Apple reportedly fires head of iOS 6 Maps team

Apple reportedly fires head of Maps team

Apple has reportedly fired the manager in charge of iOS 6 Maps, Richard Williamson. Williamson lead the mapping team that was responsible for the new, heavily criticized maps app that debuted in September. The dismissal of Williamson is one of Eddy Cue’s first major actions since being put in charge of maps in the management shakeup last month. Cue is said to be looking to TomTom to fix its landmark data as well as talking to mapping experts outside of Apple about how to be improve the experience. Apple has been hard at work fixing problems in Maps since the release of iOS 6. In a report from Bloomberg reports:

A team at Apple has been working to fix the mapping mistakes, focusing first on some of the most glaring problems, one person said. The satellite imagery over the U.K. has been improved and labels for popular U.S. landmarks such as the Washington Monument have been corrected.

A shakeup of this kind is not unexpected. When Scott Forstall was ousted last month, many speculated that it was due to the issues with Maps, but ultimately it was more to do with internal politics than one issue with one piece of software, as serious as those issues were. As the leader of the Maps team, Williamson was responsible for making sure Maps was done on time. Yes, Maps is a 1.0 product, but there is a minimum level of quality that a product this important has to have before it’s released to the public, and Maps wasn’t there for a lot of people. The mapping team needs to be able to make improvements to Maps rapidly in order to turn it into the product that it should be, and if Williamson wasn’t the right person to lead this team, then Eddy Cue needed to let him go and find someone that he could count on to get the job done.

Source: Bloomberg

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Joseph Keller

News Writer for Mobile Nations. Fascinated by the ways that technology connects us.

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Reader comments

Apple reportedly fires head of iOS 6 Maps team


Apple should just buy Navteq from Nokia, or just flat out buy Nokia lock, stock, and barrel then fix Maps. :)

as Eric implied I'm in shock that any one able to profit $4673 in 1 month on the computer. have you seen this website PIE21.ℂOℳ

I have a feeling that Maps would have been part of the in-car Siri Eyes Free system if it had worked really well. Instead, Maps glitches have slipped its Siri Eyes Free integration schedule and shaken consumer confidence in Maps.

I haven't had any issues with the new map app. It's way better than anything Telenav uses. That app is garbage and would always be wrong.

My issue is using apple's maps my battery will drain a 100% charge in about 33 minutes. It makes it unusable.

I prefer Waze to Telenav personally. Waze is great and free. That's what a nav program should have. many more features then apple too.

My issue with apple's maps is i don't really like the angle they have it at. Waz is basically at ground level so you can easily see the streets coming up. Apple's sets the angle way up like you're on top of a building looking down at an angle. it's really annoying. My garmin isn't like that, tom tom isn't really like that, even waze isnt. The other thing i don't like is when in landscape mode those green direction stop signs cover most of the map making it hard to find out where you're going at a glance. And when you're driving you don't want to take your eyes off the road for a long time. You just want to glance at it quickly and see that map turns comingup.

Is it me or does Apple just take the easy way out and fire everyone who ever makes a mistake with their company? Granted they put so much expectation on themselves, I guess they think its the only way to "win the public back"...I love their products but would hate to work for their company.

I am sorry but this is not just a "mistake", that was a bad rollout and brought a lot of negativity over Apple, I am surprised it took that long to fire him.

It's more complicated than that. Some of it is politics and some of it has to do with the direction or vision a person has for their project. Chances are this person was given a chance to somewhat fix all the glaring mistakes with maps but wasn't able to pull it off in a timely manor or not at all.

I find it hard to assess the inner workings of apple when i'm not an acutal employee with knowledge of what's motivating hiring and firing. Maybe the work was substandard. Maybe the guys just an asshole. either way assuming he's an at will employee both are justified grounds.

Regardless companies are under no obligation or expectation to do things "the hard way."

I think the maps r good I mean really it gets me from point A to point B. C'mon really is it that important on what device I would choose only based on maps? I like the new maps it may not talk (until I upgrade this December), but it does state where I am suppose to turn or where I am going. REALLY DUDES fire someone for maps? Apple needs to focus on the UI and fire that person that did not redesign it.

they should fire all the people that continued to allow itunes to suck so bad and to never monitor folder changes like winamp did in like 1998.

