Sense of Direction.

I’m finding it more and more difficult to remain exclusively on the Apple ecosystem with my computing needs. Today I went for a drive between Chicago and Rockford, Illinois. I purposely took some backroads, made quite a few random turns to get a sense of the area and decided to head home after an hour or so of meandering. I asked Siri for directions home in Chicago.

She complied. Sort of.

She had me turning left and right through the farmland, trying to get me to a main road. I was watching the compass indicator in the Jeep all the while. I have a great sense of direction and I usually know what direction I’m headed in at any given time.

When I got to the intersection at the first numbered route, Siri said “Turn left onto Illinois Route 176 West.” At the time I was facing south. The compass in the Jeep confirmed that I was facing south. I know Chicago was to my east, or at the very least southeast, so heading west on a route wouldn’t have made sense. I turned left and saw a sign that said Illinois 176 East, even though Siri said turning left would have taken me west.

I figured she was just having a day and carried on.

“Turn right onto US Route 12 North”. Wait a minute. Heading east on Illinois 176, as confirmed by the signs I was passing, meant that if I turned right onto US 12 (no cloverleaf or anything) I would be turning south, or at the very least, southeast. I turned right onto US 12 and that it was signed East US 12, South Illinois 59. Nowhere was there a sign that said north, even though Siri said to turn right to turn north. Looking at the map, to get onto US 12 North (which was actually US 12 West and Illinois 59 North), I would have had to turn left.

This sort of frivolity continued for three more turns, where Siri told me to turn left or right in the proper direction but she didn’t know what the direction was, she was 180 degrees turned around. She was insisting that I basically head west to get to Chicago, even though she was pointing me eastward. I decided to play it safe and I turned off Apple Maps, moved it to my “unused” folder and fired up Google Maps in her place. Google Maps knew which way was what and successfully got me home in less time than predicted by Siri.

For all the premium money one pays for the “Apple experience”, I’m concerned with the rash of bugs that have been present in seemingly the majority of Apple’s software lately. Apple Maps has had a bad rap for several years, and I keep hoping that it’ll get up to speed with the rest of the world, but it just doesn’t make the grade.



  1. I agree. It’s getting harder to stay within Apple’s ecosystem, and easier (and actually more preferable in some cases) to have a wider view.

    Siri is, in my experience, by far the least good of the digital assistants. Even searching “when is Mobile World Congress” gave a “here’s what I found” instead of just telling me the dates like Google Assistant did.

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