New Apple job listings point to iOS Maps improvements

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In an update to its Jobs at Apple webpage on Monday, Apple posted at least ten advertisements for positions within the iOS Maps team, suggesting the company is looking to make major enhancements to its proprietary mapping service.

iOS Maps
3D flyover rendering issues as seen in Apple's iOS Maps app.


According to multiple job listings posted on Feb. 4, Apple is seeking ten software engineers to contribute to iOS Maps, nine of whom will handle various programming duties, while one will be assigned to tackle navigation. The listings, discovered by AppleBitch, are for jobs located in Apple's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.

A closer look at the listings reveal that the company is looking to make upgrades on a number of fronts, including the iOS Maps app's user interface, integration with other iOS services like Siri, how maps are displayed in real time, points of interest labeling and 3D flyover visuals, among others.

Most of the ads start out with the following paragraph:
The iOS Maps team is looking for a proactive and hardworking software engineer to join our team. The Maps application is used by millions of customers and it's the best mapping program on any mobile platform. Our team is also responsible for MapKit, the iOS framework that displays maps which is used by countless applications on the App Store.
When Apple's mapping service was released to the public in September 2012 as part of iOS 6, the app drew complaints from users around the world who found multiple inaccuracies, poor implementation of the 3D flyover feature and other problems inconsistent with the polish normally seen from an Apple product.

The Maps debacle prompted CEO Tim Cook to issue an apology letter and resulted in the firing of the executive in charge of the first-party mapping solution. Former iOS chief Scott Forstall's ouster was also said to be based at least partially on the fiasco.

In an effort to bolster the iOS Maps team, Apple most recently sought new hires in September, with many of the advertised positions being identical to Monday's listings.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    uhh...the best mapping program on any mobile platform??
  • Reply 2 of 51
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    nizzard wrote: »
    uhh...the best mapping program on any mobile platform??

    Do you have evidence that it's not?

    The fact that it can be improved does not prove that it's not already the best.

    And before you start pointing to the whining about inaccuracies in Apple's Maps program, you need to learn what 'evidence' is. For starters, 'evidence' is not the plural of 'anecdote'. So far, no one has yet shown any evidence that the number of errors in Apple's program is significantly greater than the number in Google's Maps or anyone else's.
  • Reply 3 of 51
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    1) Dick Applebaum post a picture very recently of the correction in FlyOver for the Hoover Damn.

    2) I'd love for Apple to announce a maps.apple.com site that anyone with a modern browser can use. I understand not building for the rest of the world when HW is your product but with mapping I think we all are better off if we can use it from Macs (or whatever other OS with a modern browser).

    nizzard wrote: »
    uhh...the best mapping program on any mobile platform??

    1) It's an opinion which makes it perfectly valid for one to have.

    2) I love the new Maps app compared to the previous one which had no TbT, vector graphics, and just looks and feels clunky by comparison. I also really like the UI they built for the app. It's much cleaner and smoother than what I've seen on other platforms which is why I'd say it's the best mapping program on any mobile platform. Now how complete and accurate there back-end repository of data points is another story, which I don't feel comfortable saying is the best despite not having any issues with it in actual use.
  • Reply 4 of 51


    Originally Posted by NIZZARD View Post

    uhh...the best mapping program on any mobile platform??


     


    Vector, highest-quality textures and modeling, and with all the amenities of any other platform, plus OS-level integration with just about anything you can imagine.


     


    If you think Apple Maps is bad, try Bing for a while.





    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

    …'evidence' is not the plural of 'anecdote'.


     


    I like that. I'm going to have to use that…

  • Reply 5 of 51
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


    Requirements.  Effectively present ones self as a genius, producing genius level product, making millions for a mega tech company.  Must have short hair, take baths regularly, eat energy bars, give presentations in suggested clothing, smile all the time and never present ones self as a loser at any time.

  • Reply 6 of 51
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    How about sparing us the bells and whistles and just make the data accurate and put back the transit information.  


    You know, basic minimal 1.0 functionality? 


     


    Nothing in my area has changed since launch.  Every error (and there are many and they are very major errors too), is still there despite there being thousands of people reporting the errors in the interim.  Not one single error has been fixed so far as I can see. 

  • Reply 7 of 51


    Well, the Hoover Dam is now in 3D Flyover and actually looks great!!



