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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 89
    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!
  • Reply 2 of 89
    Sounds like a good plan to me
  • Reply 3 of 89
    [QUOTE]when focus began to shit toward indoor mapping, [/QUOTE]

    Whoops!
  • Reply 4 of 89


    Originally Posted by brclark82 View Post

    Whoops!


     


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

  • Reply 5 of 89
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 89
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 89
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,183member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 89

    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.

  • Reply 9 of 89
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 89
    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!
  • Reply 11 of 89
    enzosenzos Posts: 344member
    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
  • Reply 12 of 89
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,499member
    john_l_uk wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 89


    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. 

  • Reply 14 of 89
    jragosta wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 15 of 89
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 16 of 89
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 89
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 89
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    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.

  • Reply 19 of 89


    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. 

  • Reply 20 of 89


    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.

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