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Apple Is Desperate With iOS Maps. Recruiting Ex-Googlers To Fix It

Eric McBride
17

 

The disaster that is IOS maps has certainly made its way around the internet lately, and with all the issues Apple is currently having, it’s pretty fair to say that they are getting desperate to repair the damage. Apple is so desperate in fact, that according to TechCrunch, they are aggressively recruiting ex-Google Maps engineers to help them get their maps off the ground.

A contractor who previously worked on Google Maps Street View integration was in contact with TechCruch, and as he explains here, many of the engineers who developed Google Maps left the company once the project was completed:

“Many of my coworkers at Google Maps eventually left when their contracts ended or on their own accord. One guy looked around for other GIS work and ended up at Apple when a recruiter contacted him. He had heard rumors for a while that Apple was going to develop its own in-house mapping platform, and given his experience at Google, he was an easy hire. Apple went out of their way to bring him down to Cupertino and he’s now paid handsomely as a GIS Analyst.

Another coworker that was a project lead at Google Maps, left for the East Coast after his contract ended, and was recently contacted by an Apple recruiter. The position sounds like a product development manager position, and will pay him $85k+ and all the moving expenses from the East Coast. He’s gone through 2 rounds of interview and seems like a frontrunner to land that position”.

While many of you (ok..myself included) might be pointing a finger and laughing at Apple for needing the help of ex-Googlers to sort out this mess, it actually makes a lot of sense. Apple is very far behind Google when it comes to maps, and who better to recruit than the men and women behind Google’s extremely popular maps service?

What’s also fair to remember is that while IOS maps is a disaster right now, they WILL get these issues sorted out, and having ex-Googlers on their side is certainly a step in the right direction. I have no doubt in my mind that IOS maps could have the potential to be just as good (one day maybe..oh seconde though..I doubt it) as Google Maps. This won’t happen anytime soon though, and while Apple desperately plays catch up with Google Maps, I’m sure Google will continue to evolve and add more great functions into everyone’s favorite mapping platform.

Picture credits: waddlingkidcp.files.wordpress.com (edited by myself)

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Comments

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  • Robert Jansen Sep 24, 2012 Link

    Everybody is just basically beta testing Maps for them... sounds a bit dodgy, no?

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  • Eric McBride Sep 24, 2012 Link

    It does doesn't it! Why the hell didn't they just properly test their software before releasing it? I think they felt rushed to release it with the iPhone 5.

    Big mistake apparently.

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  • Dvoraak Sep 24, 2012 Link

    I don't think they had much of a choice. They publicized the split from Google months ago. I'm guessing they thought they'd have it polished and ready. I'm sure they knew how rough it was at the time of release but, by then, it was too late.

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  • Eric McBride Sep 24, 2012 Link

    @Dvoraak - Yeah..that was pretty stupid separating with Google the way they did. They must be under some serious pressure to compete with Google in the maps scene, but rushing out a release sure isn't helping. It's just making iPhone users miss Google Maps.

    I wonder how many people at Apple HQ got some serious verbal thrashings over this?

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  • Dvoraak Sep 24, 2012 Link

    In the end iOS users are the same as Android. They're willing to overlook some shortcomings in their device of choice. Google will probably release a map app soon and iPhoners will jump on it. Bad maps are probably as close as Apple has come to a deal breaker with users but with Google's app on the horizon the users will weather the storm.

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  • Robert Jansen Sep 24, 2012 Link

    Somehow I don't think that this would have happen if Jobs was still alive.
    Say what you will about the guy, but his desire for quality did reflect in his products.

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  • Dvoraak Sep 24, 2012 Link

    Yeah.... Jobs would be apoplectic over a flub like this.

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  • Eric McBride Sep 24, 2012 Link

    Oh God yes. If that happened when Steve Jobs was alive..OH MY GOD.

    Actually, Steve never would have allowed it to get released in such an alpha stage.

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  • Dvoraak Sep 24, 2012 Link

    Wow! Just found a poll on Macrumors. Jobs is definitely missed. Check this out.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1445493

    36% report the new iPhone being scuffed right out of the box. Saw another comment on yahoo that said pocket wear was taking the black paint off after 2 days. This is HUGE. Without design perfection iPhone has real issues.

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  • Eric McBride Sep 24, 2012 Link

    WOW. That is HUGE! Thank you for sharing this! Might have just inspired another article for this week :-D

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  • Dvoraak Sep 24, 2012 Link

    My lawyer will call your lawyer so we can discuss my fees ;)

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  • David H. Sep 24, 2012 Link

    I foresee a huge patent war coming! These engineers were hired by Google to develop the software, which Google owns all the rights to, not the engineers.
    Now they are making the SAME software for a competitor, it is impssible for them to not implement the things they developed for Google while in their employ.

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  • Eric McBride Sep 24, 2012 Link

    @Dvoraak - DOH! Hopefully I get some sort of discount? :-D

    @David - It is definitely something that crossed my mind, but then again, Apple has every right to make its own Maps, just as Microsoft and Nokia did.

    I WISH Apple would be dumb enough to use Google's patents in their maps. Google would wipe the floor with them in court if they did.

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  • Dvoraak Sep 24, 2012 Link

    @Eric - You're in luck. I'm too poor to hire a lawyer.

    The UI in Apple maps is already identical to Google's except for the 3D view. Not sure how they could copy more than they already have.

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  • chinu Sep 25, 2012 Link

    Comparatively less details with google maps. Ios maps are stinkers.... Beta version. Force close.. Wrong locations.....

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  • CJ Brown Oct 1, 2012 Link

    sometimes I think the iPhone5 was a beta test for how the Apple iPhone can handle 4G lte using a dual core processor & a 4" display ...

    You can consider this an expensive beta test, but also an improved Smart Phone compared to the previous iPhones (it is indeed the best Apple Smart Phone on the market, however it has plenty of issues that need to be dealt with & it will be in Tim Cook's best interest not to play denial like Steve Jobs used to do) ...

    if I was a former Google Maps employee, I would go work for Apple (in this economy, you don't say "no" to a 60k - 90k salary with benefits), lets see if Apple "accidently" copies some things they shouldn't legally (lol) ...

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  • Eric McBride Oct 1, 2012 Link

    @Dvoraak - LOL!

    But you do have a point. The UI is damn similiar. Wonder if Google even cares?

    @Chinu - True that. It's like they released a full on alpha version to the public. Sloppy sloppy.

    @CJ - I thought exactly the same CJ. I'm curious what the iPhone 5S will bring to the table, although I doubt Apple will ever go back now to using a smaller screen.

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