Four years after the spectacularly failed replacement of Google Maps with Cupertino’s own in-house alternative as the default mapping and navigation service on iOS 6, Eddy Cue believes a lot of good came from perhaps the worse Apple-centric software fiasco in the company’s history.
Tim Cook’s second-in-command when it comes to “services” opened up in an extensive FastCompany piece that includes numerous interesting quotes by both the SVP, his skipper, and Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.
Without beating it around the bush, Cue admitted what some of you may have suspected already. Specifically, that “the reason you as a customer are going to be able to test iOS is because of Maps.”
The connection is simple – most of the credit for the initial shortcomings of Apple Maps goes to pre-release work taking place in a closed environment, far from the critical eyes of the global users who ultimately encountered so many problems out in the real world.
Hence, it finally dawned on Apple it was way more beneficial to get large-scale feedback on software products not quite ready for primetime than keep everything a secret. The rest, as they say, is history, with iOS 8.3 the platform’s first version open to public testing last year, and three iOS 10 beta builds available to anyone wanting an early taste of new features.