Key Maps Engineer Chris Blumenberg Leaving Apple for Uber
Chris Blumenberg, a key Apple engineer who has long worked on Maps for iOS and OS X, is leaving the company to take a position with Uber, according to a report by The Information. Blumenberg is the latest of a number of departures from Apple's Maps team, which has been suffering from internal politics.
Blumenberg is a 14-year veteran of Apple, initially working on Safari for OS X and later iOS. He famously built a version of Maps for iOS in just a few weeks in late 2006 so that Steve Jobs could demo it at the iPhone introduction in January 2007. For the last six years, Blumenberg has managed the Maps Apps & Frameworks group, overseeing a team of at least 40 employees handling Apple's Maps apps on iOS and OS X. From his LinkedIn profile:
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.
Apple's issues with its Maps team have reportedly slowed the company's work on that initiative, so much so that there were virtually no mentions of Maps at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote last month. Apple reportedly has a number of iOS Maps improvements in the works, including transit directions and improved points of interest, but it is unclear whether they will be ready in time for the public release of iOS 8 later this year or if they will need to be held for a later update.