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Meanwhile Apple is reportedly trying desperately to woo Google Maps engineers

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) made a bold gamble deciding to kick Google Inc.'s (GOOG) highly functional Google Maps app off its i-devices with iOS 6, in lieu of its own homegrown alternative.  The move was perhaps foreshadowed by Apple's long-standing refusal to allow Google Maps the hardware API access necessary to do turn-by-turn navigation on the iPhone.

I. Apple Maps Woes Mar iPhone 5 Experience

Early builds of the iOS 6 Apple Maps were full of flaws.  And while principle partner TomTom N.V. (AMS:TOM2) -- who Apple gets most of its mapping database from -- promised to help fix the flaws, it looks like the version that launched with Apple iPhone 5 is still mediocre at best and a nightmarish mess at worst.  

Cities were misplaced or worse yet wound up in the ocean. Requests for directions in major cities (e.g. New York City) were met with cryptic addresses.  To sum up the prevailing sentiment InfoWorld mobile analyst Galen Gruman writes, "For the short term, I recommend you not use Apple Maps."

Apple iOS 6 Maps
Apple Maps have some issues. [Image Source: Apple]

II. Scorned Google Chimes In

Google, whose Android operating system Apple has called a "copycat" and whose partners have been sued for not "innovating" enough, was quick to pounce on these reports.

The official Google+ account of Google's phonemaking subsidiary Motorola Mobility posted a picture mocking Apple Maps as "iLost" and plugging Android's alternative:

[Image Source: Google+/Motorola Mobility]

The situation isn't looking pretty for Apple Maps.  True, Apple owners can rest easy in knowing that Tim Cook and company (partially) drove the big bad Google off their prized i-Devices, but it is appearing a very Pyrrhic victory.  

III.  Apple is Recruiting ex-Google Maps Devs

According to TechCrunch, the dire situation has prompted Apple to begin trying to poach Google Maps engineers.  The report quotes a source as saying:

Many of my coworkers at Google Maps eventually left when their contracts ended or on their own accord. One guy looked around for other GIS work and ended up at Apple when a recruiter contacted him. He had heard rumors for a while that Apple was going to develop its own in-house mapping platform, and given his experience at Google, he was an easy hire. Apple went out of their way to bring him down to Cupertino and he’s now paid handsomly as a GIS Analyst. Another coworker that was a project lead at Google Maps, left for the East Coast after his contract ended, and was recently contacted by an Apple recruiter. The position sounds like a product development manager position, and will pay him $85k+ and all the moving expenses from the East Coast. He’s gone through 2 rounds of interview and seems like a frontrunner to land that position.

Still, even as Apple moves a bit closer to keeping up with the Androids in terms of screen size and cellular modem technology, it's fallen farther behind on the Maps front -- a critical piece of functionality to today's Swiss Army Knife-esque smartphones.  

George Takei/Facebook

One has to wonder whether the Maps mess will take a bit of the luster off the otherwise polished product.  Early sales, however, have been unaffected as Apple's faithful fans helped it move 5 million units over the launch weekend.

Sources: Google+ [Motorola], TechCrunch, InfoWorld, CNN

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By Nortel on 9/24/2012 1:24:11 PM , Rating: -1
I've used the GPS to 'talk' me to my destination, worked as expected. Fiddled around with finding different addresses in my contact list, also worked fine. I think this is one of those "who's mightier then thou now" moments... seriously nobody is going to buy a Razrm.

RE: overblown
By geddarkstorm on 9/24/2012 1:53:02 PM , Rating: 3
It's not a "mightier than thou" moment, it's a technical issue. I would suspect the iPhone is misformatting user input data, and confusing the maps databases.

As for the Razr M, I'm sure it'll sell just fine; as has the previous Razrs. Your opinions not withstanding.

RE: overblown
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/24/2012 2:02:26 PM , Rating: 3
Your opinions not withstanding.
As usual...

RE: overblown
By ritualm on 9/24/2012 1:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
Apple Maps currently says every SCHOOL in my neighborhood is a park. No transit stops. Here's a dirty secret: I haven't updated the paper-bound city maps book in my car since 1997 and yet it is more accurate and up to date than Apple Maps 15 years later.

Very few Asian iUsers said they would use Maps in its current incarnation. Google Shinjuku Station. Now do the same in Apple's Maps. Instead of information overload - which, ironically, was what the doctors prescribed when that hub literally has more entrances than your own brain has undamaged nerve endings - you get a large slab of nothingness.

Keep drinking your bleach-flavored Kool-Aid, kid.

RE: overblown
By Tony Swash on 9/25/2012 5:58:31 AM , Rating: 2
Very few Asian iUsers said they would use Maps in its current incarnation.

You mean other than the Chinese.

RE: overblown
By petrosy on 9/24/2012 7:18:28 PM , Rating: 1
You had to fiddle.... is that not what iPhone user always used to go on about that their device "just works with out the fiddling"

Enjoy your Apple's own goal device.

The beauty about Android is that you have a choice of which software to use for your services. It just so happens that Google's services are some of the best out there.... but may nto be for everyone but then you have a choice of the many others available.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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