While iOS 6 may be “the world’s most advanced mobile operating system,” its new Maps app is, quite frankly, a heap of trash. It boasts some terrific features, such as 3D Flyover and voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, but they’re only terrific when the Maps that power them actually work. And Apple’s don’t in a lot of places.
The Cupertino company’s CEO, Tim Cook, has apologized to customers for the frustration the new app has caused, and it’s led us to wonder why Apple even released it. It still had a year left on its contract with Google, so why did it rush into releasing its own, half-baked service so quickly?
Well, one reason behind the move is that Steve Jobs had grown to hate Google. So much so that he set up a new Maps team just to kick Google Maps off the iOS devices.
According to two former Apple executives speaking to Bloomberg Businessweek, Jobs loathed Google because it stole so many of the iPhone’s features for its Android platform, yet wouldn’t allow Apple to use its voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation technology in the Google Maps app.
It frustrated Jobs so much that he also wanted to kick Google Search off of the iPhone and iOS devices, but he knew that users would reject the move. So Maps was his target, and he set up a dedicated team on the third floor of Building 2 on Apple’s campus to build a Google Maps replacement for iOS.
Whether or not the Cupertino company could have waited another year and spent some more time improving Maps before releasing it, we don’t know. But the move had to happen. Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, said:
I don’t think Apple had any choice but to make a major break and say: We are going to just start from the beginning. The best thing Apple could do was take the hit now.
So if you’ve been asking whether this whole Maps debacle would have happened under Steve Jobs, the answer is probably yes. The only difference is, Jobs wouldn’t have issued an apology for it.
- Source Bloomberg Businessweek