Earlier this morning Apple shares were trading below $400 for the first time in over 16 months, as the stock has continued to slide from its high point of over $700 per share that it enjoyed just last year.
After being fired from his post at Apple for the Apple Maps fiasco last year, Richard Williamson has found a new home at one of tech’s other superstars – Facebook.
Richard Williamson played a key role in the development of the iPhone’s software under Steve Jobs. After working at Apple for more than a decade, Williamson was put in charge of the Apple Maps team that replaced Google Maps in iOS 6.
Kicking Google Maps to the curb last year in favor of its own homegrown solution caused quite a stir last year for Apple. Most of the rage over Apple Maps has died down, but Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt, sees no reason why things can’t be repaired.
In fact, Schmidt admitted today that Google would love to work with Apple to set Google Maps as the primary navigation tool on iOS. With tensions between the two companies still being tight, we’d say there’s not a slim chance in hell of that happening, but Schmidt thinks it could.
One of the apps commonly toted as a replacement for iOS 6’s Maps app after the latter was released (and proved to be something of a debacle for Cupertino) was Waze, a crowd-sourced traffic app.
Now, according to a new interview conducted on-stage at AllThingsD’s Dive Into Mobile Conference, even Waze CEO Noam Bardim was surprised by how many people hated Apple Maps, and said that two years previously, consumers would have thought is was amazing.
While Apple’s Maps has certainly come a long way since its release last year, there’s still a lot of improving that needs to be done. The good news is that Apple is working to improve the accuracy of its mapping, and the company is hiring “Ground Truth” managers to help improve the “quality” of Maps in different regions around the world.
After a few days of speculation, Google’s Chairman, Eric Schmidt, finally commented on whether Google Now would be making its way to iOS. This morning, Schmidt said that Google Now has been submitted to the App Store and the only thing standing in its way is Apple. The only problem is Schmidt’s completely wrong.
Apple commented on the Google Now approval process this afternoon and said that they haven’t even received Google Now yet.
When Apple launched its new Maps app with iOS 6 last September, one of its headline features, Flyover, only supported a handful of big cities. But the Cupertino company has been hard at work in the background to extend its reach, adding support for additional locations all over the world.
In the past few months, Apple has brought Flyover to an additional 16 cities, plus extended its coverage in 14 of the cities already supported.
John C Dvorak, Leo Laporte, and a couple of other folks involved in This Week in Tech (TwiT) had a meeting together at the Apple campus at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino this past Monday, and they ended up having an informal battle of the navigation apps in the three cars they were each driving. TWiT CEO Lisa Kentzell and marketing guy Glenn Rubenstein were in one car, using Apple Maps, while Laporte was using Waze, Dvorak using Google Maps.
Dvorak wrote the story up over at PC Magazine, and claims that Apple Maps got the TWiT folks to the Apple campus faster than either Waze, which came in dead last, or Google Maps. We can count on this being the truth of their experience, as anyone of Dvorak’s stature might have a hard time admitting that he lost a race.
Personally, I’ve never had a problem with Apple Maps in its current iOS 6 incarnation, but many people have. Now that Google Maps is out for iOS, though, there’s an easy way to get around using Apple Maps, using the transit option.
Street View is a new $0.99 iOS app from FutureTap that promises to bring Google Street View back to Apple’s Maps app on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Once installed, you’ll be able to access Street View from within Apple Maps with a series of simple taps. It’s not seamless, but it works.