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Apple allegedly luring ex-Google Maps engineers to work on iOS 6 Maps app

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 
According to a report on Sunday, Apple is actively recruiting software engineers previously contracted by Google's Maps division to advance the new iOS Maps app, which has been widely criticized since its inception with iOS 6.

A source with connections at both Apple and Google told TechCrunch the iPhone maker is taking advantage of a lull in innovation at Google Maps, and is attempting to lure away software engineers who helped roll out the search giant's mapping service.

Now out of contract, the former Google engineers have reportedly become weary of performing ?tedious updates? and are more than willing to start work on Apple's fledging product.

The source, a contractor who worked on implementing Street View and Google Maps services like turn-by-turn navigation, claims that engineers became less interested in further development when focus began to shift toward indoor mapping, with many looking to leave for more stimulating opportunities.

"One guy looked around for other GIS work and ended up at Apple when a recruiter contacted him," said the source. "He had heard rumors for a while that Apple was going to develop its own in-house mapping platform, and given his experience at Google, he was an easy hire. Apple went out of their way to bring him down to Cupertino and he?s now paid hansomly (sic) as a GIS Analyst."

The report goes on to say that another project lead at Google's mapping initiative left the company after his contract expired, and was recently contacted by an Apple recruiter for what could be a position paying in excess of $85,000.

Maps Location Inaccuracy
Location inaccuracy seen in Apple's new iOS Maps app.


Apple is not making the mapping tech hires a secret, as it posted numerous listings on its job site over the past month to help develop what many critics say is an inferior Google Maps replacement.

After a multitude of complaints regarding the new Maps app's lack of features, rendering issues and other quibbles hit the web last week, Apple issued a statement saying it is working hard to remedy the problems, though a complete solution is likely months away.

"Apple has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to build a robust mapping platform to counter Google Maps, so it doesn?t surprise me that it?s going out of its way to lure former and current Google Maps employees," the source said. "At Google Maps, we know what data?s important, rendering priorities, keyword searches, and how the user experience is suppose to be. However, Apple needs to find a way to get its own 5 million miles of street view data, partner with the right folks, and spend a fortune on licensed data ? which it can."
post #2 of 88
Well duhh... wouldn't YOU apply for those jobs if you used to do nearly the exact same work for Google? Apple would be a fool to NOT hire such applicants!
post #3 of 88
Sounds like a good plan to me
post #4 of 88
Quote:
when focus began to shit toward indoor mapping,

Whoops!
post #5 of 88
Originally Posted by brclark82 View Post
Whoops!

 

Thanks. And I think I got the rest of the problems, too.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #6 of 88
I like the large, turn by turn instructions in the route planning section of Maps - much better than Google! There may be issues but unlike others I'm impressed with this initial implementation! Hope they can sort out the glitches that have caused some folks to be unhappy.
post #7 of 88
Silly article.

Most of the complaints about Apple's Maps program involves data entry. You don't need software engineers to do that.

However, if they really are hiring software engineers, why not hire someone with experience. Unless Google has a noncompete with those employees, they're fair game. And even if there is a non-compete, those are pretty hard to enforce in CA.
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post #8 of 88
The critics and nay-sayers are having a chuckle today. Competitors are rallying the troops. But Apple will have the last laugh in the end. They will continue to work on it until it's better than Google maps. Yet another great hope for the demise of Apple goes down in flames. My son has an iPhone 5 and I upgraded my iPad 2 to iOS 6.0. The maps app is a work in progress but it is certainly the abject failure it has been portrayed to be. More drama queens whining doesn't change that fact imho.
post #9 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

The critics and nay-sayers are having a chuckle today. Competitors are rallying the troops. But Apple will have the last laugh in the end. They will continue to work on it until it's better than Google maps. Yet another great hope for the demise of Apple goes down in flames. My son has an iPhone 5 and I upgraded my iPad 2 to iOS 6.0. The maps app is a work in progress but it is certainly the abject failure it has been portrayed to be. More drama queens whining doesn't change that fact imho.

with so much users, so much talent and resources, apple will have by far the best maps app in 2 years tops. google has no chance. next step? search. i want a decent and innovative search engine.

post #10 of 88
All Apple employees in Cupertino need to leave their Ferraris at home for the next week and use the new iOS 6 Maps application to get to work by public transit.
post #11 of 88
Although I've only tested in Melbourne, iOS6 uses TomTom data for actual street navigation in Australia and it works just fine. Also the case for Canada and USA according the credits: http://gspa21.ls.apple.com/html/attribution.html I'm guessing from the high rate of errors that Europe is not covered by a TomTom navigation data agreement (?)

