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Apple exec Eddy Cue 'racing' to improve iOS Maps

post #1 of 127
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A new report sheds more light on the behind-the-scenes personnel shakeup at Apple in the wake of criticism over the new Maps application that debuted in iOS 6.

Since taking over iOS Maps, Apple's Eddy Cue has been "racing to turn around the troubled service," according to a a report published by Bloomberg on Wednesday. It also restated that Richard Williamson, who previously oversaw Maps in iOS 6, was fired by Cue, who has put new leadership in charge in an effort to rapidly improve the software.

Cue reportedly pushed out Williamson quickly after he took on an expanded role that has put him in charge of iOS Maps.

Williamson was a key player in the development of the original iPhone. He worked at Apple for more than 10 years, and previously worked at NeXT computer with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Cue also has a history with Jobs, and Wednesday's report referred to him as a "close confidant" of the late CEO. For years he has overseen Apple's iTunes and iCloud services, but his role expanded last month as part of an executive shakeup at the company.

Cue


Cue took over iOS Maps, as well as the voice-driven Siri personal assistant software, after the former head of iOS software, Scott Forstall, was ousted from the company. Forstall reportedly refused to sign a public apology for deficiencies in the iOS Maps application ? a decision that allegedly contributed to his firing.

Bloomberg was first to report on Tuesday that Williamson was fired, and that Cue has been seeking advice from mapping technology experts outside of Apple. He has also reportedly encouraged partner TomTom to fix issues with landmarks and navigation data.
post #2 of 127
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
Forstall reportedly refused to sign a public apology for deficiencies in the iOS Maps application ? a decision that allegedly contributed to his firing.

 

I've been meaning to say something about this. Does it make more sense that he would have said "No, I'm not signing that crap! It's not true!" and that going over poorly or "No, I'm not signing that crap; we'll just fix what's wrong!" and that going over poorly?

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #3 of 127

You got to do what you got to do in these types of management changes. I'm sure Jobs would have cleaned house too.

post #4 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I've been meaning to say something about this. Does it make more sense that he would have said "No, I'm not signing that crap! It's not true!" and that going over poorly or "No, I'm not signing that crap; we'll just fix what's wrong!" and that going over poorly?

 

I have my doubts about the latter.
 
Having said that, I think his refusal to sign the letter (for either reason) was just the final straw.  When you have people like Mansfield and Ive, who are the real lifeblood of Apple (especially since Jobs is gone) then you do what you have to do to keep them around.  If Forstall couldn't work well with the other VPs, he had to go.
post #5 of 127
Every Apple executive that gets profiled these days is said to have been a close confidant of Steve's. Seems like just boilerplate filler for these articles. I'm just waiting for the next story about how Ive is racing to remove skeuomrphism from iOS. lol.gif
post #6 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Forstall reportedly refused to sign a public apology for deficiencies in the iOS Maps application ? a decision that allegedly contributed to his firing.

I've been meaning to say something about this. Does it make more sense that he would have said "No, I'm not signing that crap! It's not true!" and that going over poorly or "No, I'm not signing that crap; we'll just fix what's wrong!" and that going over poorly?

I think he just said "No, I'm not signing that crap!"
post #7 of 127
I think Apple's biggest mistake was not developing Siri and iOS Map as search engines. I've said it before, it is more than larger, corrected data sets, but to interpret user's intent and finding the best match.
post #8 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

I have my doubts about the latter.
 
Having said that, I think his refusal to sign the letter (for either reason) was just the final straw.  When you have people like Mansfield and Ive, who are the real lifeblood of Apple (especially since Jobs is gone) then you do what you have to do to keep them around.  If Forstall couldn't work well with the other VPs, he had to go.
And according to John Gruber Forstall and Phil Schiller didn't get along either. Apparently Forstall always waited until the last minute to provide Schiller's team any information on iOS changes. If someone has a fraught relationship with that many executives it's probably not healthy to keep them around. Steve might have been able to manage it as everyone else deferred to him.
post #9 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwilly View Post

You got to do what you got to do in these types of management changes. I'm sure Jobs would have cleaned house too.

 

Clearly, he's cleared house anytime there's one of these blow ups. Papermaster. Mobile me guy, etc. If you lead teams at Apple and you feck-up, you get the boot.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #10 of 127

Right on, Ed, if you have talent, this is your show time!

post #11 of 127
It used to be that Apple would move those on the way out into any one of several phony r&d projects. Soon thereafter it would be announced that so and so is leaving the company.

