Despite the missing features and its quickly-earned reputation for unforgivable inaccuracies, Apple’s Maps app has some amazing technology behind it. Unlike Google Maps, it renders streets in vector graphics which always look sharp and require a fraction of the bandwidth. But the technology behind a program doesn’t matter as much as the results it can deliver. What’s the point of having a map if it, for example, doesn’t believe your neighborhood exists? Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has gone as far as to apologize for their Maps application.
Since this is Apple we’re talking about, any crisis that happens at the company can’t be reported on without questioning if this oversight is a result of the passing of Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs. Would Jobs have let quality control slide so far on his Google-killing app? An article in Bloomberg however, confirms that Steve Jobs had a hand in the Maps application.
“Apple insiders say Jobs himself initiated the mapping project, putting mobile software chief Forstall in charge, and he installed a secret team on the third floor of Building 2 on Apple’s campus to replace Google Maps on the iPhone. At the time of his death, Jobs had come to loathe Google, which he felt was copying features of the iPhone while withholding a key feature of Google Maps that allows smartphones to dictate turn-by-turn directions aloud. Jobs also discussed pulling Google search from the iPhone, but figured that customers would reject that move, according to two former Apple executives.”
The clipping makes it sound like the maps app is in its current state because Steve Jobs wanted to sever Apple’s connection to Google. That assessment isn’t entirely fair. Just because Steve Jobs initiated the project doesn’t mean he would have released it in its current state. The man passed away a year from Friday; it should go without saying that he hasn’t had an active hand in Apple Maps’ quality assurance testing.
Do you think it’s fair to throw Steve Jobs under the bus for Apple’s Maps app? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.