Not necessarily, though Maps has improved substantially since the release by former Apple employee Scott Forstall at WWDC 2012 just two years ago today. Apple Maps gets used the most because it’s the default maps app on iPhone and iPad. After showing off OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 at this year’s WWDC Keynote, one can conclude that Maps still has a problem.
Maps Is Hard Work
First, a little history. Up until mid-2012, the default Maps app on Apples iOS devices was Apple’s own Maps app, but the data came from Google.
Google’s Maps on Android devices was superior so Apple decided to roll their own, ditch Google to the App Store (eventually) and launched an incomplete Maps app two years ago.
Second, Apple’s original version of Maps wasn’t as good as it should have been, and resulted in the Maps chief Scott Forstall being shown the door.
Apple CEO Tim Cook vowed to improve Maps and delivered on the promise. That was then and this is now, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned, maps is hard work.
Two years later I have few problems with Apple’s Maps app, though I keep Google Maps on my iPhone and iPad. Just in case. What’s interesting is that for all the noise that Apple Maps made in 2012– not much of it was good– Apple hasn’t done much to Maps recently, and didn’t even mention it at this year’s WWDC 2014 Keynote which highlighted new versions of both OS X and iOS.
Whatever Happened To Maps?
The only mention of Maps in the Keynote was news that vector maps are now available in China. Big whoop, right?
The rumor mill worked itself into overdrive with stories of mismanagement, missed deadlines, and developers being moved to other, more important projects (Swift, OS X Yosemite, iOS 8, etc.). Or, just leaving the company altogether.
Sometimes I think Apple has just a few dozen app developers and they bounce around every few months to work on new apps, but that’s just a New Yorker’s standard suspicion of anything that happens in Washington D.C. or California.
Where’s the new Maps? Some blame the Maps no show on Cathy Edwards who was in charge of Maps Quality until mid-spring this year. It’s usually a sure sign of discontent among the troops and missed deadlines when a high ranking employee gets shown the door.
Can you say, ‘Scott Forstall?‘
The guy in charge of Maps is the same guy in charge of iTunes, iTunes Radio, Apple TV and other products that are struggling to remain relevant– Eddy Cue. Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, the newly minted executives from Beats Electronics won’t be able to do much to get Maps back on track. That’s Cue’s job. And it’s Tim Cook’s job to make it happen. If Eddy Cue leaves Apple any time soon then we’ll have a clear indication of ongoing executive level problems in Cupertino.