Apple has had a rough time ever since it ditched Google Maps to create its own Maps app, and the hiccups have only continued.
When it first launched, Apple Maps was so buggy and inaccurate that CEO Tim Cook made a public apology for the app and its temperamental nature. Many of the bugs were eventually fixed, but Maps is still lacking the polish and full functionality of Google Maps.
Developer turnover, mismanagement, and differing opinions within the Maps team may be to blame for Apple’s slow steps in catching up. TechCrunch reports that many of Apple’s improvements to Maps just weren’t finished in time for the worldwide debut of iOS 8.
“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,” a source told TechCrunch.
But Apple hasn’t been immune to personnel turnover, either. Just this March, Cathy Edwards, who joined Apple as head of search and measurement before becoming director of evaluation and quality of Apple Maps, left the company, and Apple is still currently looking to expand its Maps team.
Meanwhile, iPhone users have been left wondering when Maps will catch up.
One of the features people have been waiting for is public transit integration, which would allow Maps to tap into local subway and bus data, helping city folks better plan their commute in real time.
Interestingly enough, BGR reports that one keen-eyed developer noticed a public transit bus icon within Maps during a slide of Apple’s WWDC presentation, suggesting that Apple was at least thinking of implementing the feature in the near future. The slide featuring the icon has since been cut from Apple’s keynote video, but it only adds to the argument that Apple was planning more for Maps than what we saw at WWDC.
So when will we see the improvements released? A good bet would be when Apple releases the first update to iOS 8, which will likely include other almost-ready features such as increased multitasking on iPads.
Until then, it’s back to Google Maps for many smartphone users.