Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton
Let the rampant speculation begin. Oh, looks like you guys started without me
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.
Maybe yes, maybe no. Maybe the head of the project asked for more budget to acquire more databases and was told, "no". Maybe they wanted to hire more people with appropriate expertise and was told "no, we have all the right people". Maybe they knew of the flaws but were told by others in management, "are you kidding? This looks so cool and is so much better than Google Maps that the flaws don't matter. We'll fix them over time." Or maybe it was the reverse - maybe the guy blew the project. But unless you're an insider, you never really know. I've been involved in all such scenarios. Sometimes, senior execs make bad decisions and then conveniently forget that they made them.
And don't forget the "Six Stages of Any Project":
3. Panic and Hysteria
4. Search for the Guilty
5. Punishment of the Innocent
6. Praise and Honors for the Non-Participants
Meanwhile, my experience with Maps so far (about two weeks) has been relatively good. Google Maps on my iPhone 3G was so slow (or it would simply lock up) as to be unusable most of the time. Apple Maps on my iPhone 5 is spectacularly fast. One thing that does appear to be missing (unless I'm missing it) is that once I choose a route, I want to manually go through all the steps in the route and be able to listen to the turn-by-turn before I set out. And I'm much more concerned with either bad routes (which Google gave me all the time) or bad location information than I am with a deformed image of a bridge. I also think that Apple HAS to add public transportation information. They can add trains first and add major bus routes later. Adding trains shouldn't be that difficult - most transit systems have their maps online. I'd also like to see Apple to add pedestrian and especially bicycle routes, which Google has in Beta.
I find that some of the images are spectacular (look at Coney Island) and others are inferior to what Google Maps had (areas in New York State). While the Apple images (combined with the retina display) are generally clearer, I think I was able to zoom closer with Google Maps.
The other thing I've noticed is that they tend to have national retailers, but not local ones. Apple should set up a website or add functionality to the app itself where businesses can submit their locations and keywords. Seems to me that with such functionality, Apple could add a million or more businesses virtually overnight. They'd have to deal with validating the information, but it's all doable. Or they can license phone directories.
Also, it seems that Tom Tom is one of the major map suppliers to Apple. TomTom is also used extensively in GPS systems for cars, right? And yet, I've never heard many complaints about the systems used in cars. Why is that?