Apple won’t be bringing any significant improvements to Apple Maps in iOS 8, according to a recent report.
Last Monday’s WWDC keynote address revealed that plenty of additions, tweaks, and improvements were coming the way of Apple’s mobile operating system. Yet one of the most underwhelming and patently unfinished iOS features of recent years - Apple Maps - received barely a passing mention.
Apple’s Craig Federighi revealed that Apple Maps would be improved for China with the addition of vector maps, but that was it.
Of course, as we know from experience, Apple never discusses every last addition to its operating systems before launch. We also know that Apple has several months to work in additional features before the official launch of iOS 8.
Yet according to TechCrunch, that’s not going to happen with Apple Maps. In fact, if its sources are to be believed, the whole Apple Maps project is in disarray.
"There were multiple improvements that didn’t make it into iOS8," says one source. Another source goes further, claiming that "no map improvements planned for iOS 8 release were finished in time."
These features were rumoured to include public transport implementation, which was one of the biggest omissions when Apple Maps replaced Google Maps (which has just such a feature) back in 2012. Apple has acquired HopStop and Embark in recent years to help see to this very task.
In addition, the new Apple Maps was set to feature more reliable data, more points of interest, and an improved interface.
So what happened? According to the report, a number of Maps developers left the company because "tasks were very badly planned," meaning that "developers had to switch multiple times from project to project."
Besides poor project planning, it seems as if internal politics also played a part in the lack of progress from the Apple Maps team.
So as good as iOS 8 is shaping up to be, it seems the default Maps app will continue to be a glaring weak point.