iOS and the issue of localisation

It’s here! Apple finally unveiled iOS 15 during it’s annual WWDC keynote. While not the biggest of updates, it does feature some nice new tricks including improved notifications, new functions for FaceTime and more. One of things that really amazed me was the gorgeous new Apple Maps-view. But after 10 seconds into the segment, the amazement turned into frustration.

Apple Maps

With every major iOS-update, Apple announces new features for its Maps app. We had rebuilt and improved map data in iOS 12, Look Around in iOS 13 and cycling routes in iOS 14. Speed limits and speed camera’s were added over the years, too. But even years after they were added, many people around the world (including me in Belgium), are still left in the dark. And this years new 3D-view is no exception. So whenever they start talking about Apple Maps during a WWDC keynote, the only thing I can think about is “look at these gorgeous things we’ll never be able to use.”

Apple Watch

The issue is not limited to Maps, however. Think about scribble on the Apple Watch. The dictionary on iOS and watchOS is available in Dutch, and our letters are exactly the same to the ones people use when writing English. But still, using scribble with an Apple Watch set to Dutch is not an option. Hell, Siri can’t even talk when having her set to Flemish on the Apple Watch. (That’s the least of my worries, though. But still, a nice one to add to the list.)

What about services?

While a majority of Apple services are available worldwide. We’re still waiting for Apple News(+), Fitness+ and the more profitable Apple One bundle. Paying my friends with Apple Pay Cash or buying my new iPhone with the Apple Card? Nope, don’t even dream about it.

To conclude

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad news. This fall, in iOS 15, Dutch users will finally be able to use the QuickPath feature when typing. (A couple of years after it was originally released.) And over the past few years, things like Apple Pay have slowly started rolling out here.

I know it’s not easy to bring all of the new features to every country or city at the same time. A lot of times Apple isn’t even allowed to release stuff because of government regulations, or because other companies just don’t feel like participating. But still, I often have the feeling that Apple just releases new functions, expands them to cities in the USA and then forgets about their users across the ocean.

So, to conclude. I love Apple and their products. That’s the reason why I keep buying their stuff despite my little rant over here. But please put some more effort in releasing all features iOS has to the rest of the world. We pay just as much for our brand new iPhone, and would like to enjoy it just like people in the US (or other select big cities around the world) can.

Belgian online marketeer with a passion for tech and everything .