As much as Maps is not a phony r&d project I can't help but think that iOS Maps could become a career wrecker at Apple since Cook will never put the blame at his own door.

There's a lot riding on this move Eddy... get your ducks in a row.
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post #12 of 127
Ten years at Apple and no second chance? They could have just taken him off the project and assigned him somewhere else. So either they wanted to make a statement or there might be more to it.
Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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post #13 of 127
I think Apple's biggest mistake was not developing Siri and iOS Map as search engines. I've said it before, it is more than larger, corrected data sets, but to interpret user's intent and finding the best match.


What the heck are you smoking! cuz I wnat some if it warps you mind like that
post #14 of 127
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
…iOS Maps could become a career wrecker at Apple since Cook will never put the blame at his own door.

 

Guy signed a (unnecessary) public apology.

"…will never put the blame at his own door."

Uh. Huh. 😒

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #15 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Guy signed a (unnecessary) public apology.
"…will never put the blame at his own door."
Uh. Huh. 😒

That apology was paper thin... it wasn't his ass that was seen going out the door.

Soon enough, soon enough.
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post #16 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post

Ten years at Apple and no second chance? They could have just taken him off the project and assigned him somewhere else. So either they wanted to make a statement or there might be more to it.

I was thinking the same thing.  Williamson came from NeXT so he obviously has extensive knowledge of OSX.  They could have put him charge of the OSX team.  The last thing you want is letting go of all these ex-NeXT guys.  They are smart dudes.

post #17 of 127

Yes, Apple is WORKING HARD TO IMPROVE MAPS. THE SKY IS BLUE. Why the **** do we need a new story everyday pretty much rehashing the same points, each time with a different adjective in the headline to make it more dramatic? Yes, we get it. It's been going on since iOS6 has been released and will keep happening for the forseeable future.  

post #18 of 127
I'm just a little concerned that some of these guys are spreading themselves a little too thin. iTunes, iCloud, Siri & Maps? That's a lot of responsibility. All I have to say is he better have a LOT of people who are on top of their game every day or else something else may get missed or dropped.
post #19 of 127
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
That apology was paper thin...

 

And there goes your entire argument.

 

You want Cook fired? You're the only person.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #20 of 127
iOS Maps: not good for your career map if you're not careful.
post #21 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post

Ten years at Apple and no second chance? They could have just taken him off the project and assigned him somewhere else. So either they wanted to make a statement or there might be more to it.

I mentioned this after Steve passed away. The power struggle is about to begin.

... and it aint over. I'm betting on Cook one of these days in the not too distant future.

Ive seemed to get along fine with Steve, I wonder how well he really gets along with Tim. That will be the deciding factor.

As Steve went in the 80s so could anyone go today.

It's a game of Survivor. Those leaving may not be leaving because others don't get along with them; it could be that they were too powerful and could have been a potential threat in the future.

More to come at 6...
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post #22 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And there goes your entire argument.

You want Cook fired? You're the only person.

Coming from you... lol.gif
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post #23 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

As much as Maps is not a phony r&d project I can't help but think that iOS Maps could become a career wrecker at Apple since Cook will never put the blame at his own door.
There's a lot riding on this move Eddy... get your ducks in a row.

 

I really hate the armchair analysis that the success of a project solely depends on the manager (or the CEO, no less).

 

The deal-breaker here is that the maps technology itself didn't have the right amount of care put into it and/or it required more time to mature before being made the only mapping option for iOS.  If someone gave the impression to management that it was ready for prime-time and it wasn't (possibly Forstall, or likely some of the people under him), then it's not management's fault for acting on that advice unless they actually did a technical analysis themselves.  I highly doubt Tim Cook has the skills to be able to analyze software and determine its readiness to be released.

 

So Eddy's big task is to ensure he has reliable people under him giving him this type of information (or do it himself) so that he can make the right calls.

 
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post #24 of 127
Does the pic show Williamson or Cue?
post #25 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shameer Mulji View Post

I was thinking the same thing.  Williamson came from NeXT so he obviously has extensive knowledge of OSX.  They could have put him charge of the OSX team.  The last thing you want is letting go of all these ex-NeXT guys.  They are smart dudes.

