For iOS 6, Apple replaced Google’s mapping software with its own Maps products. The result was unhappy customers who complained about the buggy and inaccurate app, and Apple CEO Tim Cook eventually apologized.
FierceDeveloper’s Shane Schick says developers should treat this episode as a cautionary tale. “If nothing else, Apple’s misery should underscore for developers the need for a crisis communication plan–one that can escalate as the fallout from the product does.” He added, “This kind of approach is even more important for the average developer because he or she can’t fall back on a diverse set of other products and services, an otherwise high reputation for design quality and bucketloads of cash that Apple enjoys.”
The second lesson, Shick writes, is that “data matters.” It doesn’t matter how great your interface is if the data behind your app is full of errors.
Finally, Apple Maps is lesson in the importance of not rushing a product out the door. “If there were ever a case to prove that great apps cannot always be treated like works in progress, this is it,” says Shick.