It’s no secret that Apple’s iOS Maps is currently a failure, and that’s probably putting it lightly. In the past days since iOS 6’s release, I’ve seen countless memes, gifs, blogs, posts, etc. all poking fun at it’s failures. Even Motorola joined in on the fun with their “#iLost” ad campaign. With that said, you better believe that Apple has been listening and isn’t just going to sit back and have themselves continuously ridiculed and embarrassed. After all, we know the high pedestal that Apple puts themselves on.
I’m sure Apple sat back and thought to themselves, “what’s the quickest and most effective way to improve iOS Maps?” I’m sure it didn’t take them long enough to turn to Google’s ex engineers that were so instrumental in creating Google Maps, which is hands down better in every way than iOS Maps. According to sources, Apple is targeting plenty of Google’s ex employees who rigorously worked on Google Maps, more specifically a certain contractor that worked closely on Google’s much popular “Street View” feature. According to this engineer, once Street View was mostly finished, this made Google direct their attention to indoor mapping, thus things started to become less interesting for him and his colleagues and thus prompted them to look for work elsewhere. Here’s how he described the situation via Techcrunch:
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 hansomly 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.
I’m sure this isn’t what you Android fans want to hear, but according to him, Apple’s Maps has a good shot at becoming just as good as Google Maps one day. While he did say there’s a lot of catching up to do, it is definitely within reach:
Apple has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to build a robust mapping platform to counter Google Maps, so it doesn’t surprise me that it’s going out of its way to lure former and current Google Maps employees. At Google Maps, we know what data’s important, rendering priorities, keyword searches, and how the user experience is suppose to be. However, Apple needs to find a way to get its own 5 million miles of street view data, partner with the right folks, and spend a fortune on licensed data – which it can.
So what do you guys think about this? Do you think with Google’s ex employees’ help, iOS Maps will actually compete with Google Maps one day? I’m sure some will bothered that these guys are moving on to Apple and helping them out, but you also have to understand that most engineers like a good challenge, and working for Apple would definitely be an opportunity only a few would pass up. Also, the guy mentions a pay of $85k+ for the positions. I feel that was probably a typo as I expect that to be much higher.
Either way, looks like Apple is definitely listening to all of the scrutiny it’s receiving and is planning on doing something about it, in a huge way. For now, only time will tell on iOS Maps full potential.