse with Siri using his own phone. As you know, Siri adapts herself to the user’s unique voice signature and pronunciation, getting better over time.

Siri understands its owner best so voices new to her tend to yield poorer results. Regardless, Apple should be credit for improving Siri in iOS 7 in a number of ways.

siri app settings

For instance, she can now search the web, images and Wikipedia inline, has higher-quality male and female voices, can change your phone and app’s settings and responds faster, thanks to backend improvements.

Also helping Siri is Apple’s use of Multipath TCP networking in iOS 7 which helps the digital assistant automatically switch between Wi-Fi or cellular connection on the fly, depending on network conditions.

By the way, here’s Team CoCo’s take on the iPhone 5s and its fingerprint scanner.

Funny or not?

You decide!

Signing off, it’s worth mentioning we heard rumors of Apple potentially supplanting Siri’s Nuance speech recognition with an in-house technology of its own. And to help fine-tune the regional differences in language, Apple has filed for a patent on integrating geolocation with Siri’s speech recognition.

Just out of curiosity, do you use Siri much these days?

  • kayla

    Its not Apple’s fault, they just list it as a road and the computers screw it up and also, How dumb are people to drive on a Taxiway?

    • blastingbigairs

      If the voice assist is telling people to turn on that road, then it is Apple’s fault. But yes I agree, any half-witted person should know that it is a wrong turn to make.

      • Rowan09

        I’ve use maps outside of Apples maps including google maps and got lost to drive somewhere I shouldn’t. No one should replace common sense with an electronic device.

      • Tommy Gumbs

        Why not blame the company that actually built the maps? Wasn’t it Tom Tom or someone?

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Finally someone with common sense. The mapping data is provided by TomTom and other companies. In short Apple got screwed over big time and is now having to fix it.

      • mav3rick

        Do you realize that only data is from TomTom but this maps service is provided by apple. Actually for couple of months they forced users who updated to iOS 6 to use their subpar full of error maps service.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Check again. You could have used Bing Maps, Google Maps (via Safari) and plenty of other alternatives. Yes the service is provided by Apple however you cannot expect Apple to know all of the problems with their service. There is a “Report a problem” button for a reason, so if you have any complaints use it. If you still have complaints then Apples Support page is probably the best place to go to complain…

      • mav3rick

        Like from a real “genius” in their store.

        Yeah, not expecting them to know what’s with their faulty service. Only to throw whatever they want on users. After removing the best mapping service, one should fool around for alternatives, or worse, to help them fix their problems.

        Offended as you look, you should not feel obligated to do overtime of their Support on here.

    • :)

      There is no such thing as a computer mistake. It’s a human fault, the computer simply does what Apple tells it to do with that information.

    • Biken Dangol

      I love iDevices but for this instant It’s predominantly apple’s fault. While searching with google map,it shows everything properly with proper route for above location but whereas apple fails miserably—it was shown on BBC World service . If rival company can do it then why can’t Apple.People may say it’s new technology for apple but apple is known for it’s prefect product with high price tag.

    • Marlber Cruz

      (-_-) Oh yes, its not apple’s fault. God forbid the maker of the phone be held responsible for their product not working as it should. Seriously people, are we gonna get into the whole “your holding it wrong” argument again? Ugh!

  • Ricky

    arent there no sign or a fence that wouldnt allow people to enter the taxiway? and thoses people got no common sense they entered a taxiway cmon even after i see the airport i will find my own way trough

  • Ricky

    he stops talking when she thre the iPhone hahah

    • :)

      My heart stopped there for a minute. Then later on he threw it on the floor xD

  • Assaultive

    Apple Maps? Sounds more like Apple Traps.

    • Rowan09

      It’s not that bad, all just media scrutiny for anything Apple does right and wrong. To be honest when I use Waze and Google maps to direct me home in NY they both drive me near my house but across the street and 2 houses down from my house. Apple maps drops me right infl front of my house. I’m not saying Apple maps is better than Google maps but its a work in progres.

      • @dongiuj

        It is that bad. Apple fans just can’t admit any fault with apple.

