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Apple fires iOS 6 Maps chief

post #1 of 153
Thread Starter 
Apple has reportedly fired the executive in charge of its widely ridiculed Maps application built in to the iOS 6 mobile operating system.

Richard Williamson, who oversaw Maps in iOS 6, was let go by Apple, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing "people familiar with the move." Williamson was reportedly fired by Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president and the new man responsible for both iOS Maps and Siri following an executive shakeup last month.

As Cue looks to improve Maps in iOS, he is said to be seeking out advice from mapping technology experts outside of Apple. In addition, Cue is also said to be encouraging its partner TomTom to "fix landmark and navigation data it shares with Apple."

"In removing Williamson, Cue wants to install a new leadership team for the group, one person said," author Adam Satariano reported. "A replacement for Williamson wasn't immediately known."

Maps


Apple has seen major changes in its ranks in recent weeks, headlined by the ouster of former iOS software chief Scott Forstall. The firing of Forstall came after he reportedly refused to sign a letter apologizing to customers for the deficiencies in the Maps application included with iOS 6.

Instead, only Cook's name was found on the apology the company issued in late September. The company also began highlighting alternative third-party mapping applications available on the iOS App Store.

In previous versions of iOS, the Maps application was driven by Google Maps. But a growing rift between Apple and Google, which makes the Android operating system which competes with Apple's iOS, is said to have prompted the iPhone maker to develop its own solution.

But when iOS 6 Maps debuted in September, the new software was met with ridicule from customers who felt it was inferior to Google's mapping solution. An official Google Maps application is said to be in development, but is not yet available to the public.
post #2 of 153

Good, people need to be held accountable for their actions. If somebody is not up for the job, then get rid of them, and replace them with somebody else.

 

And whoever is in charge of the iOS appstore app should also be fired, because it's slow, it's laggy and when you scroll with your finger on the screen, it is jerky. That might be acceptable for an Android device, but not for any Apple device. The old app store was much better and much smoother and faster. Fire that person right away, and put somebody in charge who knows what they're doing.

post #3 of 153
Hmmm, I'm not liking all of these upper management/department-head shakeups lately. Too many in too short-of time period.

Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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post #4 of 153
I've found the Maps app to be improving noticeably already. It now shows a lot of places around me that it knew nothing about when I first used it.
post #5 of 153
While there could be any number of reasons Apple is making the personnel moves it is, it sure looks from the outside like they feel Maps isn't all it could have been at release, nor enough is being done to improve the deficiencies quickly enough, or the direction being taken is not working. Despite the apology, this sure feels like an admission that Maps deserved all the criticism it got on release and is still getting around the world.
post #6 of 153
Good!
post #7 of 153
Lets not fire everyone.
The AppStore app is exellent on iPad 3.
No lag, no stutter.

J.
post #8 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnjnjn View Post

Lets not fire everyone.
The AppStore app is exellent on iPad 3.
No lag, no stutter.
J.

No it's not. I have an iPad 3.

 

It is pure crap. the old one was much better.

post #9 of 153
One thing is firing the man in charge. Another is putting the right person in his place. Apple really needs maps to do better than just work. iMap needs to excel at what it is there to do.

I have notified Apple of a number of inaccuracies (pin dropping a block or two off the target). 6 weeks later not a single one has been fixed.
post #10 of 153

I can’t judge what mistakes were made behind closed doors, and maybe Maps could have launched “great” instead of “good.” But from my perspective this does seem harsh!

 

iOS 6 maps has had no more errors than Google ever did (maybe less, in fact, judging by that Canadian study) even though people LOOK for errors now that it’s a “scandal.” Meanwhile, I love the functionality—to my surprise, it’s been worth giving up Street View. I often look for something in Google Maps on my desktop, can’t find it in the right place, and my iPhone has it right.

 

And vice versa of course. So, errors happen in every service.

 

I live in a midsize US city (one without any 3D—fun but unnecessary to me). I realize that quality may vary elsewhere! SOME people have had a worse experience than Google Maps I don’t doubt. But not as many as think they have because suddenly they NOTICE errors that they shrugged off in all their years of using Google. Meanwhile, plenty of us are quietly using iOS 6 Maps to get around just great.

 

I do feel the pain of two flaws: roads are too thin/faint sometimes, and I need some control over choosing my route for guidance (such as Avoid Highways or simply having a choice of options). These are obvious tweaks that Apple is sure to make.

 

But I definitely wouldn’t call Maps a failure by any stretch. Mapping is very hard, and it’s a remarkable beginning.

