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Maps Update Missing from iOS 8 Due to Bad Planning and Developers Leaving [Report]

Ahead of the WWDC, a source speaking with 9to5Mac suggested that Apple finally will update Maps to its high standards with iOS 8. The milestone event is over and still no trace of major Maps enhancements, except vector-based maps and other “minor” improvements in China.

A recent TechCrunch article sheds light on what kept Apple from introducing the aforementioned improvements. The Maps app remains a reminder for the company how not to launch a service.

According to a tipster speaking with TechCrunch, the delay was caused by a personnel issue and bad planning: because many developers left the company, the planned improvements could not be finished by the time of iOS 8 (beta) release. “Developers had to switch multiple times from project to project,” the source informs.

A second source both corroborates and argues with the first one:

“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.

Apple Maps was unveiled two years ago with iOS 6. It was a major step for Apple in distancing itself from Google (that year, also, Apple removed YouTube from the pre-installed apps list), but it wasn’t among the company’s best decision. That ultimately lead to an executive reshuffle and Tim Cook issued an apology letter in which the CEO promised to get things done better.

Since then, Apple has acquired mapping companies HopStop, Locationary and Embark, but it seems that we will have to wait a bit more until we will see the acqui-hired technology merged into the controversial mapping service.

Screenshot 2014 06 06 21 11 16 1

But, there is hope: Apple may accidentally have leaked the forthcoming transit directions feature of Maps. As spotted by an iOS developer (via BGR), a slide in an Apple WWDC video shows a version of Maps where a bus icon is visible in the center of the bottom toolbar between 3D and the share icon. The accidental leak appears to confirm the 9to5Mac report and also shows that Apple is indeed working on bringing transit directions to iOS 8.

The screenshot, which can be seen above, shows an icon of a train or a bus at the bottom center of the screen, which presumably indicates transit directions. It comes from the session titled “Power, Performance and Diagnostics: What’s new in GCD and XPC,” and BGR was pointed to it by Jesper.

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • iFone

    And who thought everything at Apple was gardens with flowers as far as the eye can see, rainbows in the sky, and gnomes riding unicorns?

  • Al

    The article reads like fiction.

  • FragilityG4

    iOS maps are better than google maps in my opinion. They’re way more accurate … Google would always say I’ve reached my destination when it is in fact further down the street … iOS maps always leads me right to the actual spot.

  • WatDah

    Ironically it is the Android users. That’s what they think all Apple users sees.

    The way I see it, Apple users are just more willing to pay a higher price for a more streamlined, overall experience. They are more patient in compromising and waiting for a feature to be implemented the right way, across all devices. Whereas Android users are more about having everything right away, and doesn’t care too much if it’s not well implemented. They just want to have it for the sake of having it, because it gives them “bragging rights”. Android also gives them the ability to “be different” with customization, but we all know that comes with the price of security. Funny how that works when everyone is bitching about privacy issues nowadays. Pro-Android users are an ironic bunch.

    I might sound one-sided, but really I don’t have a problem with other people making their own choices. It’s all personal preference.

  • iFone

    You mean Pro-Android users are a hypocrite bunch?

    I agree with your comments. It all comes down to brand choice and loyalty. This preference applies to many areas from cars to laptops to other gadgets. Consumers pick not just based on functionality, but also based on what they value most (either status, warranty, ease of use, price, etc.).
    Also, customization of the phone is SO OVERRATED, to the point I bet no more than 5% of all Android users customize their phones at all!

  • Chrome262

    I use to customize with jail break, but now with all the major features in native, I have dropped it. It was fun at first but I don’t care enough to have to go through JB again. Use to do it all the time.

  • iFone

    I am not saying that customization is not useful, but some fAndroids say that EVERYONE is stupid choosing Apple because they cannot customize the crap out of their phones. I mean, if you do, then you fall under the 5% of Android users who want that. I like the basic customization Apple provides to me (Notification bar, see a photo on my lock screen, ringtones, etc.) and pretty sure most people don’t need more than that. In fact, I bet you that the new ability to add custom keyboards on iOS is going to be sub-utilize by most users.

  • WatDah

    Same here. Didn’t care to JB since iOS 6.

  • WatDah

    I can’t say for the majority, but all my friends that uses Android doesn’t use third party keyboards, nor do they mod the crap out of their phones. Just the usual rooting to let them tweak some core settings and some utility add ons.