The satellite imagery for the my area has been on par with Google's and the app is smoother and more responsive.

A huge task ahead for Apple to fix errors and add services but hardly warranting all the Chicken Little impersonations from the tech press.

Enz
post #12 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by john_l_uk View Post

I like the large, turn by turn instructions in the route planning section of Maps - much better than Google! There may be issues but unlike others I'm impressed with this initial implementation! Hope they can sort out the glitches that have caused some folks to be unhappy.

Unfortunately it's not just glitches.
post #13 of 88

The biggest problem is that people here think that if you've the money and people, you can do everything under the Sun. It's just not true. When Apple keeps adding things they do, the marginal effectiveness will keep decreasing. Just look at Google, they have to keep cutting stuffs they're doing since Larry became CEO, because they just couldn't manage all these projects well. 

post #14 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Silly article.
Most of the complaints about Apple's Maps program involves data entry. You don't need software engineers to do that.
However, if they really are hiring software engineers, why not hire someone with experience. Unless Google has a noncompete with those employees, they're fair game. And even if there is a non-compete, those are pretty hard to enforce in CA.

Do non competing include personal only contracted and not directly employed?
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #15 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

The maps app is a work in progress but it is certainly the abject failure it has been portrayed to be. More drama queens whining doesn't change that fact imho.
Hmmm... Freudian Slip?
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #16 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

with so much users, so much talent and resources, apple will have by far the best maps app in 2 years tops. google has no chance. next step? search. i want a decent and innovative search engine.

Do you really believe that with over 7000 employees on maps alone that Google won't improve. They'd be stupid not to take advantage of this opportunity and release a map app for iOS 6.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #17 of 88
The google maps in iOS 5 were garbage compared to android, anyway. Normally I take a middle line on these issues, but I think Apple made the right move taking this in-house. Not providing native public transit was a poor strategy, and I feel like a lot of users will be put out by this, but the Google maps in iOS 5 were frequently DEAD WRONG and that is worse than no implementation at all.

The maps app in any smartphone is a key piece of the user experience, and I think Apple will close the gap in due time.

Let's not forget, though, dear fellow Apple enthusiasts, that the Google maps app that we've been stuck with was always rubbish. At least now the future might hold some promise. It's a short-term loss, (potential) long-term gain, and the fact that Apple is sniping Google software engineers is a clear sign that Apple is taking this seriously, as they should.

To draw a circle around the point, however, maps are a core component of any smartphone and in-house development is the best strategy for a company that has the resources to do it. Apple has those resources, and they made the right move.
post #18 of 88

Please someone explain how Apple is going to overtake Google in mapping when the entire mapping trend is toward localized search and we all know who the king of localized search is. Apple does not stand a chance in this niche market because they don't own their data to begin with and they are dependent on others to deliver questionable data to them where as Google is constantly adding, in a massive scale, to their already huge database which they own and manipulate as needed.

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post #19 of 88

After a few days to catch my breath about Google Maps, I'm pretty much over it.

 

Long-term, Apple had to take this under their roof at one time or another. I can see that a little more clearly now. It had to happen, and if it'll happen with a few bumps, then the strength and breadth of the rest of the iOS ecosystem will act as a cushion. 

 

Maps is now Apple's baby. Theirs to develop, all under their control. I like that. At the end of the day, while Apple took a black eye for it, it's a short term sacrifice for long-term gain. It isn't really about severing ties to Google and screwing over users. It's about taking more control of the entire experience for long-term benefit to users. Apple is going it alone (or with greater control) in more areas than ever these days. And It's in keeping with their philosophy. The same philosophy that made the company what it is today, and that gave us products that set the bar for the industry. Maps are now under Apple's full control. We know that long-term, thats the best thing that could ever happen to the user. 

