Apple fires iOS 6 Maps chief

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 170
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,687member


    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.

  • Reply 2 of 170
    Hmmm, I'm not liking all of these upper management/department-head shakeups lately. Too many in too short-of time period.
  • Reply 3 of 170
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 170
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,449member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 170
    Good!
  • Reply 6 of 170
    Lets not fire everyone.
    The AppStore app is exellent on iPad 3.
    No lag, no stutter.

    J.
  • Reply 7 of 170
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,687member

    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.

  • Reply 8 of 170
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,608member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 170
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    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?

  • Reply 10 of 170

    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. 

  • Reply 11 of 170
    "Apple wrote:
    [" 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.
  • Reply 12 of 170


    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.

  • Reply 13 of 170

    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.

  • Reply 14 of 170
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member

    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.

  • Reply 15 of 170
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,687member

    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.

  • Reply 16 of 170
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,687member

    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.

  • Reply 17 of 170
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    The headline should have read "Richard Williamson told to get lost".

    :smokey:
  • Reply 18 of 170
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member

    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.)

  • Reply 19 of 170
    "Apple wrote:
    [" 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.
  • Reply 20 of 170
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,687member


    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.

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