According to a report on Sunday, Apple is actively recruiting software engineers previously contracted by Google's Maps division to advance the new iOS Maps app, which has been widely criticized since its inception with iOS 6.
A source with connections at both Apple and Google told TechCrunch the iPhone maker is taking advantage of a lull in innovation at Google Maps, and is attempting to lure away software engineers who helped roll out the search giant's mapping service.
Now out of contract, the former Google engineers have reportedly become weary of performing “tedious updates” and are more than willing to start work on Apple's fledging product.
The source, a contractor who worked on implementing Street View and Google Maps services like turn-by-turn navigation, claims that engineers became less interested in further development when focus began to shift toward indoor mapping, with many looking to leave for more stimulating opportunities.
"One guy looked around for other GIS work and ended up at Apple when a recruiter contacted him," said the source. "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 hansomly (sic) as a GIS Analyst."
The report goes on to say that another project lead at Google's mapping initiative left the company after his contract expired, and was recently contacted by an Apple recruiter for what could be a position paying in excess of $85,000.
Apple is not making the mapping tech hires a secret, as it posted numerous listings on its job site over the past month to help develop what many critics say is an inferior Google Maps replacement.
After a multitude of complaints regarding the new Maps app's lack of features, rendering issues and other quibbles hit the web last week, Apple issued a statement saying it is working hard to remedy the problems, though a complete solution is likely months away.
"Apple has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to build a robust mapping platform to counter Google Maps, so it doesn’t surprise me that it’s going out of its way to lure former and current Google Maps employees," the source said. "At Google Maps, we know what data’s important, rendering priorities, keyword searches, and how the user experience is suppose to be. However, Apple needs to find a way to get its own 5 million miles of street view data, partner with the right folks, and spend a fortune on licensed data – which it can."