    Keep up the improvements Eddy!!




    image

  • Reply 8 of 51
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    ...

    And before you start pointing to the whining about inaccuracies in Apple's Maps program, you need to learn what 'evidence' is. For starters, 'evidence' is not the plural of 'anecdote'. So far, no one has yet shown any evidence that the number of errors in Apple's program is significantly greater than the number in Google's Maps or anyone else's.


     


    One would have to be pretty foolish to believe what you just wrote there.  


    I haven't got any "evidence" to add to your court case, but there are areas (mostly outside of the USA) where almost every feature of the map is completely wrong.  


     


    I live in a third largest city in Canada for example and all the parks are wrong (all the boundaries are all off by literally hundreds of metres), most of the transit routs are missing, all of the bike routes (we've had them downtown for years now) are all missing.  The last spur of the train lines for transit (put in years and years ago) is missing.  All the major transit stations downtown are inaccurately placed (blocks off in most cases).  


     


    It's literally useless to use the maps in my city for anything other than a cursory overview of how the city is laid out.  On the average downtown city street, Apple's maps is also missing at least 60-70% of *all* businesses.  So even if you want to do a simple "where's the best japanese place around here" kind of search, you are automatically going to be off by 60% or more because it's simply not aware of those businesses.  At all.  It's a waste of time to use it for almost anything. 


     


    I could go on and on but you get the picture.  I reported dozens of these problems to the maps application within days of it's launch and I'm sure many many others have as well.  So far it hasn't changed one iota. 


     


    Edit: I should add that I love the way the app is designed and I think someday it will actually be the best but for now the data problems make it completely useless in many countries.   

  • Reply 9 of 51

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    How about sparing us the bells and whistles and just make the data accurate and put back the transit information.  


    You know, basic minimal 1.0 functionality? 


     


    Nothing in my area has changed since launch.  Every error (and there are many and they are very major errors too), is still there despite there being thousands of people reporting the errors in the interim.  Not one single error has been fixed so far as I can see. 



    Could you please give an example of a mapping service that has had transit information as 1.0 functionality? How many haven't? How many still don't?

  • Reply 10 of 51
    lerxtlerxt Posts: 186member
    Best mapping platform? Google maps is vastly better as even Tim Cook knows. I won't be having anything to do with it until it has street view and can find addresses, any address, where I live. This won't happen for at least 10 years.
  • Reply 11 of 51
    Think of the money they coulda saved on the US93 bridge if they'd just called Apple first. Not to mention one sweeeeet thrill ride.
  • Reply 12 of 51
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    One would have to be pretty foolish to believe what you just wrote there.  
    I haven't got any "evidence" to add to your court case, but there are areas (mostly outside of the USA) where almost every feature of the map is completely wrong.  

    Then you shouldn't have any trouble showing that Google's Maps has fewer errors. You haven't done so.

    It's really quiet simple:

    Apple Maps has x errors.
    Google Maps has y errors.

    All you need to do is show that x > y. Until you do so, you're just spewing nonsense.
    gazoobee wrote: »
    I live in a third largest city in Canada for example and all the parks are wrong (all the boundaries are all off by literally hundreds of metres), most of the transit routs are missing, all of the bike routes (we've had them downtown for years now) are all missing.  The last spur of the train lines for transit (put in years and years ago) is missing.  All the major transit stations downtown are inaccurately placed (blocks off in most cases).  

    Yet one comparison in Canada showed that Apple Maps was not significantly worse than Google Maps.

    You could also consider, for example, that there are countries like China where Google Maps is totally useless.

    So please provide evidence to back your claim or stop whining.
  • Reply 13 of 51

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post


    Could you please give an example of a mapping service that has had transit information as 1.0 functionality? How many haven't? How many still don't?



    How is that even remotely relevant?  Apple is trying to compete with the mapping services that are currently out there, not ones that existed in 2007.  

  • Reply 14 of 51

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post


    How is that even remotely relevant?  Apple is trying to compete with the mapping services that are currently out there, not ones that existed in 2007.  



     


    He said it was "basic, minimal 1.0 functionality". But it seems like it was never 1.0 functionality for any other mapping service, so that doesn't seem entirely fair. If he wanted to say, "I expected Apple Maps 1.0 to have transit directions since Google has it," that would be different. My other point was that while some mapping services (Google and I think Bing and Nokia) have transit directions, others that have been out for years still don't (Yahoo!, MapQuest). So calling it "basic" and "minimal" and "1.0" doesn't seem very accurate.