 

Can't people at least entertain the possibility that this is mostly about politics? Seriously those who've worked in big companies would know, this happens in every one of them.

post #26 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

I really hate the armchair analysis that the success of a project solely depends on the manager (or the CEO, no less).

The deal-breaker here is that the maps technology itself didn't have the right amount of care put into it and/or it required more time to mature before being made the only mapping option for iOS.  If someone gave the impression to management that it was ready for prime-time and it wasn't (possibly Forstall, or likely some of the people under him), then it's not management's fault for acting on that advice unless they actually did a technical analysis themselves.  I highly doubt Tim Cook has the skills to be able to analyze software and determine it's readiness to be released.

So Eddy's big task is to ensure he has reliable people under him giving him this type of information (or do it himself) so that he can make the right calls.


I think your last paragraph undermines your first paragraph.
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post #27 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I mentioned this after Steve passed away. The power struggle is about to begin.
... and it aint over. I'm betting on Cook one of these days in the not too distant future.
Ive seemed to get along fine with Steve, I wonder how well he really gets along with Tim. That will be the deciding factor.
As Steve went in the 80s so could anyone go today.
It's a game of Survivor. Those leaving may not be leaving because others don't get along with them; it could be that they were too powerful and could have been a potential threat in the future.
More to come at 6...


Sure looks like some house cleaning.
Not so sure regarding Ive. I consider him very integral and I wonder where they would go without him. Steve had the instinct and made things happen. But any design I would assume comes off Ive's desk. At least hardwarewise.
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Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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post #28 of 127
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
Coming from you... lol.gif

 

So are you planning on explaining anything you say? The apology that they made publicly is magically invalid to you. Why? Explain. Cook is responsible for Maps and should be fired. Why? Explain.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #29 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Can't people at least entertain the possibility that this is mostly about politics? Seriously those who've worked in big companies would know, this happens in every one of them.

That's what I meant when I said that there might be more to it. I see this kind of thing happen through my work almost on a daily level: new CEO. First thing he does is bring in "his" people, or if the protective hand has been gone undesired prople are ousted pretty fast throughout all management levels.
Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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post #30 of 127
I found out that some of my reported Map problems were fixed yesterday. They were still there last week.

Was Williamson let go after the last update to prevent rocking the boat too much ? It looks like a bunch of data in my area is more correct now. Fewer POIs are lying on the roads and car parks. Those that do are usually from Yelp.

Perhaps they are focusing on TomTom data and funneling all the improvements there. The crowd sourced Yelp POIs are more up to date even compared to Google. I went to a new restaurant that Google Maps doesn't know it exists yet. It pointed me to a junction.

Now if Apple can have 2 color pins. One for crowd sourced Yelp POIs that are fast but not so reliable, and another for certified TomTom POIs, it would work for me.

The other thing is the POI search, they should prioritize the search based on locality first, rather than syntax matching. I think a lot of people who are rushing may misspell their destination or type in incomplete address, 'specially when they are late. They tend to be close to where they want to go but couldn't find it. So SOUNDEX + locality search should have the highest priority. Right now the search is purely syntax based. If you misspell your destination, you're done for.

The third point is to be lenient. Sometimes Siri jump the gun and start the route when I make mistakes. They should give me an easy way to interrupt and change my search field quickly. Like saying the F word while on their customer support.

Also please inform me when my Map problem reports are fixed. Impose a 24-48 hour turnaround if possible.

The other map details can be added in bulk over time.
post #31 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post

Ten years at Apple and no second chance? They could have just taken him off the project and assigned him somewhere else. So either they wanted to make a statement or there might be more to it.

I mentioned this after Steve passed away. The power struggle is about to begin.

... and it aint over. I'm betting on Cook one of these days in the not too distant future.

Ive seemed to get along fine with Steve, I wonder how well he really gets along with Tim. That will be the deciding factor.

As Steve went in the 80s so could anyone go today.

It's a game of Survivor. Those leaving may not be leaving because others don't get along with them; it could be that they were too powerful and could have been a potential threat in the future.

More to come at 6...

Isle...

Based on your comments here, it appears as through you are dissatisfied with Tim Cook or his performance.

Care to elaborate?
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
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post #32 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by WonkoTheSane View Post

Sure looks like some house cleaning.
Not so sure regarding Ive. I consider him very integral and I wonder where they would go without him. Steve had the instinct and made things happen. But any design I would assume comes off Ive's desk. At least hardwarewise.

