Signposts on Apple's road to map app mishap

<b>week in review</b> Developers say they warned Apple how bad its in-house app was, while lawmakers tee off on two Chinese communications companies. Also: Windows 8 and iPad Mini on the horizon.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil
4 min read
Apple's Maps app on an iPhone 5.
Apple's Maps app on an iPhone 5. Sarah Tew/CNET

While it initially appeared that Apple was caught off guard by the furor over how bad its in-house map application is, the company apparently had plenty of warning.

Developers have been complaining about Apple's Maps since shortly after they were given the first pre-release version in early June, CNET has learned. They say they filed bug requests, sent e-mails to specific Apple employees, and vented on message boards only other developers and Apple could see.

Threads on Apple's developer forums described some of the problems that appeared well ahead of the final version of the software, and they still existed when Apple shipped it, these people said. That includes mixed up locations, clouds in satellite imagery, and maps that were less detailed than the ones offered by rival Google, which provided the mapping technology until iOS 6.
•  Apple's Maps mess? 'Antennagate' was messier
•  Apple quietly improving its iOS maps data
•  Google's Eric Schmidt: Apple has learned maps are hard
•  Apple Maps outs secret military site, irks Taiwan
•  Bing map shows CIA's secret Bin Laden compound mock-up

More headlines

Lawmakers to U.S. companies: Don't buy Huawei, ZTE

In a 52-page report, the House Intelligence committee raises concerns about the two Chinese telecommunications gear makers' ability to aid Chinese espionage.
•  New wave of complaints hound Huawei, ZTE in U.S.

•  Huawei desperate to crack the top-tier U.S. brands
•  Huawei, ZTE face new hurdles to their U.S. phone ambitions

PCs showing 'severe slump' as HP slips to No. 2

The worldwide computer market tumbled more than expected in the third quarter, but Lenovo edged past HP to take the top spot, according to Gartner.
•  PC shipments to decline for first time since dot-com bust
•  PC market much worse than expected, says analyst

Microsoft rolls out massive Windows 8 update

As Windows 8's launch date nears, Microsoft begins to tailor its core apps like Mail and Calendar to clear the high bar set by Apple and Google while also updating the OS itself.
•  IDC analyst slams Windows 8 device pricing
•  Microsoft accepts the challenge to teach users Windows 8
•  Windows 8 ads leak to the Web
•  Windows 8 pops up on Amazon

Apple reportedly orders 10M iPad Minis for fourth quarter

Component makers in Asia say they have received orders for the unannounced tablet that eclipse Amazon's orders for the Kindle Fire.
•  Apple's phantom iPad Mini 'delayed'
•  Apple shares slump ahead of iPad Mini reveal

Sprint confirms big-money talks with Softbank

The Japanese mobile carrier's bid is a play to extend its presence into the U.S., as Sprint tries to shore up its position against potent rivals.
•  Sprint in no hurry to raise stakes for MetroPCS merger

Patent trolling nearly doubled in five years, study finds

Suing others over patents is big business, and a new analysis done by Hastings College of the Law shows that it nearly doubled among patent holders without products in five years.
•  Tech giants to talk patent reform at the U.N.
•  When Apple got serious about software patents

Chevron targets Google, Yahoo, Microsoft over e-mail accounts

Google says immediate compliance with Chevron's request is "simply unreasonable." Oil company says e-mail data will show plaintiff's attorneys in environmental case were "falsifying evidence."

Thousands of student records stolen in Florida college breach

Confidential information of nearly 300,000 students, faculty, and employees is accessed in hack, education officials warn.
•  Worm spreading on Skype IM installs ransomware

eBay tries to outdeal Groupon with its own daily deals

The online auction site is testing a new feature called Lifestyle Deals offering everything from meals to massages.
•  eBay CEO: Paying for things is about to get a lot easier

Dragon cargo ship captured, berthed to space station

After a flawless final rendezvous, a commercial SpaceX cargo ship is captured by the International Space Station's robot arm and attached to a docking port for unloading.
•  SpaceX still determining cause of Falcon 9 engine failure

Twitter outage caused by human error, domain briefly yanked

CNET has learned a Twitter outage that left millions of users fuming when they couldn't click on links came from an unlikely source: a "phishing complaint" sent to an Australian firm.
•  Twitter makes account searches easier with Profiles Directory
•  Why politicians love Twitter: Tweets drive real donations

Also of note
•  Rape victim fights off demand for Facebook, computer records
•  The next Internet landgrab: dot-orgs