November 27, 2012 3:45 pm
This may not come as a shock to many iOS 6 users, but the man in charge of Apple Maps has been fired.
Richard Williamson, the manager of platform services at Apple, has been reportedly let go after Eddie Cue, the Senior Vice President “fixer-upper” charged with ensuring future Apple products roll out smoothly, felt it was in the company’s best interests going forward. Williamson has been at Apple since 2001, having started as a software engineer and quickly moving up the ranks to become Senior Director of iOS Platform Services.
Software has been an area in which Apple has arguably fallen behind its competitors in recent months, as Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating systems have seen significant upgrades, bringing feature parity, and in many cases, feature improvements, to iOS.
Apple has been working with TomTom, its mapping data provider, to fix many of the cartographic errors first seen in iOS 6 Maps, especially renders of locations in 3D space using the new FlyOver mode. When iOS 6 was first released, there were so many obvious errors in the mapping data that a Tumblr was dedicated to pointing out the most egregious ones. And while that blog hasn’t been updated since early October, there are still reported cases of errors in iOS 6 Maps, though the prevalence has dropped significantly.
While it’s not known who is going to take over Williamson’s role as head of platform services, it’s good to know that even within middle management there is the desire to improve the mistakes of the past. Last month, Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS Software, was politely pushed out of the company, after reportedly failing to put his name to a letter that apologized to the public for the maps debacle. His role hasn’t been replaced so much as filled in by existing management; Jony Ive, chief hardware designer, has been touted as a potential influencer in future versions of iOS design.