Australian police warn against using Apple Maps application

Victoria Police called Apple Maps' inaccuracies a 'potentially life-threatening issue'

Australian police are warning people not to rely on Apple's new mobile mapping application after several motorists ended up in a semi-arid national park where temperatures can reach 115F (46C) and there is no water supply.

Police in the town of Mildura, which is the Australian state of Victoria, issued a news release on Monday saying they've responded to several drivers who became stranded in Murray Sunset National Park.

Apple's Maps application, introduced in iOS 6, shows Mildura near part of the park when it is actually located about 44 miles (70 km) to the northeast, according to police. Some motorists have been stranded for a day without food or water, walking long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception, police said.

Police, who called the problem a "potentially life-threatening issue," said they have contacted Apple and advised that people use other mapping programs until Apple's program is fixed.

Apple replaced Google's mapping application, which it had shipped with iPhones through the 4S model, with the company's own application in iOS 6, which was released on Sept. 19. Users have complained that Apple Maps wasn't accurate and contained errors.

Apple on Monday referred to CEO Tim Cook's apology on Sept. 26 in which he said the company was "extremely sorry" for bungling Maps. Cook said the application would improve with time as users reported problems. Until then, he advised users could use Microsoft's Bing, Google Maps or Nokia's Waze.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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