 

So I'm over it, and I was one of the *loudest* protesters. 

post #20 of 88
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
Please someone explain how Apple is going to overtake Google in mapping when the entire mapping trend is toward localized search and we all know who the king of localized search is.

 

I'd just as well not get search results higher on the page because they're closer to where I live, thanks, Google. I couldn't care less about what's close; I want what is best/most accurate. I HATE that Google refuses not to use your "location" (it's wrong for me every single time, anyway) to give you "better" results.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #21 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Please someone explain how Apple is going to overtake Google in mapping when the entire mapping trend is toward localized search and we all know who the king of localized search is. Apple does not stand a chance in this niche market because they don't own their data to begin with and they are dependent on others to deliver questionable data to them where as Google is constantly adding, in a massive scale, to their already huge database which they own and manipulate as needed.

 

 

It doesn't really matter. Consumers don't invest in an ecosystem based on the Map application. You don't buy into a phone (and thus a platform), for maps. It might be a core feature, but in the grand scheme of a mobile ecosystem, it's just one piece of a very large puzzle. 

 

Even with iOS Maps as it is *right now* (because it will improve), iPhone + iOS simply has no peer. 

post #22 of 88
I'm all for Apple creating an alternative. Google stifled innovation, and they really are the superior choice at the moment. Now we will get an alternative for sure, no doubts and no ifs. Apple has put it out there, and now it will only get better. While traveling for work for the next few months, I'll be sure to go to maps.google.com, check the StreetView as I always did, and then email myself the driving instructions.

The only difference for now is that I'll be using the TbT driving directions on my iPhone, and if they differ from my list of instructions I emailed myself, I will correct the routes.

This is progress, however inferior and crappy people claim it to be for now. If we listened to the critics, the virtual keyboard, Android, iOS, the mouse, and countless other "crap no one will use" wouldn't exist. Thank goodness critics are just people who can't do, not the people that run with ideas and make them happen.

As a side note, I hope Apple is getting their grass burning zero emission vehicles on the road, because I really do use StreetView a lot, and I hope they come out with a similar feature. Fingers crossed 1smile.gif
post #23 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Originally Posted by mstone View Post
Please someone explain how Apple is going to overtake Google in mapping when the entire mapping trend is toward localized search and we all know who the king of localized search is.

 

I'd just as well not get search results higher on the page because they're closer to where I live, thanks, Google. I couldn't care less about what's close; I want what is best/most accurate. I HATE that Google refuses not to use your "location" (it's wrong for me every single time, anyway) to give you "better" results.

I find that to be completely contrary to my experience. If I'm on a map view and submit a query I get nothing but relevant local results.

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post #24 of 88
Waiting around to gloat at Apple's discomfiture would be a mistake on Google's part, even though it would please their more spiteful supporters. Their window of opportunity to capitalize is small, and shrinking rapidly as Apple burns midnight oil fixing the gaps (corrections to the most glaring errors are already being reported by those who raised them).

The vast iOS army of millions of willing crowdsourcers are swinging into action even as we blog, with Cupertino's mapping teams on lock-down and recruiting from far and wide. Imagine what the app will look like by the next two minor iOS updates, never mind 6 months or a year... and what feedback will be lost to Google for good.

To (mis-)quote the last verse of Donald Fagan's "IGY 3000":

"... Programmed by fellers with Compassion and Vision,
We'll be clean when their work is done,
We'll be eternally free (of Google) yes, and eternally young...
What a beautiful World this would be,
What a glorious time to be Free..."

P.S. Live Street View is a half-decent stop-gap app (stopgapp?) for iOS6 users till Apple inevitably blows away the villainous Cybermen with a bespoke alternative as snazzy as FlyOver. :-)
Edited by airmanchairman - 9/23/12 at 6:37pm
post #25 of 88

Certainly to be expected. If copying Google's mapping and location methods speeds up the process of improving Apple's own maps why wouldn't they do so? No sense reinventing the wheel if they don't need to. 

melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #26 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I find that to be completely contrary to my experience. If I'm on a map view and submit a query I get nothing but relevant local results.

