Apple’s Hiring to Fix iOS 6 Maps Mess

LostApple’s got to fix iOS 6 Maps, and it better do it soon. The company’s wild celebration of the iPhone 5’s initial sales has been blunted by the gleeful mocking of one of iOS 6’s most important new features. There seems to be something of a consensus out there in Apple Land: To put it bluntly, its new Maps stink.

What’s Cupertino’s solution? Recruit map gurus, of course, starting with experts from Google, whose maps the company discarded during their increasingly bitter tiff. Reports say Apple’s trying to lure away Googlers who worked on its mapping product. Many are said to be interested.

Some gossip: One open position, which some speculate is for a product development manager, will pay at least $85,000, plus moving expenses. Apple is advertising for at least 10 map-related jobs right now.

A Crisis in Cupertino?

iPhone users worldwide are having a marvelous time pointing out Maps’ many flaws, whether it’s locating gas stations on top of skyscrapers, erasing major universities from the face of the Earth or transforming the Brooklyn Bridge into the scariest looking roller coaster of all time.

On top of that, some analysts are hyping these mistakes as representing an existential crisis for Apple. Would Steve Jobs have let this happen? Has Apple given up on perfection? Is this the moment when Samsung, Google and Microsoft should go in for the kill?

It won’t be easy for Apple to play catch-up in a competition with Google over maps, but Apple knows it needs its own mapping resources going forward no matter what. As pundits often note, “It’s just software,” and it’s sure to be fixed in time (or else the ghost of Steve Jobs will haunt the dreams of iOS 6’s developers, if he isn’t already).


Image: Lostpedia

13 Responses to “Apple’s Hiring to Fix iOS 6 Maps Mess”

  1. Application Developer

    85K for a manager in SF area? Wow, you gotta be kidding me? This must be a joke. Apple has so much money and they offer so little? Come on, at least 120K for a manager position at Apple would be fair.

    Apple should hire some Indian or Chinese people if they are on such a tight budget.

  2. At best, this Maps.0 syndrome will sway — what? 50 people worldwide — to switch to an Android? The rest will probably just complain until it is fixed or stick with iOS5 on their current iPhone. I seriously doubt there is a “kill” opening for 2 reasons:
    (1) Companies are slow to react. So by the time they react Maps will be in .1 or .2 territory
    (2) This is only one of the features in a platform jam-pcked full of great features.

    And {shameless plug/bonus points}
    (3) Until then there is always the free turn-by-turn navigation app Waze I mentioned in this very blog site:
    (hint it is under “Navigation”)

  3. M NOIVAD – are you serious? 50 people world wide?
    I think you’ll find maps/navigation apps are one of the most frequently used apps on any smartphone.
    Apple have screwed up here and the fact that Google have announced that they have no plans to release a Google Maps app for them just goes to confirm that. They are clearly drawing a line here. It’s all well a good you saying ‘oh download this free navigation app in the mean time’ but how many people are 1) seriously going to download it 2) actually ever heard of it? When you fork out this sort of money for a top of the range phone you want the best apps as well…and in this department it is Google Maps/Navigation.

  4. Nunaya Dambizness

    Ha ha! Lotsa luck getting skilled mapping people for that kind of bargain basement rate. I’m doing mapping work for a defense contractor (who shall remain nameless) and I’m making over $100K – TAX FREE (stationed overseas, so no Federal or State income tax!) – and I’m just a work bee, not a product manager. And I have many friends and associates who do mapping work as government employees who make a lot more than I do. Apple is a buynch of cheapskates, IMHO.

  5. I’ve been in mapping software business since 20 years. In my opinion Apple did everything wrong, the type off errors shows me that they have inexperienced personnel an that job. For instance the “airfield bug”: Some body use the namefiled to tag features, it seems to me that they had no idea how a gis system works. Next their data suppliers: tiger & openstreetmap stuffed up with crappy software from TomTom for the base map paired with some stuff from the internet.

    Tom Tom navi’s (gps) are already known for bad quality – Chinese hardware meets programmer from India. This type of know how was bought by a product manager responsible for a multi billion $$$ business.

    And now the brass thinks a 85k product manager can fix this mess? I think they are panicking like lunatics.

    Nobody can fix it without proper data – unfortunately best data set from Navteq is owned by Nokia (ups – the competion), the Teleatlas data set (owned by TomTom) is maintained in India. Google dumped the Teleatlas set data in Germany as well as in other countries including the US.

    Avarice an is ruling Apple these days. A 2nd class manager will always hire 3rd class engineer which leads into 4th class product.

    1994 J. Porter Clark from NASA phrased:
    Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice

    The apple leaders should think about it or should seek help of a psychic calling Steven Jobs for help.