Australian law enforcement declares new Apple Maps for iPhone a 'potentially life-threatening' health risk

Thursday, December 13, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: Apple Maps, health risk, Australia

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(NaturalNews) Ever since technology giant Apple officially released iOS 6, the latest operating system for its popular iPhone device, many users have been reporting persistent problems with the infamous Apple Maps navigation app. And police in Australia are now calling the faulty app a "potentially life-threatening" health risk, after it left numerous summer travelers stranded in the Australian outback as a result of giving bad directions.

As many iPhone users are well aware of, Apple Maps in September replaced what many perceive to be the much more reliable Google Maps app, which was scrapped due to Apple's ongoing war with rival Google, and an unwillingness by Google to provide iPhone users with turn-by-turn directions. But in the process, Apple has also put its customers at serious risk of getting stranded, as Apple Maps often misplaces towns and other locations, and leads drivers to dead ends.

In the case of the latest Australian snafu, numerous Apple Maps users were plopped in the middle of the Australian outback, thinking they were being led to the town of Mildura. Apple Maps apparently placed the town about 45 miles from its actual location, which resulted in several travelers ending up stranded, some for days, in the middle of Murray-Sunset National Park, where temperatures in the summer can reach highs of around 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

"We've had at least four documented cases," explained senior sergeant Stephen Phelan to the U.K.'s Guardian about the ongoing Apple Maps fiasco in the area. "The map puts [Mildura] at least 70 kilometers (45 miles) from where it should be. We have had people bogged down in Sunset country."

According to Victoria police, several motorists became stranded for up to 24 hours without food or water as a result of the map error, and had to "walk long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception" in order to call for rescue. And since there is no water supply in the national park, which is the second largest in Australia, the department decided to issue a formal warning to the public that dubbed the app abnormality a serious health risk.

Apple reportedly fixed the problem not long after it gained worldwide attention, at least for drivers coming from the western city of Adelaide. But according to reports, the actual location of Mildura is still improperly labeled in Apple Maps, despite corrections having been made to the turn-by-turn navigation sequence, and drivers coming from the large southern hub of Melbourne are still directed into the park rather than the town, according to TIME.

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