In early 2012, Apple acquired Chomp, largely to fix the broken search, recommendation and discovery features of the iOS App Store.
Two years later, app discovery on the iOS App Store remains pretty much as broken as ever. Maybe that’s why Cathy Edwards, Chomp’s co-founder who went on, post-acquisition, to become Director of Evaluation and Quality on Apple Maps, is leaving Apple come April 11.
When she first joined Apple, Edwards was responsible for “search systems across multiple Apple products.” You only need to try searching for an app on the iOS App Store to see how that turned out.
Then she moved over and became Director of Evaluation and Quality for Apple Maps. As Techcrunch wryly notes:
She joined that role at a pretty thankless time, if you recall the chaos of Apple Maps-gate. Edwards’ role at Apple Maps has focused on “Building out an organization focused on QA automation, statistical quality analysis and analytics within Maps,” according to LinkedIn. Essentially, her work was about making sure that Apple Maps didn’t suck, something that remains a goal for the company.
Maps has come a long way, but it’s still pretty far from where Apple wants it.
It’s not clear why Edwards is leaving Apple, although her move seems to be voluntary, given that she’s been allowed to choose her departure date. Still, when you had at least some responsibility for at least two of Apple’s big messes over the last two years, maybe moving onto greener pastures is a smart move.