 

If anything, fire the PR people who can’t battle the media onslaught looking for a “crisis” in everything with the word Apple in it. (Nah, don’t fire them. That’s a job even harder than mapping!)

 

I do look forward to improvements, and seeing what Eddy Cue can do with this. It’s good now, but what if it were great?

post #11 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

Hmmm, I'm not liking all of these upper management/department-head shakeups lately. Too many in too short-of time period.

 

Years before Jobs left, I speculated that whoever succeeded him would have a pretty easy time of it for the first five years or so, because the first thing they could do is correct all of the obvious mistakes made by Jobs. The guy wasn't perfect -- both his eccentricities and plain old errors in judgement have likely resulted in plenty of easy opportunities to make improvements. Some of those things are obvious to the outside world (matching employee charitable contributions is kind of a no-brainer), others are probably completely invisible to us. Then there are the things that we can see are changes, but it's hard to know if they are good changes or not. These firings are an example of that. But my guess is that these are positive changes. For example, I suspect Jobs was wrong to keep Forstall around so long -- it sounds like Forstall's greatest strength was kissing up to SJ (driving the exact same car as your boss is just lame). 

 

The hard part for Cook et al will come in 2015-2020 when the easy part of fixing Jobs' mistakes is over and the need arises for the development of entirely new products that Jobs had nothing to do with. Those could be interesting times. 

post #12 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Apple 
[" url="/t/154640/apple-fires-ios-6-maps-chief#post_2237574"]No it's not. I have an iPad 3.

It is pure crap. the old one was much better.

Tried it just a minute ago, works fine for me.
I did find that it is a bit slow right after the start.
Maybe you have a slower network, that's important because it depends on data from elsewhere.

J.

Edit: I can imagine you don't like the design change of the app, it took me a while to get used to.
post #13 of 153

Let's not underestimate how much this is due to politics. This Richard guy probably is Forstall's buddy, it's only natural that Cue put someone new to replace this guy.

post #14 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

And whoever is in charge of the iOS appstore app should also be fired, because it's slow, it's laggy and when you scroll with your finger on the screen, it is jerky. That might be acceptable for an Android device, but not for any Apple device. The old app store was much better and much smoother and faster. Fire that person right away, and put somebody in charge who knows what they're doing.

 

This. It was nice on iOS 5, but in its current form it's so painful to use that I rarely open it.

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iPad 3, Galaxy S4
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post #15 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

One thing is firing the man in charge. Another is putting the right person in his place. Apple really needs maps to do better than just work. iMap needs to excel at what it is there to do.
I have notified Apple of a number of inaccuracies (pin dropping a block or two off the target). 6 weeks later not a single one has been fixed.

 

I too have notified Apple of some errors, mainly misplaced pins (which anyone must admit are a MASSIVE problem on Google too). Most of the pins were only off by a little, but with no Street View, you want those pins to be exactly on every business and building!

 

And I’m pleased to say, some of them have moved to where they should be! It took a couple weeks, but not 6.

 

Now, this may well be the result of users (or even Apple’s data partners) finding the errors long before I did. My reports may be in the queue still for all I know. But I’m glad to see such fixes are ongoing.

 

Meanwhile, if Apple users are reporting little errors by the zillions (as I suspect they are) I can well understand a backlog that takes time to clear. 6 weeks or even 3 months wouldn’t shock me. At first.

post #16 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnjnjn View Post


Tried it just a minute ago, works fine for me.
I did find that it is a bit slow right after the start.
Maybe you have a slower network, that's important because it depends on data from elsewhere.
J.

Are you used to the old app store?

 

Yes, it starts slow, and it takes a while before all of the icons load. I'm on an ok network, the problem is with the app. I'm not the only one who notices this, plenty of people have pointed it out.

 

And when I mean that the scrolling is jerky, hold your finger on the screen and scroll up and down. That is simply unacceptable for any Apple app. That is Android quality.

post #17 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Youarewrong View Post

 

This. It was nice on iOS 5, but in its current form it's so painful to use that I rarely open it.

Yeah, I buy most of my apps from my desktop and laptop machines now. If I wanted jerkiness, I would have bought an Android tablet.

post #18 of 153
The headline should have read "Richard Williamson told to get lost".

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post #19 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Yeah, I buy most of my apps from my desktop and laptop machines now. If I wanted jerkiness, I would have bought an Android tablet.

 

The new App Store app needs some polish for sure: if you start a scroll by touching the Developer link (which can happen occasionally) it doesn’t scroll! I havn’t noticed jerkiness, but I certainly notice a bug like that.