  • Reply 15 of 51
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    One would have to be pretty foolish to believe what you just wrote there.  
    I haven't got any "evidence" to add to your court case, but there are areas (mostly outside of the USA) where almost every feature of the map is completely wrong.  

    I live in a third largest city in Canada for example and all the parks are wrong (all the boundaries are all off by literally hundreds of metres), most of the transit routs are missing, all of the bike routes (we've had them downtown for years now) are all missing.  The last spur of the train lines for transit (put in years and years ago) is missing.  All the major transit stations downtown are inaccurately placed (blocks off in most cases).  

    It's literally useless to use the maps in my city for anything other than a cursory overview of how the city is laid out.  On the average downtown city street, Apple's maps is also missing at least 60-70% of *all* businesses.  So even if you want to do a simple "where's the best japanese place around here" kind of search, you are automatically going to be off by 60% or more because it's simply not aware of those businesses.  At all.  It's a waste of time to use it for almost anything. 

    I could go on and on but you get the picture.  I reported dozens of these problems to the maps application within days of it's launch and I'm sure many many others have as well.  So far it hasn't changed one iota. 

    Edit: I should add that I love the way the app is designed and I think someday it will actually be the best but for now the data problems make it completely useless in many countries.   
    Yup, second all of that. Exactly my experience.
  • Reply 16 of 51
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    jragosta wrote: »
    Then you shouldn't have any trouble showing that Google's Maps has fewer errors. You haven't done so.

    It's really quiet simple:

    Apple Maps has x errors.
    Google Maps has y errors.

    All you need to do is show that x > y. Until you do so, you're just spewing nonsense.
    Yet one comparison in Canada showed that Apple Maps was not significantly worse than Google Maps.

    You could also consider, for example, that there are countries like China where Google Maps is totally useless.

    So please provide evidence to back your claim or stop whining.
    There is an easy test. Start with Apple maps. If it doesn't work, or if it can't find what you are searching for then switch to Google maps and see if you have better luck there. If you do and this turns out to become a daily pattern, you have proof that for you, Apple maps is far less useful than Google Maps. It's the only metric that really counts.
  • Reply 17 of 51
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member


    We're on this one again?  Poor dead horse, can't catch a break.  

  • Reply 18 of 51
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Could you please give an example of a mapping service that has had transit information as 1.0 functionality? How many haven't? How many still don't?

    I doubt there was any that had it at 1.0 but I think that argument is much like when we see Windows Phone 8 or BB10 OSes comes to market now. If this was 2007 or 2008 they would have been great OSes but 6+ years after the iPhone's debut and several years of Android on the market being good isn't good enough. Apple needed to switch their mapping backend but there offerings was missing many things a mature Google Maps backend had. The best of a bad PR situation but still not good.

    Anecdote Time: My father told me he had read that Apple had going back on its own mapping software by including Google Maps again. Of course, what he read was about Google creating an app for the App Store and Apple approving it, which was never an issue anyway as we've seen mapping apps in the App Store since it opened. I'm not sure if it was worded to make Apple look bad or if that is simply how he interpreted it but either way that is a problem. I am more certain than ever that Google had this app planned and ready before the switch but they hoped Apple to crash and burn on the bad press (not unlike the iPhone 4 and the antenna of doom) where they can come in and look like they are saviours. Good tactic but still sleazy.. if that happened.
  • Reply 19 of 51

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NIZZARD View Post



    uhh...the best mapping program on any mobile platform??


     


    That's right.  The best mapping program on any mobile platform.  Period.

  • Reply 20 of 51

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    I doubt there was any that had it at 1.0 but I think that argument is much like when we see Windows Phone 8 or BB10 OSes comes to market now. If this was 2007 or 2008 they would have been great OSes but 6+ years after the iPhone's debut and several years of Android on the market being good isn't good enough. Apple needed to switch their mapping backend but there offerings was missing many things a mature Google Maps backend had. The best of a bad PR situation but still not good.


     


    Fair enough, though to be honest I don't like some of those arguments, either, about how, "OMG! This phone's application store just opened two hours ago and still doesn't have more than 10,000 apps! It's the suxorz!" I think in both cases people need to give at least a chance and a little bit of time.

Sign In or Register to comment.