This is a bit of a surprise! Apple typically takes a stone faced approach towards consumer anger at new products (you’re holding it wrong). But since no rubber bumper will magically improve Apple Maps, an open letter apology is the best CEO Tim Cook can do. Posted early this morning, the letter follows Apple’s official line so far: the decision was made in order to provide turn-by-turn and it will get better with more use. But the surprisingly contrite letter also throws in this goodie:

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Wow. Of course the internet’s going to be buzzing about how this is a move that a certain legendary CEO never would’ve done, but it’s really an eminently practical move. The mapping switch, while annoying for some, is not the end of the world. In fact, Apple’s got a great software ecosystem that provides for several alternatives. Now that Tim Cook has made clear that there’s no problem with using a third-party app for directions, we can stop complaining. And we can start using Bing.

Take a look at the whole open letter here.

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