Even though the Apple iPhone 5 had the biggest launch in the company’s history, not everybody is completely happy with the product. Most notably, Apple users lament the loss of the Google Maps app, calling Apple’s alternative inferior. To correct that, Apple appears to be recruiting ex-members of the Google Maps team.
Apple is actively recruiting Google staffers who worked on Google Maps in an effort to bulk up its own Maps app, according to TechCrunch.
TechCrunch’s source is a contractor who spent time working with Google’s Street View service. The contractor has reportedly seen many of his co-workers accept new jobs at Apple.
According to the TechCrunch source: “Many of my co-workers at Google Maps eventually left when their contracts ended or on their own accord. One guy looked around for other [geographic information system] 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 [sic] as a GIS Analyst."
The source added: "Another co-worker 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.”
The source continued: “Apple has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to build a robust mapping platform to counter Google Maps, so it doesn’t surprise me that it’s going out of its way to lure former and current Google Maps employees. At Google Maps, we know what data’s important, rendering priorities, keyword searches, and how the user experience is supposed to be. However, Apple needs to find a way to get its own 5 million miles of street view data, partner with the right folks, and spend a fortune on licensed data -- which it can.”
If this rumor is true, then it could mean that Apple is seriously committed to improving its Maps app and is aware that its current state is flawed. Obviously, there’s no word on how soon the Google ex-employees would begin turning things around for iOS 6, but, for many fans, this is a step in the right direction.