I've had mixed results. If you enter something like "coffee shop" it seems ok at bringing up anything that might be relevant, but I don't like that entering an exact name of a business frequently gives you 15 "kind of" similar results, plus the one you wanted (not always, but frequently.) Not sure if Apple has dealt with this any better.
post #27 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Even with iOS Maps as it is *right now* (because it will improve), iPhone + iOS simply has no peer. 

Every inclusion or omission of a feature is made with weighing pros and cons and each person decides to accept or reject a product based on their individual requirements. For example I am not that fond of BMW deciding to omit the spare tire and use run flats as standard tires. The run flats are rough riding and expensive to replace but the weight reduction improves fuel economy, although their fuel economy is still sub par. I like the performance, build quality and handling of the vehicle so I accept the trade offs. If I wanted to I could replace the tires with high performance standard inflation model and depend on AAA roadside assistance or an optional onboard flat fix pump and repair kit. With Apple though there is no option to use any other core mapping system. If you prefer Google maps you are just sol. Apple maps is quite a disappointment to me but I still ordered a new iPhone 5.

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post #28 of 88
I've been on vacation driving all over Texas through the boondocks, to the big cities, and out to no-name hole-in-the-wall recommendations. Haven't had any problems.

Rather, I and my girlfriend are really enjoying it. Yelp and Flickr integration is awesome, too. I love having reviews right inside the app.
post #29 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Do non competing include personal only contracted and not directly employed?

You can ask a direct employee or a contract employee to sign a non-compete.

Enforcement of non-compete agreements depends very much on the state you live in. They are reasonably enforceable in some states, but others (like CA) don't like them and rarely enforce them.

As a very general rule, the non-compete can not prevent you from working. If the only jobs available to you are those in direct competition to your previous employer, your chances of getting the non-compete voided are pretty good - especially in CA.
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post #30 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodent View Post

A work in progress is bullshit! When I go to Google I could driver walk or take the Muni, with apple i may get lost driving.
Apple maps suck. plain and simple. I can't wait till Google maps are available as an APP. Me and millions more. Apple fucked up badly!

Give it a rest you foul mouthed... Apple's maps will get better very very quickly. As to your beloved google maps, simply bookmark the web app on your home screen. Now that wasn't so difficult was it?

post #31 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I find that to be completely contrary to my experience. If I'm on a map view and submit a query I get nothing but relevant local results.

I've had mixed results. If you enter something like "coffee shop" it seems ok at bringing up anything that might be relevant, but I don't like that entering an exact name of a business frequently gives you 15 "kind of" similar results, plus the one you wanted (not always, but frequently.) Not sure if Apple has dealt with this any better.

I have experienced that as well but only when the business was mostly generic words such as "National Food Service" (I just made that up) they return what they feel is appropriate results, but if you searched for the  business Pam's Bakery & Catering, there is no ambiguity so it is at the top of the list. In either case if you are viewing a map of Southern California it will not bring back results from New York even if there is another company with the exact same name.

 

I do not often use maps to find an exact business. If I need that information I usually use a regular google search and then map it once I find the company. I can give you a typical usage scenario though. Recently there was an eclipse and I wanted to watch it. I opened up a map and typed in welding supplies. I quickly found a place to buy #9 welding glass which enabled us to watch the eclipse.

 

I just tested that query in iOS 6 maps and the closest match was several miles away from my location where as with Google maps the place that I bought the welders glass was only two miles form my house. There was only one match in all of Orange County on Apple maps and mostly they showed hits 70 miles away in LA. There are at least 25 welding supply stores in OC many very close to me and Apple only found one not anywhere near me.


Edited by mstone - 9/23/12 at 7:01pm

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post #32 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Do you really believe that with over 7000 employees on maps alone that Google won't improve. They'd be stupid not to take advantage of this opportunity and release a map app for iOS 6.

