The fun did not stop in the iOS 6 maps brouhaha this weekend as a number of items hit the Web. Perhaps most interesting, iOS hacker Ryan Perrich claimed to have gotten Google’s map tiles to work on iOS 6 Maps. If true, it might alleviate some of the growing pains iOS 6 users are facing.
Next up… TechCrunch noticed Apple still refers to Google Maps when Mapping emails are sent to non-iOS 6 users.
We caught on to this directly after the WWDC announcement, but there is something important to note:
When we noticed this in June, the “maps.apple.com” resolved to a Google IP address. Since then, Apple has changed the DNS to an internal IP address, which then of course currently redirects over to a Google Maps address. This likely indicates Apple will soon push its maps to web pages and perhaps a Mac app. Apple can flip the switch at any time or even push it out slowly for testing purposes.
Meanwhile, TechCrunch also reported Apple is poaching Google Maps employees. One of its sources stated:
Many of my coworkers at Google Maps eventually left when their contracts ended or on their own accord. One guy looked around for other GIS work and ended up at Apple when a recruiter contacted him. He had heard rumors for a while that Apple was going to develop its own in-house mapping platform, and given his experience at Google, he was an easy hire. Apple went out of their way to bring him down to Cupertino and he’s now paid hansomly as a GIS Analyst. Another coworker that was a project lead at Google Maps, left for the East Coast after his contract ended, and was recently contacted by an Apple recruiter. The position sounds like a product development manager position, and will pay him $85k+ and all the moving expenses from the East Coast. He’s gone through 2 rounds of interview and seems like a frontrunner to land that position.
Apple has a great deal of job openings available on its “Geo Team”.
And finally, Jean-Louis Gassée in his Monday Note said Apple is mostly responsible for the bad press:
The ridicule that Apple has suffered following the introduction of the Maps application in iOS 6 is largely self-inflicted. The demo was flawless, 2D and 3D maps, turn-by-turn navigation, spectacular flyovers…but not a word from the stage about the app’s limitations, no self-deprecating wink, no admission that iOS Maps is an infant that needs to learn to crawl before walking, running, and ultimately lapping the frontrunner, Google Maps. Instead, we’re told that Apple’s Maps may be “the most beautiful, powerful mapping service ever.”
However, what few are offering up alternatives? Google Maps is one of Google’s best products, and Apple simply could not catch up in the time since it started buying up mapping startups. If Apple waits another year, Google has an even bigger lead and is gathering information from all of those mobile maps users.
Apple just needs to throw a lot of smart people and resources at this so it does not end up being another MobileMe.
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