 

And on iPad, popping a chosen app into a central popup means a) you have a smaller view and b) you’re loading all that needless “stuff” behind the popup. Bad design choice, especially with a slow connection.

 

That said, I still prefer the new one (especially on iPhone but also on iPad) and I use it more than ever: it’s much QUICKER to get where I always want to go: to start a search! The old one would wait ages (presumable scanning for updates?) before becoming responsive. The new one lets me get to searching MUCH more quickly. This is on an iPad 2 and iPhone 4. (And iPhone 5, but that’s not a fair test.) And scrolling seems very smooth to me. (I don’t doubt the reports otherwise—I’ve just been lucky I guess.)

post #20 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Apple 
[" url="/t/154640/apple-fires-ios-6-maps-chief#post_2237591"]Are you used to the old app store?

Yes, it starts slow, and it takes a while before all of the icons load. I'm on an ok network, the problem is with the app. I'm not the only one who notices this, plenty of people have pointed it out.

And when I mean that the scrolling is jerky, hold your finger on the screen and scroll up and down. That is simply unacceptable for any Apple app. That is Android quality.

Ok, I believe your observation right away.
But I cannot reproduce it.
What I do see is that scrolling is 'jerky' while the app icons of the page you scroll load.
After that scrolling is smooth.
Also swiping the banner icons from the 'featured' page works fine.

J.
post #21 of 153

There are two kinds of scrolling on the app store.

 

One is where you flick your finger and it only touches the screen for a moment. That scrolling is smooth.

 

The other is where you are constantly holding your finger on the screen and scrolling up and down. That scrolling is not smooth and it's pretty jerky.

post #22 of 153

I never thought Apple's approach to Maps was the right course with integrating so many partners. Sounds like a nightmare. As was mentioned by at least one Map industry expert, they didn't have the right combination of expertise in house such as more GIS people. Their fly over and 3D Artificial Intelligence turned out to be poorly executed. They could have left that out entirely and concentrated on higher quality in the 2D area. Better POI detail and better satellite imagery also should have been top priorities in my opinion. Managing huge data sets and cloud services always seems to be problematic for Apple. I guess it turned out to be a lot more difficult than they originally thought.

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post #23 of 153
Let the rampant speculation begin. Oh, looks like you guys started without me 1smile.gif

I for one think it is a good thing. It's far more common in companies to keep people with tenure in positions of power and whitewash their failures (I'm looking at you, Ballmer) than to drop them. According to Adam Lashinsky's book (and the Fortune article it was based on) "Inside Apple", there's always a DRI (directly responsible individual) for any project at Apple, so there shouldn't be any question about who failed to execute.

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post #24 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Apple 
[" url="/t/154640/apple-fires-ios-6-maps-chief#post_2237603"]There are two kinds of scrolling on the app store.

One is where you flick your finger and it only touches the screen for a moment. That scrolling is smooth.

The other is where you are constantly holding your finger on the screen and scrolling up and down. That scrolling is not smooth and it's pretty jerky.

Ok, your right, I can reproduce it now.
If I look at the 'top' apps page scrolling isn't smooth.
The other 4 pages 'featured', etc are ok though.

J.
post #25 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnjnjn View Post


Ok, your right, I can reproduce it now.
If I look at the 'top' apps page scrolling isn't smooth.
The other 4 pages 'featured', etc are ok though.
J.

Ah, finally. 1smile.gif

 

It was my fault for not being more clear and pointing out that it was the "top apps" page that I was referring to. I don't usually visit the other pages that much.

 

That's my main beef, because no other Apple app has such bad scrolling, and neither did the previous version of the app store. I don't have any problem with the design of the new appstore, just the performance.

 

If you open up any other Apple app, like movie trailers, you'll notice that the scrolling is super smooth, even when holding your finger on the screen.

post #26 of 153

Nothing motivates like a crucifixion!

 

...except, maybe, the public vote of confidence presaging the crucifixion.

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post #27 of 153

Good for Apple.  That needed to happen.  While probably more of a case of bad PR vs a bad product, it still hurt Apple's brand image.  Good for them to show that the Maps App was not an acceptable product.

post #28 of 153
May be Cue wants to replace the position with someone from the outside. Hence, the current manager is fired to attract potential candidate.
post #29 of 153

quoting Gruber:

 

"Eddy Cue, not fucking around."

 

 

quoting:  John Paczkowski

 

Apple to Maps Manager: You’re Fired. Oh, Good Luck Finding Your Way Out of the Building.

