iOS 6 Features, Release Date: Apple Luring Google Maps Staff?
Mom was wrong. Sometimes whining does work. If you're one of the millions who voiced disappointment with Apple's Maps app after downloading iOS 6 last week, it looks like the tech giant was listening. Apple is currently trying to lure Google Maps engineers to work for the company, TechCrunch is reporting.
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After the almost-universal sentiment spread across the web last week that Apple's Maps was an unequivocal failure, sources are now claiming that many of those who were contracted to help Google with its Maps application are seriously considering joining Apple. Not only because of the company's culture of "revolution and innovation," but because staffers are attracted to the idea of creating something new, rather than just continuing to deliver "tedious updates" to an already established product.
Apple launched its brand new Maps app through the company's new upgrade of iOS 6 on Sept. 19. Not long after, users took to every corner of the Internet to sound their disapproval of virtually every element of the app, and utter confusion as to why Apple had chosen to make the switch.
Tech site T3 quickly noted that even with its aesthetically pleasing appearance, and some nice features, the functionality of Apple's Maps' search was reportedly "hit and miss in terms of finding London locations." Apparently, Apple's new app displays more road names than place names, and does away with color-coded roads, so, navigating to a specific point using pinch and zoom is much trickier.
Engadget thought the app wasn't nearly as comprehensive as Google's offerings on Android, but said the app's biggest drawback was its lack of public transportation directions, so if you haven't mastered the subway yet, you won't be getting any help from Maps.
And while asking for subway directions doesn't work particularly well, according to Engadget, the app actually does offer public transportation directions. However, if you choose that option it shoots you straight into the App Store with a search for "Routing Apps," a search that currently has zero results.
Apple Maps lacks the kind of detailed layering that you can apply in Google Maps and Google Navigation, and shows you whatever you want to see. Maps will list some important places of interest -- mostly gas stations and convenience shops -- but if you want to see all Italian restaurants on your route you'll have to dig deeper.
While Maps does show traffic, Engadget says it never saw it give a warning about traffic along a route currently being navigated.
Allthingsd said the app was a step backward from Google Maps. While Apple's maps feature a 3-D "Flyover" view of some central cities, they lack Google's very useful ground-level photographic street views. And while the site thought Apple's maps were accurate, they reportedly tend to default to a more zoomed-in view than Google's, making them look emptier until you zoom out.
Maps also reportedly lacks key details on prominent cities, and in one instance, an entire town was in the wrong location. Users also found duplicate islands and other bizarre quirks.
Even Google Maps designer Fred Gilbert who worked with Apple on the original Google Maps app for the first iPhone voiced his incredible disappointment with Apple Maps over Google+, saying "as one of the original designers of Google Mobile Maps I remember how difficult it was working with Apple. But this just blows my mind," according to seroundtable.com.
Of course, it's not clear whether former Google workers will want to join Apple to fix up its Maps. However, TechCrunch's source claims that many of the folks who used to work on Google Maps seem willing to join Apple, and one person who did is "now paid handsomely" by the iPhone maker. Another person who was recently contacted by an Apple recruiter was reportedly offered an $85,000 salary plus moving expenses to get working on the project.
Google is also reportedly working on its own solution to the Maps failure. According to The Guardian, Google is working now on an app that will be available through Apple's App Store. That app will likely deliver the same Google Maps experience users had in previous versions of iOS. Apple site 9to5Mac chimed in on the news, saying that its sources have confirmed an updated version of Google Maps is "awaiting approval" from Apple.
The forever tight-lipped Apple has confirmed nothing, nor has it commented on when these changes will take place.