Pixel based v vector based systems ... I think I'll put my money on the latter even if it may take a year or so to pass the archaic system.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #33 of 88

I think Apple Maps has a lot of potential, so this is good to hear. Hopefully they make public transit directions their main focus, since that's what has a lot of people upset.

post #34 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Pixel based v vector based systems ... I think I'll put my money on the latter even if it may take a year or so to pass the archaic system.

It's been vector based on Android for quite some time now, they could very easily make a iOS version.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #35 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

After a few days to catch my breath about Google Maps, I'm pretty much over it.

Long-term, Apple had to take this under their roof at one time or another. I can see that a little more clearly now. It had to happen, and if it'll happen with a few bumps, then the strength and breadth of the rest of the iOS ecosystem will act as a cushion. 

Maps is now Apple's baby. Theirs to develop, all under their control. I like that. At the end of the day, while Apple took a black eye for it, it's a short term sacrifice for long-term gain. It isn't really about severing ties to Google and screwing over users. It's about taking more control of the entire experience for long-term benefit to users. Apple is going it alone (or with greater control) in more areas than ever these days. And It's in keeping with their philosophy. The same philosophy that made the company what it is today, and that gave us products that set the bar for the industry. Maps are now under Apple's full control. We know that long-term, thats the best thing that could ever happen to the user. 

So I'm over it, and I was one of the *loudest* protesters. 

I thought someone hijacked your account. I really did.
post #36 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

You can ask a direct employee or a contract employee to sign a non-compete.
Enforcement of non-compete agreements depends very much on the state you live in. They are reasonably enforceable in some states, but others (like CA) don't like them and rarely enforce them.
As a very general rule, the non-compete can not prevent you from working. If the only jobs available to you are those in direct competition to your previous employer, your chances of getting the non-compete voided are pretty good - especially in CA.

Thanks. With the job market the way it is I'm sure non competing agreements if any won't mean much.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #37 of 88
Why didn't Apple start doing this 5 years ago? Why are they playing catch up now when there are more competitive options in the smartphone space? Seems to me Steve dropped the ball on this. By the time you're ready to go live with a map app it shouldn't be beta (or worse). The map app on iOS 6 just feels like its not ready for prime time.
post #38 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Please someone explain how Apple is going to overtake Google in mapping when the entire mapping trend is toward localized search and we all know who the king of localized search is. Apple does not stand a chance in this niche market because they don't own their data to begin with and they are dependent on others to deliver questionable data to them where as Google is constantly adding, in a massive scale, to their already huge database which they own and manipulate as needed.

Google, with their change in terms for mapping has not only pissed off Apple, they have also upset Yelp and other co-location services by letting them know that they will be charged as well. This is after taking the information free from companies like Yelp to buid their database. However, now that they are trying to build Google+, they are competing with these other services and charging them for information.

Apple can adjust quickly when they start using the Yelp information. They have built an open platform to allow other companies room to grow their businesses, unlike Google that is now embarking on program to directly compete against all of their partners.
post #39 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Please someone explain how Apple is going to overtake Google in mapping when the entire mapping trend is toward localized search and we all know who the king of localized search is. Apple does not stand a chance in this niche market because they don't own their data to begin with and they are dependent on others to deliver questionable data to them where as Google is constantly adding, in a massive scale, to their already huge database which they own and manipulate as needed.

The quintessential localized search originates from an individual's awareness of his or her own comfort zone. And there is no one more sensitive to the world around than an Apple end user. Fresh data sets will pour in from the Apple crowd in no time, ...fair-weather friends notwithstanding of course.

That is the one major difference between Apple and Google. The very personal stake and personal involvement iOS people have in their platform of financial and cultural commitment.  Mindshare flowing freely down the technological shaft to form a pulsating grid of realistic undercurrent, ...a morphing, dynamic map of sort. The Maps/Siri platform will draw in the end on the perspicacity, openness, and resourcefulness of its end users. That's why it cannot fail.
post #40 of 88
I have waited so many years for turn by turn instructions on iPhone, I can certainly wait a little more longer. What is the big deal?
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