Apple is launching a program to work with retail store employees help improve the company’s Maps app for iOS 6. Participating stores will spend 40 hours of staff time per week (split among several employees) to manually study Apple’s mapping data. Around 10 employees are participating in the Apple Maps program at one store The suggest changes to maps will be submitted through an internal portal on Apple’s Intranet. Apple is also hiring former Google Maps employees to improve their mapping service. [MacRumors]
Apple iOS 6 Posts
When the iPhone 5 was released with the new Apple Maps, the reviews were bad and Apple CEO Tim Cook even apologized for how bad it was. Even the app icon for Maps was terrible. If you look closely at the icon that Apple made for the iPhone maps app, you will see that the direction of the map in the icon makes no sense. Above is an example that Nik Cubrilovic made. Notice how the map is telling you to drive off the bridge. Google exec Vic Gundotra once complimented Steve Jobs on his undeniable passion for design. One day Jobs called Gundotra about how the second “o” in the Google logo has the wrong yellow gradient in it. It is a small mistake to make because it is barely noticeable, but Apple is a company that is known for their perfectionism.
A lot of people are complaining about how the new Maps app in iOS 6 is bad. Apple CEO Tim Cook even just apologized for it. However Apple said that they will improve on their mapping product quickly. Motorola decided to take advantage of Apple’s negative PR, but it kind of back-fired on them. Motorola Mobility used a fake address in a recent ad as part of an attempt to make Apple’s mapping app look inferior to Google Maps. The ad used a hashtag that said #iLost. It shows how a DROID RAZR M smartphone locating the address in Manhattan with a detailed map and satellite imagery. Next to the DROID RAZR M is an iPhone 5 that cannot find the same location, but found a similar address in Brooklyn instead. The address that Motorola used 315 East 15th Street in Manhattan does note exist according to the U.S. Postal Service and the NYC Department of Buildings.
John Gruber is the guy behind the website Daring Fireball. Daring Fireball is a website that often writes about Apple products and Gruber is a close friends with a lot of Apple’s upper management employees. In one of his latest blog posts, Gruber addresses the rumor that Google Maps had about a year left with their contract to be a default mapping application on the Apple iPhone, which is why they were caught off-guard when Apple released their own mapping application as the default for iOS 6. This is what he had to say about that claim:
If you have Apple Maps on iOS 6 and still tend to use Google Maps through Safari or Google Chrome on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, you may be thrilled to find out that Google Street View is coming to Safari on iOS 6 in around 2 weeks. When you visit maps.google.com through Safari, you will be prompted to add it to your home screen every time you visit. However the Google maps web application does not have vocal directions.
The New York Times is reporting that google is currently developing a Google Maps app for iOS 6 and is planning to finish it by the end of the year this way Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users have more options to use. The reason for the delay is because Google expected Google Maps to be on the iPhone for some time based on a contract between the two companies. Google had no idea that Apple was pulling Google Maps from iOS devices until Apple had announced it publicly. Google also wants to combine Google Earth and 3D images into the iOS 6 version of Google Maps so that it works just as good (or better) than Apple Maps.
After Apple removed the Google Maps as a default application on the iPhone 5, there has been speculation about whether Google will develop a mapping application independently. However the company has not made any moves to launch a separate Google Maps application for the iPhone 5 according to Google Executive chairman Eric Schmidt.
Apple sent out a statement to AllThingsD saying that the company is working hard to improve the customer experience with the Maps application on iOS 6. Apple promised that they would get better over time and I believe it, but I think that Google should still release a Google Maps app for the iPhone 5 since they have a much LARGER team focused on navigation than Apple does. Below is Apple’s statement: