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Apple hiring Google Maps engineers to improve iOS Maps

Rumors by Andrew Kameka on Monday September 24, 2012.

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Please note that this story is based upon rumor and/or speculation.
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Apple released its iPhone 5 and iOS 6 software updates to millions of users last week, but widespread reports of inaccuracies in its Maps app put a small damper on the launch of both the device and software update. Apple is reportedly going to rectify that problem by hiring former Google Maps engineers. TechCrunch reports that Apple recruiters are seeking former Google Maps staff members to work on improving the Maps application in iOS 6. An unnamed source that worked at Google as a contractor tells TechCrunch that other contractors who worked on Google Maps have taken positions at Apple. The former employees left Google after their contracts expired or the projects no longer interested them according to the source, and Apple recruiters convinced some to join its staff.

Employees regularly take new jobs to pursue more money and opportunities, and Apple is reportedly offering plenty of both. Apple has admitted that maps in iOS 6 is not a finished product, and users have complained frequently about missing landmarks, inaccurate depictions of cities, and maps that lack the same detail and features that were offered in Google Maps. The Amazing iOS 6 Maps website has since documented many of the cases of map data gone awry, so there's ample work to be done in improving maps on iOS.

Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller told AllThingsD that the company is aware of complaints but eager to enhance the app. Muller said:

"We launched this new map service knowing that it is a major initiative and we are just getting started with it. We are continuously improving it, and as Maps is a cloud-based solution, the more people use it, the better it will get. We're also working with developers to integrate some of the amazing transit apps in the App Store into iOS Maps. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better."

ZDNet reports that Apple's website contains several job listings for its map project, but those listings have been removed since the report published. The job listings called for engineers to work on improving turn-by-turn navigation, 3D maps, shading, real-time rendering, and performance improvement, which are all features that users have complained about since Apple released its maps app last week.

source: TechCrunch

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