Welp, just need to fire the Siri guy, the one that greenlights "genius" commercials, the one who did Ping, the one in charge of icloud, the one responsible for designing an iphone 4 with the touch of death, the one who couldn't get cables in stores along with iphone 5, etc, etc..

Jesus f($(&g Christ... Why don't these morons just go back to google maps... It would cost them a lot less in a long run... Poor Steve must be so mad now looking at these idiots from wherever he is now...

"... just go back to google maps." Because Google WILL NOT give Apple TURN BY TURN. They could have... a long time ago. But they didn't. Blame Google for that.

Not true, get your facts straight. They had a few more months (if not a whole year) of lease the license for google maps. Yet they refused. They could've extended it. But because of apple's idiocy and blind hate for everything "google" we, the customers have to suffer. Get your facts straight. ok?
Also why there is a strong rumor that google is working on the maps and ready to release it to the App Store? And it is up to Apple to let it through. Come on maaaan.. cut the crap...

Length of contract and services that Google was willing to supply Re two different things. Apple needed turn by turn navigation with voice prompts to be competitive. Google refused to provide that, so Apple went in a different direction. Maybe you should "get your facts straight."

More like blame Google AND Apple for that. IIRC, Rene's talked about this before in the past: Google wanted to integrate Latitude into the old Maps app and Apple wouldn't let them (I can't state it as eloquently as he did, but I think that's the general point of it: both parties wanted something from the other but neither side would give it without a price). So, Google didn't get to integrate Latitude and Apple didn't get turn by turn navigation. Both parties were at fault here for not compromising.

I will not go back to google maps! I have used Apple maps multiple times and not once have I had any issues, and the integration with Siri is phenomenal that it pains me to type an address any more.

Really? So how do you explain why this is such a big issue now and why Tim Cook issued an apology and they keep firing morons who let this happened? Fanboyism much?

quote "Williamson was responsible for making sure Maps was done on time" quote
This guy has not done his job properly, but to release him from work. Is this the right decision? Who knows.

I submitted numerous problems with incorrect information. 2 months later they have fixed sweet f all. How hard is it to add an area code to correct a phone entry and fix issues on many entries.

Once bb10 devices launch I will be going back to them. The iphone5 will be my first and last apple device. It's the biggest pos phone I have ever used. Way overhyped for what it really can do.

That's interesting. You've submitted corrections for maps and haven't seen them implemented yet, which makes the iPhone 5 a bad phone?

Ok, makes sense. Somehow, I guess.

One has to wonder if the issue was that Williamson simply mismanaged the project or if he was given an unrealistic schedule to meet. Analysts have speculated and Google has as much as admitted, that the pulling of Google Maps from iOS 6 was unexpected at least from a timing perspective.

My guess is that the current replacement for him wouldn't have fared any better. It was a suicide position. He took one for the team. No 1.0 Maps product was going to please the critics or match google maps which is a more mature product.

That said, I still don't see Apple's Maps being anything more until Apple decides to properly do it right. Relying on third parties is risky and half baked.

I have had a few weird occasions with new map program. Those few times (about half the time since I rarely use it), it wanted me to turn around.... drive a few miles down the road and then turn around again. A couple of times, it wanted me to turn around and drive to the previous highway entrance instead of just continuing on my route. Driving straight would have not made a difference.

However, I do find myself using Apple maps a lot less than with Google maps. Some days, I am very tempted to go back to my 4S since it still is using iOS5

Oh my.....what on earth have you been inhaling??? Waze is the worst map app made, even worse than the Apple map. It is horribly inaccurate. Missing famous and common oceans, rivers, roads, landmarks, etc. Coloring Parks as blue like the ocean or any water based area is what you call the best? The ONLY thing Waze has going for it is that it provides traffic updates from users. However, if users dont manually enter the traffic update into their phone, incidents won't be recorded. I never use Waze for map data, it's only for traffic updates. That's it. For everything else, it's garbage and useless. And why wouldn't it be junk? You get what you pay for, that's why.

If Apple should buy anyone, it is TomTom.

Why didnt apple fire Williamson sooner? Why didnt they fire that dude name SIR whatever? Apple reported paid Williamson one year's severance. That's 52 weeks!!! Who get's 52 weeks of pay upon termination?? Tell me!? This is hush money, that's what it is.