While a number of new features for apps on both the iOS and OS X platforms were unveiled at Apple’s WWDC 2014 last week, one app noticeably received very little update love – Apple Maps.
“There were multiple improvements that didn’t make it into iOS8,” a source tells TechCrunch.
The publication’s sources lay much of the blame for the absence of long-rumored features -such as public transit navigation instructions and a more reliable data backend – at the feet of Apple’s project managers: “Many developers left the company, no map improvements planned for iOS 8 release were finished in time. Mostly it was failure of project managers and engineering project managers, tasks were very badly planned, developers had to switch multiple times from project to project.”
Another sources agrees in some ways, and disagrees in others: “I would say that planning, project management and internal politics issues were a much more significant contributor to the failure to complete projects than developers leaving the group,” the source said.
The 2012 WWDC saw Apple unveiling a new version of its Maps app — a bold move designed to cut Google Maps out of the equation by developing its own mapping data. The move proved to be an ill-timed one for the iOS device maker.
Unreliable data produced incorrect mappings, bewildering, angering, and in some cases, endangering users, and the fiasco eventually prompted an apology from CEO Tim Cook, who made the promise that things would get better.
The last two years have seen Apple make moves to improve their mapping service, acquiring companies such as BroadMap, Embark, and HopStop. Just last week the company acquired social search engine for places Spotsetter. It continues to be on the lookout for talent for hire in the mapping arena.
Apple will continue to work to improve their Maps app, as it is an important piece of the mobile marketplace. Google continues to make improvements to its popular Google Maps app for iOS, and other third-party apps are available on the iOS platform. Location data is another monetization possibility for companies creating apps and other services for smartphones.