Chris Blumenberg is heading for Uber; Apple is leaving Google Maps behindChanging winds at Apple's Maps Division. The company's senior engineering manager in charge of Maps and one of the lead team members for the first iPhone left Apple for Uber, the new ride-sharing startup.
According to "The Information," "Uber has poached Chris Blumenberg, a senior engineering manager who worked on Apple Maps, according to three people familiar with the move. Blumenberg was one of the first engineers to work on the iPhone software and was a senior leader on Apple’s iOS team."
Uber is a new kind of app that connects passengers with drivers for hire and ride sharing services. The cars are reserved by sending a text message or using an iPhone app. Uber was initially arranging only luxury pick-up cars, but now it addresses a wider audience.
Last month, the San Francisco-based company completed a new round of funding so its value was raised from $17 billion to $18.2 billion.
Blumenberg is not the first high-ranked Apple employee to join the startup, but he may be the oldest in the company to leave. He was the manager of the team responsible for Apple's Maps strategy on iOS and OS X.
His resume has some really good points, "My team is primarily responsible for the Apple Maps app and the MapKit framework. Since 2006, we’ve worked on a number of Google and Apple service-backed features such as local search, directions, street view, next destination and CarPlay. I proudly drove and guided the implementation of vector maps, Flyover and navigation during the shift from Google’s services to Apple’s services in 2012."
In related news, Apple seems to have switched from Google Maps to Apple Maps in iCloud. The change is not visible for all users just yet and it shows mostly in the BETA version of the browser-based Find my iPhone.
This is the first time Apple is using Maps in a browser and it opens the way for a full-fledged Apple Maps application in the browser. So far, the Cupertino tech giant was relying on Google Maps to help users find their lost iDevices or Mac computers.
Apple has delivered on having a Maps app on iOS and Mac and is changing their product pretty fast. However, Apple's Maps are way behind Google's and some of the satellite view imagery is over 4 years old. Apple says they're using Map information from Tom Tom and other providers.