Senior Apple Maps engineer drives off to Uber

Uber, the car service that's irritating taxi companies everywhere, has poached a senior Apple engineer who was a lead on Apple Maps. Chris Blumenberg had been with Apple since 2000, starting as a developer liaison with Microsoft in building Internet Explorer and Office for Mac OS X. More recently, however, he led the 40-person team that built the Apple Maps client software for both iOS and OS X.

What exactly Blumenberg is going to do at Uber isn't clear, but The Information (opens in new tab) posits that his expertise may come in handy with Uber's "sophisticated routing system [that] relies on correctly pinpointing users' locations."

The Apple Maps unit has seen turnover since its painful launch with iOS 6 back in 2012. The service has improved considerably since then, though it still has some kinks to work out.

Apple's software and design talent bench is deep, but they've struggled with services like Maps. How do you want to see Apple Maps improved?

Source: The Information (opens in new tab)

Derek Kessler

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

  • I want to see other mapping apps be selectable as defaults - nothing would make Apple Maps improve faster. Sent from the iMore App
  • I want to see many things, but the 3 key things I'd like to see are:
    1. Transit Data, specifically station locations and underground connection maps between connection points. This is key because even though a subway station may be located on Apples Maps, they don't show you where the actually access points are (at least not in US locations)
    2. Wikipedia integration - discovery is key if you want to virtually site-see or get a guided tour in your pocket while on vacation especially in foreign countries.
    3. the best data all the time in any location. Currently Apple gives you the best map based on the location your are in. But if you are looking at a place you currently are not in, it gives you the data that your current location has. For example. If I want to find a place in China but I'm in the US, I only get data provided from my current location sources. In most cases, that source is not nearly as good as the source if I were doing the same search in China.
  • And now my taxi will never arrive. ;-)
  • They should hire as much mapping talent from Nokia as they can, no expenses spared. That might still save the service.
  • Nokia, TomTom, Google. Raid all the talent.
  • Unless Apple is targeting bottom of the barrel engineer, I can't imagine any senior engineer from those companies would want to work in the bag of hurt at Apple maps.
  • That's actually a good reason to move, assuming the price is right. iOS is still a deep, rich platform, and being one of the engineers who "fixed" one it's glaring problems (Apple Maps) would be a hell of a great thing to have on a CV. Sent from the iMore App
  • Hope he finds his way!!! Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • I want to have offline maps. Like in Nokia Here and Nokia Drive ! Sent from the iMore App
  • How bad is this shit app compared to google apps? Why can we find so many stuff on goggle but not in Apple maps? "Improvements", you said? Sent from the iMore App
  • Lane assist is a must like in Google maps Sent from the iMore App
  • I never understood why Apple hasn't implemented Bluetooth for people who have it in their cars. When you hit a point and it starts to speak it should run through your speakers in your car like with Google maps. Sent from the iMore App
  • Uber – the taxi app’s success has made business owners have an Uber like app for their business and there are several developers focused in creating on demand service applications for several businesses. The uber app script can be used and altered to fit any business and there are now applications for almost every business. With the app in their smart phones and other hand held devices, customers can now get a service at their door step or any other specific location they mention at anytime.
    Though the applications are based on Uber’s model, creating an app needs a lot of work and customizing the uber script clone to fit other businesses sure needs a lot of time and effort.