 

 

 

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post #30 of 153

I actually am satisfied with the performance of Apple maps.  I do wish I could disable turn by turn directions though....annoying.  

post #31 of 153
I'm sure some people on here will still deny that there was ever a problem with iOS 6 Maps.
post #32 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I'm sure some people on here will still deny that there was ever a problem with iOS 6 Maps.

 

I never had a problem with iOS 6 Maps. Sure the 3D visuals are messed up in places - but the couple of times I used it for navigation it worked fine. 

 

Of course I had been using MapQuest for years and recently switched to Waze. 

 

On the other hand - if some of the roads were built the way they appear in Apple Maps - just think how much more fun driving would be!

post #33 of 153
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
I'm sure some people on here will still deny that there was ever a problem with iOS 6 Maps.

 

Define problem.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #34 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Meanwhile, if Apple users are reporting little errors by the zillions (as I suspect they are) I can well understand a backlog that takes time to clear. 6 weeks or even 3 months wouldn’t shock me. At first.

Yes, I agree. I was hoping it would happen quick, but I am not surprised it is taking time. I just hope Apple is really serious about maps. It is a key feature for me.

post #35 of 153
Originally Posted by BoxMacCary View Post
If Steve were here…

 

Cut it out.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #36 of 153

Scott Forstall had every right not to sign the letter of apology because the issues were not caused by his software but by faulty maps data and images.  Steve Jobs would have done the same thing.

 

So I don't see why they are firing Scott.  His team has done an excellent job on the application.  

Even if he has issues with other managers, that is not reason to fire him.

 

I think Scott Forstall should be retained at Apple.

 

Time will tell.

post #37 of 153
Being in the U.S., I'm relatively happy with Maps. I use both driving and transit directions, and while both work pretty well, there's obviously still room for improvement.

The big issue with Maps when it was introduced was that Apple ended up taking the heat for location problems that existed (and still exist) in Google Maps. I was able to document locations that appeared incorrectly both on my iPhone AND within Google Maps on both my iOS 4.2 iPod Touch and my Mountain Lion MBP.
post #38 of 153

I live in Edinburgh, Scotland and have to say that maps has got noticeably better lately.I used it on Saturday in Glasgow which had the flyover feature to get to the SECC and it was just stunning. Going back on the train watching the pin move over a satellite image was great fun.

 

However if I was reporting to the board I would have to say that the lack of public transport info is a big minus. Also the directions given I find puzzling at times. Is Apple not using TomTom for navigation.

 

I would use that enormous cash pile and buy up all the bus trackers, national rail enquiries software and integrate it into maps.

 

I think it has the potential to be a great app, it was just put out half baked just like SIRI (which doesn't understand my accent ) and FCPX

 

 

 

 

 

 

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post #39 of 153

Isn't is about time we stopped using pictures like this to poke fun at Maps?  

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...
Maps
...

 

Maps does suck, but the reality is that images like this don't actually show "errors" at all and instead show exactly what they are supposed to show.  

 

When in 3D mode the satellite imagery is projected onto a mesh of the geography of the area down to sea level.  This is totally normal.  This picture is showing satellite imagery of the land around Hoover Dam and projecting it onto a 3D mesh of said land.  The only areas where this kind of imagery *isn't* normal and is in fact a "mistake" is when you see something like this in an area covered by flyover.  

 

In a flyover area, someone would have taken the time to do a mesh of that bridge and then manually paste it into the landscape.  It will be many many years before every bridge (especially one in the middle of a desert) to be mapped in this way.  

 

These are not "mistakes" in mapping.  AppleInsider would do better to showcase the actual errors in the data which are prevalent and easy to find, especially once you leave the US.  

 

Most details and locations in Apple Maps for any city in Canada for instance are not only far from reality, they haven't been corrected or changed yet by a single iota.  This is where the problems and mistakes are, outside of the USA.  Please stop with the posting of "fake" glitches as per the above photo and try to focus on the data mistakes and problems with Apple Maps.  They are legion.  

post #40 of 153

I have been using Maps since it was available.  I travel extensively for work and use it exclusively.  It has never failed to locate the facilities I'm visiting or made me late for an appointment.  I have no complaints.  I've used Siri to dictate addresses into the app and its worked great.  Even my hard to please boss was impressed.  As a result, he bought the 5.  Its always easy to find faults with something and it appears more people are interested in finding faults with AAPL.  The turn by turn has been fantastic.  I have never used the the 3D so can't speak to it's benefit.  If this is the worst thing that happens to all of us, that's not too bad.

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