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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > Lack of Maps upgrades in iOS 8 blamed on departures, management [u]

Lack of Maps upgrades in iOS 8 blamed on departures, management [u]
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MacNN Staff
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Jun 9, 2014, 09:31 AM
 
(Updated with evidence of transit development) The absence of any major Maps improvements in last week's iOS 8 announcement can be blamed on internal problems at Apple, sources say. It had been expected that Apple would restore public transit directions, and make additions like better labeling, more points of interest, and/or augmented reality functions. The sources claim, however, that these features simply weren't ready for WWDC.

"Many developers left the company, no map improvements planned for iOS 8 release were finished in time," one person says. "Mostly it was failure of project managers and engineering project managers, tasks were very badly planned, developers had to switch multiple times from project to project."

Another source takes a slightly different view. "I would say that planning, project management and internal politics issues were a much more significant contributor to the failure to complete projects than developers leaving the group."

Apple's Maps app -- which was brought to OS X as well in 2013 -- has struggled to compete with Google Maps since the latter was removed as a native iOS element in 2012. Users have complained about the loss of public transit options, poor accuracy, and other issues. An independent version of Google Maps has remained a popular download at the App Store since it was released.

Update: Accounts note that in one WWDC session video, a Maps screenshot contains a bus icon, hinting that Apple has been developing transit directions but had to scratch it from the version of iOS 8 seen last week.


( Last edited by NewsPoster; Jun 9, 2014 at 12:03 PM. )
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 10:06 AM
 
Apple announced a ton of enhancements to almost everything so picking out Maps as somehow failing to meet your expectations is a little harsh. Employees (if that's your source) will always complain about a variety of things (I did) but the bottom line is iOS8 and Yosemite weren't being released at WWDC, they were being announced so there's always time for changes, both additions and subtractions. Let's talk about all the great changes and quit worrying about things that aren't there (yet).
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 10:27 AM
 
What "Projects"? What "Developers"????

The problem with Apple maps is completely incorrect data, lack of walking directions, missing roads, unmarked one-way streets and just plain old errors everywhere. It's a problem that requires the application of thousands of boring hours of data-entry and data-checking.

Worrying about adding in all this social crap when they haven't even got the basic data right, is like re-arranging the deck chairs on the titanic. Get the ****ing data first, then worry about developers and projects to improve the UI.
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 12:29 PM
 
New features / new hardwares get Apple stock excitement going. Stock holders don't care about making apps perfect. Plus isn't it TomTom's fault since the data is originated from them? Apple should had used Garmin or NavTeq backend database instead.
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 01:39 PM
 
Apple uses several back-end technologies, including TomTom, TeleAtlas, and OpenStreetMap among others.

Blaming Apple for the incorrect/incomplete map data is like blaming Google for the content of an email you received -- realizing, though, that Apple is the front-end to all this and therefore will be the first stop on the list when you're looking to someone to complain to or to hold at fault. Most consumers are not aware nor do they need to be aware that Apple is simply putting an interface atop someone else's data, so it stands to reason that Apple takes a lot of the blame for incorrect data that originated from a completely different company.
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 03:23 PM
 
I guess that explains complete lack,of updating and reacting to maps corrections, and why constant and consistent reporting of real issues took almost two years to get a response, and *finally* a fix.
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 04:47 PM
 
They seriously need to fix their data first. We went traveling this weekend and not a single place we pulled up directions for (hotel, restaurants, etc) had the pin in the right spot. Apple doesn't deserve a pass on this. Blaming the people they got the data from isn't going to cut it. Not with this much of a problem with the data. They should/could have sourced better data. They certainly shouldn't have gotten it from multiple sources and mixed it all together.
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 04:59 PM
 
"They certainly shouldn't have gotten it from multiple sources and mixed it all together."

This is exactly how virtually all map data providers and resellers operate.

Do you know of a source of highly-accurate, homegrown, worldwide, cartographic and POI data that is completely independent of the major suppliers of worldwide cartographic data and is not a combination of several sources of independent data?

Methinks you're asking Apple to source their worldwide map data from a company or source that simply does not exist.
     
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Jun 9, 2014, 09:02 PM
 
I use Waze a lot and it's still not totally accurate when I travel. It misses a hotels a few blocks, it cannot find entrance to Hershey Park, and it locates my house falsely (a few houses from my actual house). Other places it's dead on the spot with zero error. I think all GPS are the same with plus or minus margin errors. With all these glitches, I still refuse to use the old fashion paper map from the old days..... LOL.
( Last edited by coffeetime; Jun 10, 2014 at 10:06 AM. )
     
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Jun 10, 2014, 09:52 AM
 
Diablo, it doesn't change the fact that nothing... not a single restaurant, coffee shop, nor the hotel we stayed in was located properly on this trip. Google Maps, meanwhile, nailed it all. It's not just this trip, but every trip we've been on since Apple's Maps debuted has had a majority of the destinations wrong. We drove literally in circles trying to find a cafe for lunch once that sounded good from the reviews and started to go elsewhere when I spotted it on the opposite side of the plaza where Maps said it was (no, they hadn't moved).

I've tried submitting corrections to Apple in the past for errors and gave up when they screwed it up repeatedly. The bizarre thing is they seem to have house addresses down pretty good, but business listings are a disaster. On top of this, it appears they have Siri using a completely different database. A couple months ago, I used Siri to try and find a Starbucks that I knew was nearby, but couldn't recall where exactly. Siri listed a whole bunch of locations EXCEPT the one that was 2 blocks away, but was on Apple's Maps (one of the few times Maps had it right). This whole thing is a joke and what's really absurd is all the apologists are giving Apple excuses to not work harder at fixing it.
( Last edited by Lifeisabeach; Jun 10, 2014 at 10:42 AM. )
     
   
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