      • Rowan09

        You don’t argue facts but its overblown I use it to bring me from NYC to Port Jervis which is upstate NY with no problems so it needs improvement but its not as unbearable as the media is making it seem.

      • Which fans can…

      • Trey

        Just curious, have you ever used Apple Maps to take you somewhere? Or are you basing your facts off of news alone?

      • @dongiuj

        Off of use. I switch to google maps after every time I give apple maps another go. There’s just no comparison, in my opinion.
        But if the news say that it’s great, apple fans wouldn’t have a problem with it now, would they?

      • Yes I have, on my way to the local IHOP restaurant with some friends, it directed me to the middle of a street and stated I had reached my destination. Thankfully, I had Google Maps installed (and it wasn’t anything serious I was using Apple Maps for), it pointed out the destination another 9 blocks down the main road b4 I make a left turn.

        That’s my version of getting lost with Apple Maps 🙂

  • Swifity

    Google Maps.

    • jospehbloggs

      Google maps tried to kill me late one night by having me drive through a fence and into a field that had several bulls in it. And my Mercedes built in system had me driving in circles around a 2 block area when my destination required a left turn instead of endless right turns. No system is perfect.

  • Zeebo

    Damn i live on the moon and the videos aren’t available here. Damn you earthlings..

  • Max Kas

    How did people manage to drive before maps on your phone? Like are the phones driving the cars autonomously, no human interaction anymore…?

    It amazes me that one idiot does something that any normal person wouldn’t, then these sensationalist headlines blast across the mainstream media.

    If you are dumb enough to drive onto an airport runway by not using common sense than Apple is doing you a favor.

    • Ted Forbes


    • FOFF

      they spent alot of time very very lost

  • Wtf?

    WHAT kind of dumbass human being drives into an airport taxiway? I can’t even comprehend that level of stupidity.

    • FOFF

      well some folks trust technology 1000%

    • FFF84

      that was only an “example” about problems that apple maps has.
      do you know that apple maps until now (after 2 years) can’t fine the main train station in Berlin.
      try it your self.

  • Leo Parker

    I got AssistantExtentions from Cydia. Makes Siri so much better.

  • on3simpleclick

    It would be nice to be able to watch the posted videos, except no one cares about Australia..

  • Tommy Gumbs

    Funny how you(the writer) didn’t mention how Lync said she loved her phone and the new update. Or how she also mentioned that 5 years ago we didn’t have this tech etc etc. The video was entertaining and had nothing new pertaining to Siri and her problems. In fact, the maps debacle is also nothing new.

  • richrich

    there’s a difference between using technology to make your life more convenient and blindly relying on it like you’re a zombie. how big of an idiot you have to be to enter a taxiway?

    • FOFF

      you are right but when you are a tourist you tend to rely heavily on your GPS..

  • Antzboogie

    I still use Siri but would like for her to be able to turn certain settings on and off. Nothing a jailbreak wont fix haha!

  • Fevostone

    I’ve just used maps wot a joke and Siri bigger joke and the battery BIGGER JOKE..! And this on my 5s with iOS 7 witch is still buggy apple I love the phones you make put I can’t help but feel like ur slipping in so many departments.

    • FOFF

      yup you are 100% right siri never really lived up to the hype and maps is still very weak,,

  • FOFF

    alll GPSs do BS like this .. but apple is the biggest name so they will get the press.. i swear my tomtom has put me in some very silly situations

  • @dongiuj

    And if any other phone gave directions onto a taxiway you would rip into it like it’s unbelievable a phone would give such crazy directions.

  • Byron C Mayes

    “These folks drove past several signs,” she said.“They even drove past a gate. None of that cued them that they did something inappropriate”.

    Once we’re through with Apple maps, let’s talk about our signage, eh?

  • D.

    I’ve always used Google Maps. Never had any issues.

  • Palmer Paul

    iPhone 4… no Siri for me 🙁

  • Matt

    GPS systems screw up this bad quite a lot actually. Apple just tends to take the headlines just because…well they’re Apple. But seriously how dumb can you be just driving onto an airport runway?..

  • All iOS 7 Apple maps users are cleared for takeoff on runway 7!

  • Hahaha…