That's what I meant about Ive.

Who is more important to Apple... Cook or Ive?

So if Ive strongly disagrees with Cook on a project what will happen? Cook aint Jobs. Cook's track record is in running the company. He wasn't the vision guy.
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post #33 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

[/B]
I think your last paragraph undermines your first paragraph.

 

Actually his last paragraph agreed completely with his first paragraph.

 

A CEO is not wholly responsible for the project failure if he was given inaccurate information. His responsibility is to ensure he's getting the right information so it doesn't happen again.

post #34 of 127
Exaclty. Maps is a real complex thing and what if Eddie Cue doesn't get it right? Will they blow him away as well? As far as I can see and read in Jobs's book, Eddie was one of the key people in iTunes and iPod era... Well I wish him all the best, but I think Maps will take a lot of time to get it to the level where Google is... you can't do that overnight with 100mph speed.
post #35 of 127

He should race to fix the Bluetooth issue with iPhone 5.  16 pages of complaints on the support page with no response from Apple.  We can't answer a call on factory installed systems.  Someone's going to get killed.  There are many map and navigation options but none for this situation.  I've written to Tim Cook and others.  Gave feedback on the support page.  No response.  Read some of this.  They are really pissing off their customers.  If I wanted to be treated like this I could have stayed with PC.

https://discussions.apple.com/message/20418353?ac_cid=tw123456#20418353

They have really gone downhill since Steve passed away.

post #36 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Isle...
Based on your comments here, it appears as through you are dissatisfied with Tim Cook or his performance.
Care to elaborate?

Actually, Dick, "I" don't have to be dissatisfied to feel that Cook's job is tentative. He, in my opinion, isn't the most important guy on the team. I think that Ive is the most important guy, but Ive is also not a Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs was not even the best idea guy, but he was definitely the guy who could plainly see which ideas would work and which ones wouldn't. He had a vision of where he wanted to take Apple. His track record speaks for itself.

Cook on the other hand hasn't shown us yet where he wants to take Apple and, in my opinion, if he has then I'm not sure about his route. A few heads have rolled and we can't necessarily say the right ones have been tossed out the door. That happens... again, we can look at Steve Jobs history with Apple as an example. Rubbing people the wrong way might not be the worst trait one can have in the Apple corporate world.

As I said... more at 6...
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post #37 of 127
Originally Posted by ibapples View Post
16 pages of complaints on the support page…

 

You realize that is virtually meaningless.


Someone's going to get killed.

 

HOW?

 

Come on.


Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
Cook on the other hand hasn't shown us yet where he wants to take Apple…

 

I think he has shown exactly that in multiple product lines. I think H1 2013 will show us further. 

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #38 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayz View Post

Actually his last paragraph agreed completely with his first paragraph.

A CEO is not wholly responsible for the project failure if he was given inaccurate information. His responsibility is to ensure he's getting the right information so it doesn't happen again.

You said it again. "His responsibility"... exactly.
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post #39 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

So Eddy's big task is to ensure he has reliable people under him giving him this type of information (or do it himself) so that he can make the right calls.

Unfortunately, I think Apple Maps will remain a patchwork of various partners' technology and data sets for some time, which, in my opinion is the fundamental issue going forward. Unlike Google who is simply extending the search data that they already own to their maps, Apple has to depend on several other third parties. In a way, Microsoft did a much better job with their back end and cloud services than Apple. Bing search and maps are reasonably good. They were smart to build it in-house. I think this is what Apple needs to do. Search and maps are services that naturally go together and if they share some of the same code base it makes them so much more efficient rather than having many disparate partners like Apple does. There is just too much unnecessary complexity in the way Apple did their mapping solution.

 

Without a ground up rewrite I can't really see Eddie being able to completely fix Apple Maps. Improve, sure, but really make it competitive with the other mapping solutions out there, not likely. Apple maps has one really strong feature, it is the default mapping app on iOS, but that is about it.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #40 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


I think he has shown exactly that in multiple product lines. I think H1 2013 will show us further. 

Only a year has passed and already you are giving him full credit for everything that has been designed....

Myself... I'd rather wait at least another 2 or 3 years. Then I'll really know that Steve is only watching...
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