At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference last week, the company announced many updates among its products, including new operating systems for both desktop and mobile and a new programming language for developers. However, there was no significant news regarding Apple Maps.
Apple did mention that Apple Maps is now offering vector maps in China, along with a few other China-related features, and that iOS 8 has a feature that allows venue owners to upload more data for indoor positioning. And that's about it.
"There were multiple improvements that didn't make it into iOS 8," a source told TechCrunch.
The absence of major news on Apple Maps at the WWDC was surprising, as a report released back in March detailed planned major changes that will allow the company to vindicate the app.
Apple Maps had a disastrous launch in 2012, when the company released it to replace the highly reliable Google Maps. The app suffered from wrong information and a lack of mapping infrastructure, frustrating users and forcing Apple CEO Tim Cook to issue an apology for the app's lackluster release.
One update detailed in the report is the inclusion of transit directions, which will aid people in big cities that have complex transit systems. Apple Maps currently sends users to third-party apps when you request for transit directions. Having the transit directions located within the app will give it a bit more competitiveness against Google Maps. This improvement was reportedly to be spurred by Apple's acquisition of HopStop, Embark and BroadMap, which would also aid the company's map database.
Other updates reported for Apple Maps were more points of interest and improved labels for prominent locations, a cleaner interface and eventually, augmented reality to provide users with images of nearby locations.
However, none of these updates can be found at the WWDC.
"Many developers left the company, no map improvements planned for iOS 8 release were finished in time. Mostly it was failure of project managers and engineering project managers, tasks were very badly planned, developers had to switch multiple times from project to project," continued the source, pointing to personnel problems as one factor for Apple Maps' absence at the conference.
"I would say that planning, project management and internal politics issues were a much more significant contributor to the failure to complete projects than developers leaving the group," the source added.
During the WWDC, Apple pointed out that over 680,000 apps in the App Store use location data, pointing to the significance of Apple Maps and the high priority that Apple should place on this project.